The Chinese philosophy towards medicine takes into account the balance within us. Think yin and yang. The yin is cooling and the yang is warming. We need both, but in the right balance for our particular design and needs. For example, if your yin is too cool (like with a cold) you need to add yang for heat, in order to get back in balance.
This is a cold remedy I adopted into my routine many years ago when I studied Chinese Herbology in NYC. When I met my husband, it was no surprise when I learned his Chinese ancestry already had it firmly planted in their repertoire for healing, because it works. That’s because the ancients just knew these nourishing traditions to be true. They support our healing or they wouldn’t have withstood the test of time.
This one always has my body warming while opening up to thank me for this delicious remedy elixir I call Chinese grandmother tea.
p.s. my kids like this, but you may need to sweeten the pot so to speak with some additional raw honey. This will be fine, since raw honey has so many healing properties, such as soothing a sore throat, natural anti-biotic properties, vitamins, minerals, and so much more – natures remedy and nature’s candy. Who doesn’t’ want that?
½ C Fresh ginger peeled and grated
1 t ground cinnamon
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Raw honey to taste
1 Quart water
In a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat. Combine water with fresh ginger and cinnamon, bring to a boil than reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the ‘tea’ from heat and strain through a fine sieve or cheese cloth into a heat resistant glass container or other sauce pan. This is your base tea. It should be strong and can be diluted as desired. This can be stored for later servings.
When the tea is at drinking temperature, add in fresh lemon juice and raw honey to taste.
About the ingredients and why they help to heal our bodies from colds:
Ginger is a powerful decongestant. Just eating it creates movement and warmth in the body. Ginger is often used as a digestive aid, because it stimulates gastric juices and thereby aids in the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and – digest. This is especially good when the body is ‘stuck’ with a cold or flu. Ginger aids in nausea, has strong anti-histamine benefits, lowers blood pressure, is an anti-inflammatory, and strengthens immunity.
Cinnamon is a true superfood and powerhouse among spices for its health benefits. Specific to colds, it is also a ‘heat’ producing spice that will open up the body by stimulating the digestive tract. It aids in bile production to move food along our digestive tract and allow for maximum absorption of nutrients. It also keeps blood sugar in check which can be helpful during times of cold or sickness, because our bodies tend to produce more cortisol (stress hormone) during those time and that can create spikes in sugar/glucose control. This is especially important if you are diabetic. Cinnamon also has anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial properties.
Lemon is another powerful healer. Please use only fresh, as it is not loaded with preservatives and the enzymes are still intact and alive. Also, don’t put it in the tea until it is removed from the heat and allowed to cool to a drinking temperature (this will keep the enzymes alive). Lemon juice is a balancer in our bodies. Although it’s acidic, it has alkalizing properties once digested. It aids gastric juices to stimulate production and start the system processing. As previously stated, this is especially important when we have a cold or sickness, because our bodies are working hard to fight infection. Any aid to increase the digestion and bio-availability of good things we take in for healing, such as soups, teas, broths and so on, will do better with lemon.
Raw Honey is not only delicious, but nutritious. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and many healing properties. It is important to use raw honey that has not been pasteurized or processed in any way. Raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. This will sooth a sore throat and increase our bodies healing powers. It is a natural expectorant and anti-inflammatory which makes it ideal for colds and bronchial infections. It can even alleviate pain and calm your nerves. Who doesn’t want that?
Water hydrates our bodies and that is essential for health and immune support. When we are sick, our appetite can decrease and water intake may go down. When a fever is present are bodies can dehydrate quickly and then things slow down which is not what you want when you’re sick. So drink your fluids and stay hydrated at all times.