Carrageen is an Atlantic seaweed available in trendy supermarkets across Ireland. Californian hipsteratti like to call it Irish moss, and use it to set vegan desserts in place of verboten animal gelatin. So it’s not surprising that, when boiled, carrageen has an Angel Delight texture to salve achy throats. My little ones think this brew is like a wobbly dessert, administered from a spoon. Granted, their taste buds are probably shot when they’re fighting a cold.
It’s unclear whether the antimicrobial effect is from the raw honey, vinegar, turmeric, ginger or wild carrageen. There’s evidence to suggest that each of these sonic ingredients harbour their own deadly ninja moves. Not that I care much, so long as my cough is salved in some way (if even momentarily).
Treating yourself with your mind is also a great recipe. If the placebo effect can account for up to a 48 per cent improvement in symptoms during some clinical trials, it’s not unfair to suggest that our minds are in fact the best superfood du jour. Such a state of affairs can really ruin a coffee break at a medical conference.
The idea that your brain can stimulate healing is hardly new. But it’s certainly worth remembering our brain’s currency in the healing process. If our emotional selves can help convince our physical selves that a fake treatment is the real thing — the placebo effect — just think of the amazing benefits and possibilities we all hold for our future wellness. Wish yourselves well, my friends!
Makes 2 mugs
Carrageen is a type of Irish mossy seaweed available in loads of Irish supermarkets like Supervalu, and certainly in all good health stores.
- Roughly 20g packet of Carrageen moss
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- Crack of black pepper
- Other citrus fruits
- 1 teaspoon minced turmeric root, or dried turmeric
1. Soak the carrageen in water for 30 minutes to rehydrate it. Remove, discard liquid, and rinse under the cold tap. Boil the carrageen in a large saucepan with the cloves and around 750ml of fresh water. Secure a lid on it.
2. After 20-30 minutes, strain the “ocean veg” brew and allow the liquid to cool to lip temperature before stirring in the remaining ingredients and optional add-ons.
3. The brew will set like lemon curd once cooled. If (or when) this happens, gently re-heat. If your cough is particularly chesty, make several batches with added ginger zest and sip all day, with the aid of a couple of Woody Allens.
Add extra honey, making sure it’s locally sourced. Administer by the spoon to help with their bark! A few teaspoons a day is plenty. Not suitable for babies.