Recently, I’ve been thinking about my first winter in South Korea. It was cold and I was unprepared. The other thing is, when you work with young children, you tend to get sick. They are pretty gross. They don’t wash their hands and they touch everything. Sooner or later, you will catch something.
The thing about working at a private academy, or hagwon, is that you can’t
really take sick days. There’s no one to teach your classes. You’ve just got to suck it up and fight through the pain.
Tim and I were both in a lot of pain that winter, at one point we were sure we’d both gotten pneumonia (it was fleeting, I’m sure it was just a flu). Our sickness was pretty obvious, and one day the principal, who spoke pretty much zero English, came to school with a gift: a large jar of homemade Yujacha.
An herbal remedy for a cold or winter illness, yujacha is a traditional Korean herbal tea. It’s made with sliced yuzu fruit (a citrus fruit) and either sugar or honey. I guess to make it with lemon means it’s not quite yujacha, but it’s pretty delicious anyway.
Either way, the antioxidants in the honey (if that’s what you use) and the lemon (or yuzu) help the body fight cell damage and boost your immune system. So, drink it if you’re sick or if you’re not, and feel good about it either way.