Friday, October 2, 2009
The cooler weather is here; and, my stomach and lungs need the added boost my ginger tea gives me. As I sit here, blowing my nose and feeling incredibly sorry for myself, I have a pot of tea brewing behind me in the kitchen.
Many years ago, I developed a case of bronchitis so severe my chest became a little weaker and my ability to pick up every case of cold, flu, etc. that came around improved. This tea also aids anyone with a sensitive stomach - it calms nausea and aid digestion.
My recipe for ginger tea is slightly different than others and there are no strict guidelines on ingredient amounts. If you love the peppery taste of turmeric - add a little more; or, if one of the ingredients is not your favourite - use less or leave it out altogether. I have laid the amounts I use out beside the Chinese herb pot I make mine in; but, any saucepan or container will work. From right to left: fresh ginger, lemon grass, turmeric.
To cold water add thinly sliced ginger, thinly sliced turmeric, and roughly chopped lemon grass. I don't peel my ingredients (many nutrients are under the skin), I just wash them thoroughly before adding. Slice the lemon grass in half lengthwise and check the inside for dirt before chopping. Bring water up to boil, turn down heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. This extracts every drop of goodness and flavour.
Since I don't peel my ingredients, I strain the liquid as I pour it into my cup because some of the skin will boil off and float in the tea.
The tea is tasty as is; but, if you like, you can add honey, brown sugar, or the sweetener of your choice. Drink the tea as often as you like - three times a day is recommended. An added advantage of simmering the tea is that as your tea simmers some of the goodness infiltrates the air and aids with every breath.
The benefits of ginger are:
Ginger is known worldwide for it effects on digestive ailments. It helps break down proteins and helps digest fatty foods; reduces gas; relieves nausea; and, treats morning sickness and motion sickness.
This rhizome reduces inflammation so it can be of benefit for arthritis, ulcerative colitis or any other inflammation-related disease. Studies show that it has been effective in inhibiting the replication of the herpes simplex virus.
Ginger is a warming herb, it knocks out a fever; stimulates circulation; relaxes the muscles around the blood vessels lowering the risk of blood clots; is a natural decongestant; and, an antihistamine.
Recent studies show that ginger might also have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol because the spice can help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed. It has also been shown in animal trials to help slow or even prevent cancerous tumor growth.
The healing properties come from it’s volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols, which are also responsible for it’s pungent taste. The oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced which helps with the whole digestion process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea.
The benefits of turmeric are:
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It is useful in disinfecting cuts and burns; speeds up wound healing; assists in remodeling of damaged skin; and, aids in the treatment of psoriasis or other skin inflammation problems.
Turmeric holds amazing promise in the fight against cancer. When combined with cauliflower it has been shown to prevent prostrate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer; prevents breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice; may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide; reduces the risk of childhood leukemia; may prevent metastases from occurring in many different kinds of cancer; natural anti-infammatory; shows promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice; a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor; appears to aid pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma; and, stops the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
It is also a natural liver detoxifier; may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain; natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; and, may aid in fat metabolism and weight loss.
The Chinese have used it for ages as a natural remedy for depression.
The benefits of lemon grass are:
Lemon grass or citronella is known for its calming effect that acts as a sedative for the central nervous system relieving insomnia, anxiety or stress.
It is an antibacterial/antifungal; helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples; relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism; helps relieve flatulence and colic; and reduces fevers, agues, and colds.
Citronella helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract; helps to boost the immune system; may help to prevent cancer; helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, and excess fats; reduces blood pressure and improves blood circulation; and helps alleviate indigestion and gastroenteritis.
It also helps tone your muscles and tissues; helps with menstrual problems; and helps reduce cellulite.
Citronella is also an active ingredient in many insect repellents.
Wow!! What great benefits from one simple tea. Brew a pot, strain, and enjoy!