Brrr! Winter has arrived with its chilly winds and sneaky viruses, leaving us vulnerable to colds and flu. But fear not, there’s a secret weapon that nature has bestowed upon us: ginger!
Ginger, the warrior
Yes, that knobby, brown root hiding in our kitchen cabinets holds the power to combat those wintertime ailments and keep us healthy and vibrant. Let’s dive into the marvellous world of ginger and unravel its mystifying ability to conquer colds and flu!
Let’s explore the remarkable benefits of ginger and how it can become your winter warrior:
Boosts the immune system
Ginger contains potent bioactive compounds such as ‘gingerol’, ‘shogaol’, and ‘zingerone’, which possess remarkable immune-boosting properties. These compounds help to stimulate and strengthen the immune system, making it more resilient against cold and flu viruses.
Regular consumption of ginger can enhance your body’s defense mechanisms, reducing the likelihood and severity of infections.
Soothes sore throats
One of the most annoying symptoms of colds and flu is a sore throat. Luckily, ginger comes to the rescue with its natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
The warm and soothing effect of ginger can provide relief from throat discomfort, reducing inflammation and easing pain. Prepare a simple ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger slices in hot water with a dash of honey for added benefits.
Congestion is another common complaint during the winter months. Ginger acts as a natural expectorant, helping to loosen mucus and clear the respiratory passages.
Its warming properties also provide a comforting sensation that can alleviate nasal and chest congestion. Try adding ginger to your meals, or incorporate it into a steam inhalation for effective relief from congestion.
Eases nausea and digestive issues
Colds and flu often bring along unwanted digestive symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and upset stomachs. Ginger has long been hailed as a natural remedy for these issues. It aids in digestion, reduces bloating, and can alleviate nausea caused by viral infections or flu medications.
Ginger tea or ginger-infused water can be sipped slowly to ease these uncomfortable symptoms.
Provides antioxidant support
The winter season exposes our bodies to increased oxidative stress due to harsh weather conditions and viral attacks. Ginger’s high antioxidant content helps combat this oxidative damage. Antioxidants neutralise harmful free radicals, protecting our cells from damage and supporting overall health.
By incorporating ginger into your diet, you can bolster your body’s antioxidant defence system and enhance its ability to combat infections.
Ginger Shot Recipe
- 1 large ginger root
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey (optional, for sweetness)
- ½ cup of filtered water
- Peel the ginger root and chop it into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to blend.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon and set it aside.
- Place the chopped ginger and water in a blender or food processor.
- Blend until you have a smooth and consistent mixture.
- Strain the ginger mixture using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the juice from the pulp. Press the pulp to extract as much juice as possible.
- Add the lemon juice to the ginger juice and stir well.
- If desired, add a tablespoon of raw honey to the mixture and stir until it dissolves. This will add a touch of sweetness and help balance the spiciness of the ginger.
- Pour the ginger shot mixture into small glass bottles or jars for storage.
- Store the ginger shots in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
- Take one ginger shot daily for an immune boost during the winter months or when you feel the onset of a cold or flu.
- Shake the bottle well before consuming.
- Drink the shot quickly or dilute it with a little water or juice if the taste is too strong.
- Remember that ginger shots are potent, so start with a smaller amount if you’re new to consuming ginger in this concentrated form.
Pro Tip: If you prefer a milder ginger shot, you can adjust the ginger-to-water ratio or dilute the mixture with more water. Feel free to experiment with the recipe to suit your taste preferences.
Ginger offers a range of therapeutic properties that can strengthen the immune system, alleviate symptoms, and promote overall well-being but it’s important to remember that ginger is not a magical cure-all. If you experience severe symptoms or have underlying health conditions, it’s crucial to seek medical advice.
Written by Amy Steenkamp for Woman&Home.
Feature Image: Getty Images