ginger root teaEnergy output during the holidays is HIGH.  Ginger root is a must this time of year.

There is an extensive amount of planning, preparing, shopping, socializing and creating, which creates a certain hubbub of stress and anxiety within the body and mind.

It’s all the mental energy, thinking specifically, which I find utterly draining, less so than the act of doing, you know what I mean?  

It’s a whole lot harder to think of what to get Aunt Suzy than it is to actually buy the gift (thank you on-line shopping).

While you might feel like you don’t have time to take care of your body, between spinning the dreidel and moving the elf, I promise it can be really easy, you just have to remember to do it.

Like most people, I hate getting sick, especially when the holidays roll around.  

Staying healthy ranks really high on my to-do list, but my time is limited.

I have to do the best I can with the time I have available. Some days that might mean three meals chock full of nutrients, but no exercise, while other days I get by on frozen pizza and invigorating jog.

While I encourage all dimensions of healthy living, it’s ok to take some shortcuts.  Your health is the sum total of more than a few healthy or unhealthy habits.

Want to keep your immune system strong?

Ginger root tea is an immune system elixir

It has tons of health benefits, as evidenced by research, not mere speculation.

You can use fresh or dried ginger…but not candied.  That would probably have a sum-zero effect.

Powdered ginger, while ultimately good for you, doesn’t make a good cup of tea, FYI.

Fresh ginger and dried ginger have slightly different properties. Both are widely available in grocery stores.

Dried ginger teas, like the ones you find boxed in the grocery store, will have a more pungent (read spicy) quality than fresh, which is that knobby root in the produce section, usually near the fresh herbs or sometimes near the carrots.  

I have a box of ginger tea in the cabinet, but I personally prefer to drink fresh ginger.  One isn’t necessarily better than the other, HOWEVER they do have different benefits.  

How to prepare it fresh ginger root for a tea:

Cut a piece of fresh ginger root 1-2″ in length, you can peel it or not, that’s up to you.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes on the stove-top and add raw honey to taste.
Alternatively, what I like to do is throw a chunk of ginger in my thermos, pour hot water to fill, add a generous scoop of raw honey and let steep for at least 30 minutes.

This frees me from babysitting the stove and allows me to do my morning routine, like getting the kids off to school, without worrying I’ll forget about it.  Plus, when I make a thermos full, I have it to sip on throughout the day.

If you want even more health benefits from your ginger root tea, add a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Gingerol, a potent antioxidant in ginger, cleanses harmful stress chemicals (cortisol and adrenaline) from the body which eases mental stress and worry! Pretty rad, right?

Whether fresh or dried, here are even more reasons to drink this magical rhizome elixir!

  • boosts the immune system
  • reduces inflammation: helpful for pain in the joints and muscles, headaches INCLUDING migraines, menstrual pain
  • stops nausea and morning sickness 
  • broad spectrum antibacterial, antiviral and anti parasitic
  • benefits the metabolism and help with fat burning…yes, you can drink it to help you lose weight

Fresh ginger has the added benefit of reducing edema and promoting urination when you leave the skin on for steeping/boiling. 

For women: Dried ginger has been shown to reducing heavy menstrual bleeding: steep for 15 minutes and drink 3 glasses daily for 3 months. 

Warnings for Ginger: 

  • Avoid dried forms if you have hot flashes and night sweats, fresh is a better choice.
  • It is safe to use ginger, both fresh and dried, in many cases of vomiting like morning sickness, motion sickness, food poisoning and acute conditions like Noro-virus.  Caution when there is vomiting associated with chronic digestive problems, like an ulcer for example, ginger could worsen the condition.
  • Don’t use it if you have thick, dry or scant yellow phlegm which is hard to expectorate from your sinuses or lungs.  Generally ginger, especially fresh, is great for acute colds and coughs, it is when the cough lingers for a few weeks is unproductive that ginger is no longer helpful in resolving symptoms.