A few years ago when I was complaining to Nathanael about a tingly throat that was starting up, he pondered, "Why don't you try some of my antiviral tea?"
We had been married for almost nine years at that point so I was surprised to learn he had been withholding a secret recipe. But this was nothing new. N had a lot of health tricks up his sleeve, but due to his Lyme Disease brain fogginess combined with his general nutty professorialness he often forgot items in his inventory of remedies until they popped back into his head at random.
Once he taught me how to make this tea, I got addicted and found it superior to any holistic cold or flu tea on the market. It has ancient roots and I found it very soothing to my throat, lungs, and stomach. It definitely gives your immune system samurai powers and tastes great in the off-season too. It's great for circulation and a little energizing as it charges up your lymphatic system, but I always find I can still sleep at night after having a cup. I make it the second I feel any cold or flu symptoms creeping up or if I know I have been exposed to something-- like flying on airplane!
I have no idea where N came up with this brilliant combination of natural antibacterial and antiviral ingredients, but he was able to spit out this recipe as if it he'd been making it for years.
The key is to start with a powerful ginger root base. I like to make a couple of 32 ounce jars at a time so I can easily reheat it and add the other ingredients in a flash. You'll want to peel and cut your fresh ginger root into a handful of one inch pieces depending on how much of the Ginger Tea Base you want to have on hand AND how strong you like it. Ginger lovers unite!
Before I get onto the recipe, here are 10 amazing things about GINGER that Nathanael taught me:
1. It has been used as medicine for nearly 2,000 years!
2. It has more than 40 antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-parasitic uses!
3. It can protect your lungs from respiratory viruses!
4. It has anti-inflammatory properties to rival NSAIDs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve)! Yay!
5. It can help relieve: joint pain, menstrual cramps, and migraine headaches!
6. It can boost your metabolism thus increasing weightloss while suppressing cravings!
7. It can protect your body from toxic effects of environmental pollutants, including radiation!
8. It can help improve cognitive function and memory issues!
9. Inhaling ginger essential oil has been clinically proven to stop dizziness and fainting spells... trust me on that one! Keep a high quality ginger oil on hand!
10. It is very soothing to the tummy for nausea, motion sickness, and digestive issues as well as pregnancy and chemo-induced nausea. Put a few drops of ginger essential oil on a cool washcloth for a fevered brow. N did this for himself often and even had me use ginger oil for him in hospice as he found it so comforting. It has been clinically proven to reduce nausea!
(yah... so none of this is FDA doctrine so do what you will with it, but it's all stuff N taught me and I've found it tried and true. Hale ginger!)
Without further ado, here is the recipe which N and I dubbed N's No Foolin' Flu Season Tea. We hope you enjoy this healing brew as a flu preventative, healing aid, or tasty treat!
NATHANAEL'S NO FOOLIN' FLU SEASON TEA
Ingredients for Ginger Tea Base (32 ounces- 1 large Ball jar)
1 hearty organic ginger root, peeled and cut into four 1 inch pieces (increase or decrease as desired)
40 ounces of filtered water (increase or decrease as desired)
Ingredients for Tea
1 tea or latte mug full of boiling Ginger Tea Base
1 tbs. Manuka honey (natural antibiotic, #1 honey for sore throats and tummy issues) or other powerful raw honey
1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon (settles the tummy, balances blood sugar, very antimicrobial)
1/4 tsp. of ground tumeric (pumps up circulation and lymph, powerful antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory)
pinch of Himalayan sea salt or other sea salt (adds minerals)
juice of one half lemon (wakes up your liver)
Make the Ginger Tea Base
Toss peeled ginger pieces into filtered water and bring to a medium boil on stovetop for 15 minutes. Let cool and store in a 32 ounce Ball jar with ginger pieces resting at the bottom to intensify the steeping and preservation. Will stay fresh in fridge for up to two weeks. Double or triple recipe as desired.
Put together N's No Foolin' Flu Season Tea
Boil enough Ginger Tea Base (GTB) to fill your tea or latte mug(s). Fill mug(s) with boiling GTB and stir in the Manuka or other honey right away followed by cinnamon, tumeric, sea salt and lemon. You can also do all of this in the pot you're boiling it in if that's easier, but I like to add it all straight into my mug and adjust ingredients to my taste.
Note: The spices may look a little messy around the edges as you stir it all in, but the taste and healing properties are what counts. It's pretty strong stuff and may take some getting used to. Cinnamon, tumeric, and Manuka honey are packed full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties so your immune system will be getting quite a jolt. If needed, keep adding honey and fresh lemon juice to balance out the spices... or add more spices if you really want to kick butt on a virus! And rejoice in the fact that the bugs and viruses are going to succumb to the medicinal powers of this supercharged antiviral blend created by Sweet Nathanael!