Ginger for Winter Ills

Ginger is well known for its spicy bite in Asian cooking, but not everyone knows it's also an effective remedy for a number of ailments, including colds and flu.

Ginger is a stimulant that helps increase agni, the internal fire that regulates the digestive and circulatory systems. Low agni causes blockage and constipation, allowing toxins to accumulate, which creates a breeding ground for disease. Ginger helps by increasing the agni, which, in turn, burns away toxins and waste matter, improves digestion, and paves the way to recovery. Ginger even helps eliminate harmful bacteria and parasites.

Ginger is especially good during cold and flu season. It helps clear the sinuses, relieves congestion headaches, and reduces fever. It's also an expectorant that expels mucus from the lungs and throat. The most effective way to take it for colds and flu is ginger tea. Here's a simple recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup diced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. honey

Boil the water, then add the ginger and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain into a cup and add 2 teaspoons of honey (or to taste). If you like, you can add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the pot to increase the stimulating, heating effect. Let me forewarn you now, though: This tea is fiery! Sip it—don't gulp it down.

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