Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ginger Tea

We all know that getting sick sucks. Being sniffly, coughy, or nauseous is no fun. But what does this have to do with food?


It’s my favorite cure all home remedy. Sometimes you need to reach for the cold medicine, but ginger can also be a big help on the road to feeling better. Ginger has been used as a medicine for different ailments for centuries, but I primarily turn to it for the common cold (or when I’m cooking Chinese food). Some claim that it’s an “antiviral” food, but I don’t really know if it has been scientifically proven to help with colds. And I don’t really care because I know that it works! Ginger is also known to curb nausea, so if you’ve got a stomach bug it could be helpful as well.

Whenever I feel like I’m getting sick I make up a batch of homemade ginger tea. You can buy ginger in pill form at the store or premade ginger teabags, but I prefer to take it back to the basics and make ginger tea from scratch. And what’s better when you’re sick than a warm cup of tea?

First you start off with ginger root. I like to make a big batch of tea and save some in the fridge, so I usually get a lot of ginger. Peel the ginger with a sharp knife and cut it into chunks.

Then place the pieces of ginger in a pot and fill it with water. Bring the pot to a boil and allow the ginger to seep into the water for at least fifteen minutes. Sometimes I let it go longer if I want to make a particularly potent batch. When the water begins the change color you know the ginger is starting to work some of its magic.

And that's pretty much it--just ladle out a cupful when you think the tea is ready. Some people like to add a little lemon and honey, which can also be helpful to soothe a sore throat. I prefer it straight up, but that’s just me being hard core as usual. I love the spiciness of the ginger and there’s something about such an intense flavor that just makes me feel like I’m doing something healthy for myself.

I realize that this post is not exactly overflowing with scientific evidence and that some will say that consuming ginger to prevent or remedy the common cold is an old wives’ tale, but from my own experience I’ve found it to work very well. Of course, there’s shame in turning to the pharmacy in a time of need, but many people prefer to try home remedies first. Even if the ginger tea can’t make you completely better, the warmth and spiciness of it still makes you feel good when you’re ill. Stay healthy and be well!

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