It’s Autumn! It’s my favorite season for the sunny, brisk days and beautiful colors. It also heralds cooler weather and the dreaded flu season. What do you do when you’re feeling chilled? Grab a blanket? Light a fire or turn up the heater? What about a hot drink? Maybe some tea? Sure, but are you drinking the right tea?
There’s this thing called plant or herbal energetics. No. It’s not as woo-woo as you think. Plants, all foods really, have an inherent ‘feeling’ to them though. Think about summer and eating a nice cold cucumber or watermelon or putting some in your water. What does it taste like, feel like? It’s cool. Right? And watery or ‘damp’. It hydrates you and cools you off. What do you want when your chilled or cold? Definitely not cucumber or watermelon! I bet there are a lot of warming spices and herbs in your own kitchen – like cinnamon, clove, or ginger. Don’t you feel warm and comfy just thinking of them?
Ginger is my go-to spice for Fall and Winter weather or the chills from colds and flu. I always have ginger tea bags on hand, and you can use the ground ginger in your spice cabinet and fresh ginger root is wonderful if you have it. Whatever you use, make sure it still has a nice strong ginger smell. If your spices or teas are old and losing flavor, they’re no good in your dinner or as medicine.
Got your ginger? Great! Make yourself some tea. I mean some real tea. You’ve got to steep it for a while. I read somewhere ages ago that it takes 20 minutes to make a medicinal tea. I feel like that depends on what you’re using to flavor the tea and how you’re making it, but I steep my ginger tea bags (medium ground ginger) for at least 10 minutes and leave the bag in while I drink. For fresh ginger, I chop up a good thumb-sized piece and put it in a small pot with water on low for about 10 minutes. Then I dump it all into my mug, so the ginger continues to give the water (and me) it’s lovely spiciness. The point is you want to do more than just flavor your water. Now take a sip. Isn’t it awesome? Take another. Can you feel things starting to warm up?
If you feel like you’re coming down with something and you’re chilled, lemon juice and/or honey are excellent to bump up the power of the ginger. Keep in mind the lemon juice is cooling, so I wouldn’t add too much. You could also use a lemon tea bag in addition to the ginger tea bag. I prefer raw, local honey. Really feeling nasty? My old Qi Gong teacher said to use cayenne pepper in place of the ginger (as much as you can stand). I’ve only done that twice in my life when I was super sick. It was absolutely not tasty, but it sure got my fever to spike!
As I’ve been typing this, I’ve been sipping a cup of ginger tea with a little lemon. I’m only halfway through it and am already feeling nice and warm! I love this stuff! (I’m not receiving any sort of compensation for showing Traditional Medicinals, but I will say they are one of my favorite brands.)
P.S. Don’t feel like a hot drink? Steep or brew your tea, then let it cool. Or place a tea bag or fresh ginger slices in water (or mineral or soda water) and leave it there throughout the day. You’ll still receive some of the benefits. This is a great way to drink tea during the hot summer months too!
Let me know if you’ve tried it!
Be groovy, friends, and remember to live your journey…