Warming Tea and Bone Broth

As usual, on Thursdays, I chatted with Matt Swaim today and the subject was St. Blaise. He was a healer, especially for conditions of the throat. I thought it would be good to share a couple timely recipes now that we’re in flu and cold season (still!).

The reason we have the blessing of throats on his feast day is when he was condemned to jail, on his way, a woman brought her child to him who was chocking to death on a fish bone.  Blaise cured the child.

Among other things, he is depicted with crossed candles.  How this came about is that a woman brought him two candles when he was jailed to dispel the gloom of his cell. Today, our priests use crossed candles for the blessing of throats on his feast day, the day after Candlemas. Blaise is traditionally believed to intercede in cases of throat illnesses.

Since we’re in the middle of cold and flu season, I wanted to share some home remedies, particularly good for the throat and any upper respiratory illness.

Rita Heikenfeld 


Yield: 1 quart


  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6” each
  • 1 piece ginger, 2”, peeled and sliced
  • 1 piece turmeric, 2”, peeled and sliced OR 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • Honey to sweeten (optional)


  1. Pour water into large pot. 
  2. Add all ingredients but honey. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and strain. Sweeten to taste. 
  4. Serve warm or chilled.


  • Wear gloves while working with turmeric. It stains easily.
  • Make a big batch of tea. It lasts about a week in the refrigerator. 

Drink to good health with warming tea!

  • Cinnamon helps improve blood sugar and cholesterol. Cinnamon: Exodus 30:23: “The Lord told Moses to collect the choicest of spices – warming spice 
  • Turmeric, ginger and black pepper contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Ginger calms the tummy and has antiviral benefits.Ancient Romans imported vast quantities of ginger and taxed it heavily because it was in such high demand. 
  • Raw honey. It’s mentioned over 50 times in the Bible – remember ” a land flowing with milk and honey …” in Exodus. (Exodus 3:8). Raw, organic honey has antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. Avoid giving honey to babies under the age of 1 year.

Bone Broth and Benefits

Tucked deep inside are lots of nutrients like gut-healing proteins, healthy fats, and easy to assimilate vitamins and minerals. All this goodness cooks right in the broth. Bones contain collagen, which makes the stock gelatinous and looks like Jello-O.  Collagen is great for joint, skin and digestive health.

For lagging appetites, bone broth is easily digested and will boost the immune system. It’s powerful medicine for colds and flu. Plus liquids are easier to digest than solids, so you get a quick energy boost from bone broth.


Remember when Mom used to take leftover or extra meat bones and cook them with root veggies and herbs to make a nourishing broth? Partly it was done because nothing was thrown away. This same practice is being employed every day by the best restaurants.

My mom used to take leftover bones with onions and other veggies and herbs and make a healthy, tasty broth.  She left the skin on the onions (yes, they give nutrition and beautiful color to the broth). I do the same and I can tell you this broth is superior to anything you can buy. I always add parsley to my bone broth.

No real recipe, but just take browned or leftover bones, cover with water and add aromatics like parsley, garlic, onion and even a carrot or two. Simmer several hours, strain and place in frig overnight. You’ll be able to skim the fat off the top, but underneath you’ll see lots of gelatin. Here’s why it’s good for you:

When you cook bones, you get gelatin. And what is gelatin? It’s actually collagen. And collagen is full of things like the amino acids proline and glycine, which are exactly what your body uses to build the tissue that keeps your joints strong.

It’s full of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which is well documented to help keep cartilage healthy and joint pain at bay. 

Bone broth also provides hyaluronic acid, which is commonly given as an oral supplement for osteoarthritis sufferers and injected into arthritic knee joints to reduce pain and increase flexibility.

As mentioned, bone broth helps reduce inflammation but it also improves your gut health and boosts your immune system.   

Secret Ingredients

A splash of organic cider vinegar. Vinegar pulls calcium and other minerals from the bones into the broth.

Parsley: Iron, calcium, vitamin C, parsley has all these, plus the ability to soften stiff muscles and provide relief to inflammatory conditions.

Garlic/Onion: Anything in the garlic/onion family is good for your heart and lungs. Garlic has antibiotic properties and can help reduce swelling in joints, plus lessen joint pain. It stimulates the immune system and improves circulation and blood flow. It also has selenium, an antioxidant that fights free radicals which can damage joints.

Bay: A salt buster and is antiseptic and antibacterial. Bay leaf “tea” good for skin. Reduces puffiness and is moisturizing.

Celery: Alkalizing, good digestive, antioxidants, reduces inflammation

Thyme: Expectorant qualities, immune system benefits, antiseptic, antiviral, peppery flavor. 

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