Apart from Brandy and hot water, the standard cure-all for army brats, the other oft-repeated home remedy I remember from my childhood is Ginger juice and honey. A mixture we always use for my daughter, most people I know use the combination of ginger juice and honey for sore throats; mostly for children and sometimes for adults too. When I saw bottled ginger and honey at a leading coffee chain, I was happy. Sore throats with children and available stocks of ginger and honey don't always coincide. The presence of a backup bottle therefore was a matter of some comfort...till I read the ingredient panel. The brand only makes a product and puts it out there, usually complying with all legal requirements, listing all required information on the product's packaging. We should make a habit of reading the ingredients listed on a packaged product and make an informed purchase decision, especially when it comes to health and nutrition.
Before I go on, let's get one thing clear. It's us who are responsible for our health, not the brand. If we therefore choose to start waving our hands in the air and screaming at how brands fool us; think again. We feel the need to have it. We don't read the ingredients. We do not make informed decisions. We buy the product. We use it.
Moving on, the label on the bottle read in bold letters, "Ginger and Honey", while a description at the back read, "The natural goodness of honey is expertly blended with the distinctive flavour of ginger...". It probably sounded very good at the time, which is possibly the reason why I bought it and took it home.
Once home, I took a random look at the ingredients...the bottle contained only 10% honey and 20% ginger! The bulk of the bottle's contents therefore appeared to be Liquid Glucose (a thick syrup used in confectionaries, that helps prevent the crystallization of sugar), per the ingredients list, and sugar along with smaller quantities of E440 (Pectin, stabilizer) and E211 (Sodium Benzoate, preservative). I think the product should have been named "Liquid Glucose, flavoured with Ginger and Honey", rather than the misleading, "Ginger and Honey" and clearly stated to be for the creation of recreational beverages only, explicitly de-linked from the traditional, medicinal use.
Author: Sid Khullar