Whenever you feel the first signs of a scratchy throat, or a sniffly nose, ginger is your best friend. Ginger tea is very simple to make. Simply slice about 2cm of fresh ginger root into thin slices, and place in a teapot with boiling water. Let it steep for 5 - 10 minutes. Pour into a cup with 1/2 teaspoon of honey and the juice of about 1/2 lemon.
Or, if you like a stronger brew, you can simmer the ginger in a small saucepan for 5 - 10 minutes. When drinking ginger tea you should feel a pleasant tingle in the throat which is quite soothing.
Ginger is typical of the wonderful world of herbs - it has many actions and can therefore be used for many different conditions. This is in complete contrast to pharmaceutical medicines which are typically used for one condition only.
Ginger is actually the rhizome (type of root) of a perennial plant Zingiber officinalis which grows to a height of about 60 centimetres. As well as fighting colds and strep throat, ginger's host of other actions include:
- anti-nausea - used for motion sickness, morning sickness, nausea and vomiting.
- Carminative (useful for gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating)
- Anti-inflammatory - useful for arthritis
Ginger used in dietary amounts shouldn't cause any interactions with medications. However, if taking high dose ginger supplements there is a possibility of an increased bleeding risk with drugs used to prevent blood clots such as Warfarin and aspirin, due to ginger's antiplatelet effects.