My step-daughter Lexi recently had an issue with her foot: it was swollen, painful and difficult for her to walk. Being in college, that is a big problem. She was forced to use crutches for several weeks, she was in constant pain, and she was at the mercy of whatever her doctors told her.
It was clear her doctors didn’t know what was causing it: she was getting contradictory opinions and diagnoses, and all they could really do was prescribe pain meds.
My husband works out several times a week at the gym, as well as playing softball games twice a week, visiting the batting cages, playing flag football, and coaching sports teams. Needless to say, he often has sore, tight, or stiff muscles.
I’m usually cold. I have to carry a jacket everywhere, and when it starts to get cold in the fall I end up catching a chill and eventually getting a head cold or sinus infection as a result.
What if I told you there is a cheap, easy, and delicious way to relieve all three of the above issues, and many more?
Ginger is a rock star in the world of natural healing and “food as medicine.”
- Ginger is an anti-inflammatory: inflammation causes most of the pain and disease we experience
- Ginger boosts the immune system: fend off that cold & flu virus going around
- Ginger warms up the body: ward off chills and stay toasty in the winter!
- Ginger breaks down toxic build-up in the body
- Ginger improves cardiovascular health
- Ginger relieves nausea and improves digestion: even nausea from motion sickness!
- Ginger lowers cholesterol
- Ginger works with fiber from your diet to cleanse your digestive tract
- Ginger balances blood sugar
- Ginger is a pain reliever: studies have found it even more effective than over-the-counter pain meds when taken every day!
- Ginger can reduce the risk of cancer
- Ginger is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal: it helps your body fight infections
- Ginger can ease nasal discomfort: and serve as an alternative to decongestants and allergy meds
- Ginger may rev up body fat loss: it ramps up your metabolism by raising your body temperature, encouraging your body to burn fat
Ginger does so many things!
So how can you get it in you? You can cook with it–I love the subtly sweet-hot flavor it adds to dishes. There are ginger candies you can eat as well–they’re a little spicy but pretty good! Or you can drink it as a tea!
Ginger tea is not actually tea, it’s an infusion of ginger in water. Here’s how to make it:
Ingredients for Ginger Tea
- Fresh ginger root
- 4-5 cups Pure filtered water
Directions for Ginger Tea
- Cut the fresh ginger into slices, using about one inch total
- Add the ginger and water to a saucepan and boil for 10-15 minutes
- Strain out the ginger and use the “ginger tea” that results
Ginger tea can be enjoyed hot or cold: you can even make a big batch in the summer and refrigerate it for a refreshing beverage with health benefits, or use it to make ginger lemonade!
It’s great sweetened with honey and with lemon, or you can use the “ginger water” in other things: like if you make herbal tea (I love this one) at night, use the ginger water instead of regular water to add ginger’s health benefits without the flavor–you’ll just taste the tea!
You can also use ginger water as the base for soups, stews, or other beverages. It can be used in place of water in a lot of recipes, and be swapped out for water when making rice, quinoa, or oatmeal. You can even use it when you make hot cocoa!
Some people (and kids) don’t love the strong taste of ginger. My friend Jennifer over at Home on the Meyerstead came up with this really great honey-based throat elixir that is great for kids–it’s sweet and sour with a great flavor, but also has the benefits of ginger, along with lemon and honey! It’s delicious–so much better than cough medicine but works just as well–and it’s a great tasting and nutritious ready-made add-in for tea!
When I feel a chill or get a tickle in the back of my throat, I make this delicious hot toddy and it warms me right up:
Ingredients for Healing Hot Toddy
- 2-3 cups hot ginger water
- 2 T lemon juice (if using a fresh lemon, throw in the whole lemon slice to get some of the benefits of the rind and zest)
- 1-2 T raw organic honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- A splash of whiskey (about 1 oz)
- 1-2 oz Elderberry tincture or a spoonful of Elderberry syrup
- 2 T Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
- A sprinkle of real salt (for electrolytes and flavor)
Directions for Healing Hot Toddy
- Add all ingredients to hot ginger water
- Stir and add to two mugs
I love this hot toddy because it warms my whole body up right away–
perfect if I’ve caught a chill.
It also tastes great! it’s like hot apple cider, thanks to the apple cider vinegar.
It’s the perfect immune-boosting nightcap!
It’s even better to pair up this hot drink with a detox bath at night before you go to bed or when you feel sick.
My step-daugter Lexi said the ginger tea helped relieve pain in her foot as it was healing, too!
Ginger is an age-old remedy that really works as a warming, soothing, anti-inflammatory food, and it’s very inexpensive and easy to use! Grab some ginger next time you’re at the store and get to healing!
Read more about how to boost immunity and stay well during the winter:
Plus: Watch “5 Top Ingredients to Add to Your Detox Bath“
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