Guaranteed to open up your sinuses and make you see through time.

Peel and mince as much fresh ginger as you think you can handle. Throw it into a pot of water - the amount again depends on what water-to-ginger intensity you think you can stand - and bring to a boil. My old roommate, who used to make this tea for me when I was sick, suggests throwing in some honey to sweeten the tea as soon as it boils. Orange peels are also delicious. It's up to you, but a sweetener is advisable.

Boil until you cannot take it anymore, and then strain out the ginger mincies and/or orange peels. Cool for a bit, and then praise ginger.

Some medicinal uses of ginger

Ginger tea has been used since about 2000 BC for medicinal purposes. It is supposed to ease indigestion, nausea and headache. My ex-wife's mother prescribed it for stomach ailments and period pain, and I have a friend who swore by it as a prophylactic against motion sickness. On the rare occasions when I have had a hangover, a cup or two of this has set me on my feet again.

In each case, the recipe was the same - two to four teaspoonfuls of freshly ground or minced ginger (never dried) and a pint of boiling water and honey to taste. Left to infuse for ten to twenty minutes, strained and sipped, a cup of this is enough to take the edge of the nausea.

It is wise not to take too much, however, as two of ginger's components, gingerol and zingerone (which impart the 'hotness') have an irritant effect. Certainly, anyone suffering with gastric ulcer is advised not to drink too much, or make it too strong. In addition, pregnant women and anyone with gall bladder problems are warned against excessive use.

The slight variation on this basic recipe that I use calls for:

  • lemon - Use a quarter of a fresh lemon, squeeze it into the water and then leave it in. Gives you enhanced taste, and the health benifits of vitamin C and lemons being generally just plain good for you.
  • honey - if you have a sore throat, use massive quantities. A slightly syrupy taste can be oh so soothing. Also, it helps take some of the bite off of the ginger and the...
  • cayenne pepper - if you've got a significant congestion problem (nasal, not traffic), the spiciness of cayenne, as with hot salsa and wasabi, can very effectively drain your sinuses. Dash as liberally as you think you can stand.

This tasty, magical cure-all formula has rescued me from many a cold. Try it, you'll feel much better.

Bexxta's Quick & Easy Fresh Ginger Tea

Fresh ginger makes a wonderful hot beverage, and has been used throughout history due to its many medicinal properties. This tea is not only tasty, but is also great for the flu, travel sickness, motion sickness, flatulence, morning sickness, stomach cramps, and migraine headaches. Ginger tea also aids digestion when drunk after a meal, is effective in relieving nausea, and a wonderful hangover cure. Believe me! It works!! You will also find that if you consume ginger regularly it is has the amazing ability to improve general health and well-being by strengthening the immune system.

The wonderful thing about my version of fresh ginger tea is that it's very quick and simple to make. Also because it uses pieces of ginger root, it does not need straining.

  • 1 Ginger root
  • Boiling water
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Honey (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Peel, and cut into pieces enough ginger to cover the base of your cup/mug. (After doing this a few times you will learn to know exactly how much ginger you'll need. Do not peel more than you need, as ginger will last longer when left in its natural state i.e. unpeeled) Pour freshly boiled water into the cup over the ginger. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and it's ready. See?! I told you it was quick and easy! Add a teaspoon of honey, sprinkle of cayenne pepper, or squeeze of lemon to taste. (Personally I love the taste of ginger alone and usually only add a small sprinkle of cayenne pepper* for it's medicinal qualities.) Drink. Enjoy.

*I know from experience that cayenne pepper does not readily dissolve in water. If you drink your tea slowly you may wish to give it a quick stir every 5 minutes or so in order to disperse the pepper through the liquid… You may otherwise encounter its rather strong taste upon drinking the final few sips of your tea.

I came up with this tisane several years ago when plagued by a terrible sore throat. It quickly became very popular at work as it's effective and it tastes good. It's also easy to use, since it's prepared in advance and added to hot water when needed. I haven't made it in a while, not having had a really awful sore throat. But, recently a sick friend asked me to make some for her. So, I tweaked the recipe and measured everything. Thus, I give you

yclept Juice

Otherwise known as Lemon Ginger Syrup.

1.5 pounds honey - a lightly flavored variety is best.
0.5 pound fresh ginger, grated
6 lemons (or more) - juice (about 1.5 cups or more) and zest
2 c. water.

Grate the ginger into a large non-reactive pot. Don't bother peeling the ginger, just make sure there's not dirt caught between branches of the 'hand.'

How fine you grate it influences the resulting syrup. Finely grated, it will release more starches and resins and the resulting syrup will have more bite or heat. It can be downright bitter. Grating it coarsely means it will need to steep longer, but will have a softer, smoother ginger flavor. I prefer the former for its taste, but the latter is better for a really raw throat, go with your preference.

Use a potato peeler or paring knife and remove the zest from the lemons. Coarsely chop the zest and put it to one side. Juice the lemons. Don't bother to fish out the pulp or seeds. Everything is going to be strained in the end.

Add the honey and water to the ginger, stir a bit until the honey is melted, and bring to a strong simmer over medium heat. If the ginger was coarsely grated, turn off the heat and let it steep for about 15 minutes, and then bring it back to a simmer and continue. If it was finely grated, proceed immediately.

Once it simmers, add the lemon zest, give it a quick stir, and bring it back to a simmer.

Immediately remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the pulpy mess to get out all of the juice. Bottle it and refrigerate. Makes about 4.5 cups, and is best within 3 months although it keeps for about 6 months with no problem.

To Drink: Add about an ounce of the syrup (to taste, really) to a mug of hot water, and drink while still hot.

Something to keep in mind: Ginger is a bit of a stimulant, it tends to get one's juices flowing. This drink is wonderfully warming if you're chilled, especially if your circulation is poor. However, I've inadvertently kept myself awake drinking this before bed. That said, it's not a caffeine substitute, so don't rely on it to pull you through an all-nighter.

The honey and lemon juice are there for your throat, and the ginger is there for your stomach and circulation. The zest is there for flavoring. All the ingredients are ball park quantities so adjust them to suit your own tastes.

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