Introduction: General Tso's (mostly Natural) Lozenges

About: Tate is an artist, occasionally a curator, author, social designer as well as a frequent workshop facilitator focusing on utilization of available materials, tools and site specificity.
I don't get sick often but growing up I was getting Strep throat every year; luckily I haven't had it for a few years. Right now I can almost feel it coming on so I was looking into prevention/home remedies because I'm currently on the Curonian Spit, in Lithuania, which is quite isolated...So for a variety of reasons I came up with this recipe to prevent/cure my Strep Throat paranoia, based on some research.

The basic principle of how these lozenges work come from this video, which suggests that it works just like antibiotics: http://youtu.be/P10JNNvyH-k

...but it's basically "get-better tea" in lozenge form and it's really easy to make.

The recipe makes between 50-60 drops; one should be taken every half-full hour hour, that you're awake, until you feel better.

Ingredients (+ why they work):
  • 4tbsp honey (coats the throat, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory)
  • 1/2c sugar (hardens into a solid)
  • 1tsp cayennepowder(brings blood to surfaces which it touches, boosts circulation, high source of Vitamin A + C, has the complete B complexes, AND is very rich in organic calcium and potassium...among other things)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated (stimulates the immune system, reduces pain, antibiotic as well as being anti-fungal/viral/parasitic...etc.)
  • 1tsp ginger , finely chopped or grated (reduces inflammation and antiviral are the uses we'll concentrate on for this recipe)
  • a pinch of salt (flavor and is less irritating to the mucous membranes in the mouth)
  • zest from your favorite citrus (antibacterial, antifungal, aromatic, boosts metabolism)
* if you want/need to substitute any of the active ingredients, look here and find the flavor which is good for what ail's you:
Medicinal uses of common herbs/spices from UCLA's website

Tools:
  • A small saucepan w/ lid
  • A sharp knife
  • A spoon
  • A citrus zester/micro-plane or cheese grater with a fine grade
  • A non-stick surface

Optional (but useful):
  • A candy thermometer

Step 1: Make a Sweet and Spicy Danger-sauce.

Mix the honey, sugar and cayenne in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover for 4 minutes.

Step 2: Drop It Like It's Hot.

Remove the cover of your boiling honey/sugar/cayenne mixture and once it reaches 295/300 degrees Fahrenheit or 146/148 degrees Celsius remove it from the heat...You can use your candy thermometer for this or, if your like me, you don't have one at the moment and then you can do a drop test: drop a small amount of the candy mixture into cold/icy water, if it becomes a brittle mass/threads then it's at the right temperature and you should remove the saucepan from the heat.

I didn't have a candy thermometer or ice so I went and got some snow and poured water in the middle of it. In the second picture you can see some little hard balls in my snowater.

For more non-thermometer ways of telling what stage your candy is at check this out: http://www.ehow.com/how_7778842_tell-temperature-candy-thermometer.html

Once it's ready remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Flavor Bomb

This is when you're going to add, and mix in, most of the flavor and some of the best of the medicine (salt, ginger, garlic, citrus zest) to your cooling honey/cayenne/sugar mixture.

The reason you add it now, and not earlier, is because you don't want to destroy/modify the acting compounds in the ginger, garlic, and citrus zest.

Step 4: Pop Off and Go Loco!

Now your part in lozenge making is almost done. With the honey/sugar/cayenne mixture cooled for 5 minutes and the citrus zest/garlic/ginger/salt mixed in you can start pouring the mixture onto your non-stick surface. Drop 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture onto your nonstick surface, making sure to leave some space between the drops (because they spread a bit). I couldn't find a silicone mat, parchment or wax paper so I just used 2 non-stick frying pans.

Allow them to cool for 30 minutes and you should have brittle lozenges which sooth your throat and provide a constant stream of ingredients which kill viruses/bacteria/fungi while increasing blood flow and a host of other awesome properties.

Stay well! 

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