Home » Winter, mom cold and a Kenyan natural elixir

Winter, mom cold and a Kenyan natural elixir

by Judy Wanjiku Jørgensen


Winter is coming along with the vicious cycle of snot, coughs and fevers. I don’t like the sight of a thin stream of snot running down my son’s noses.  Snotty noses fill my mommy head with dread of what is next in line for me. You see, I always catch the mom cold from my boys, especially Faraji, it feels like we have this weird cold and influenza synchronisation. It is often a matter of hours before I catch what he is having. No amount of disinfection or staying away from him can keep me safe from those sneaky, nasty little bacteria’s. Ironically, he rarely ever seems to catch a cold from me, only the reverse. Do I smell a cold conspiracy?

The mom cold always hit me the hardest, especially during winter and summer. I have this theory that I get so sick because my children’s viruses/bacteria’s are still ‘pure’. The first day of the flu/cold symptoms renders me completely useless. My body aches in every part, fever keeps me up through the night, and the worst is the blocked nose, which feels like an elephant foot is blocking my nostrils.  I am miserable when I have a common cold.

As a mother, I cannot afford to be sick for more than two days.  It always seems like I can neither rest long enough to let my body recover nor stop obsessing over everything – like housework and the myriad of other activities on my to-do list.  It always so happens that when I am sick, Faraji stays home too, because he can’t be in day-care with a highly contagious cold or flu.

Any chance of sleep or drowsy medicines that can keep me incapacitated for a few hours while my body fights the infection, seem to be like a mirage. I still have to be awake and present for the child that is staying home, and I have to be able to wade through my drowsiness when they cry or whimper for something.

At this stage of the mom cold, I usually give up trying to be super-mom and accept the helplessness that comes with being sick. Check out this mom’s version of the difference between a mom cold and a man cold. It is hilarious.


Winter cold’s natural elixir


Natural winter cold remedy


Since I don’t always have the luxury of antihistamines for treatment, I choose the more natural elixir in the form of ‘Pawa’ chai (power herbal tea), as my version of flu exterminator. I take two cups of this concoction, and on the 2nd day, I am out of the body-numbing zombie mode and into full speed mother mode.

The herbal concoction accompanied with lots of flues along with chicken soup always works like a charm by shortening the duration of my suffering.

The cloves in the tea act as an expectorant that gently opens up the sinuses. Ginger helps relieve headaches and sore throat. Star anise contains lots of anti-viral properties; evident in anti-influenza drugs such as Tamiflu. Lemon works the same way as the ginger with the additional advantage of antioxidants. Raw honey is a useful, time-proven natural cough remedy.

Use this natural healing elixir the next time you feel like you are dying from the flu/cold. It is also perfect for winter tea when you need something to keep you warm and healthy.

Winter cold natural elixir

Pawa Chai - Natural Cold Elixir

Serves: 1 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


1 organic lemon
2 and a half cups of water
6 sticks cloves
2 sticks star anise
I small ginger
2 tablespoons honey
½ tsp turmeric (optional)
½tsp black tea


  1. Winter cold natural elixirWash and thinly slice the lemons
  2. Scarp the ginger peel using a teaspoon, slice into big chunks
  3. Put the ginger and lemons into 2 cups of boiling water, cover and let them continue to simmer for a minute
  4. Add the cloves, star anise and turmeric into the boiling mixture. ( I prefer to add tea leaves at this point too)
  5. Cover and boil for 5 minutes
  6. Add honey in a large mug, strain the boiled mixture into the cup
  7. Stir and enjoy (You can add honey to the combination if the concoction is too bitter)
Did You Make This Recipe?
Tag me on Instagram at @kenyankitchenabroad.

You may also like