Chef Greg Gettles of the Umstead Hotel and Spa shares his recipe for a refreshing, vitamin-packed autumn pick-me-up that combines lemon, rich in potassium and calcium, ginger, which has antioxidant and direct anti-inflammatory effects, relaxing lavender, and thyme, which helps relieve coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion. It’s easy to make and good for you!
Lemon-Ginger-Lavender Spa Elixir
2 quarts water, simmering
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and chopped
8 lemons, peels reserved and juiced
½ pound ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup honey
6 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of fresh lavender (2 tablespoons dried)
Method: In a large plastic container combine, lemongrass, lemon peels, and honey. Pour simmering water over the aromatics and mix well. Allow steeping for 10 minutes then add ginger, thyme, lavender, and allow steeping for 30 more minutes, mixing with a whisk every 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and enjoy hot, or chill.