I’ve heard that ginger is great for both colds and flu. Is there any truth to that?
Ginger tea is popular the world over for colds. There aren’t any hard data on ginger’s cold-fighting efficacy, but some animal research suggests that an ingredient in ginger may help fight coughs. And there’s certainly no shortage of anecdotal evidence about its ability to ease cold symptoms. One of our favorite recipes came to us from a listener in the foothills of West Virginia; she learned it from her grandmother in India.
I love ginger tea for colds and the flu. I add a clove of garlic and a jalapeño pepper. I drink the tea while having a bath, wrap myself up in a robe, and always fall deeply asleep. If I do it at the first sign of symptoms, I don’t get a cold (and, besides that, it tastes much better than you’d think!).
Sounds like a wonderful solution.
A few years ago, I had a terrible case of what my doctor called adult whooping cough; literally, I coughed for months. Nothing seemed to help. (Even the Rx cough syrup concoction did not work for more than a few days!) A dear aunt in Hawaii heard my plight and she sent me a ginger tea mix. She said that healers and other Hawaiian islanders use it for colds, coughs, and other respiratory problems. When I drank the tea mixture, it burned all the way down, but it sure worked!
We’ve heard from many readers about the wonders of ginger for coughs and colds. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Ginger Tea 1
Contributed by a listener, who learned it from a practitioner of ayurvedic medicine
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
Grate ginger root into a mug. Add ten ounces of boiling water and allow ginger to steep for five minutes. Strain grated ginger out, and add lemon juice and cayenne pepper to liquid. Sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup.
Ginger Tea 2
Contributed by a listener from West Virginia, who learned it from her grandmother in India
Fresh ginger root
8 ounces boiling water
Peel a fresh ginger root and grate into a mug. Pour water over it. Steep five minutes, strain, and sweeten to taste.
1 spoonful sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 shot rum
Put sugar in the bottom of a mug or heat-safe glass. Add hot water, lemon juice, and rum. Stay home, sip, and relax.
Lately I’ve heard a lot about probiotic yogurt being good for colds. I’d like to know more about probiotic yogurt.
A new study out of China provides some very promising evidence that probiotics may help prevent colds and the flu, at least for children aged three to five. In the study, those who drank milk with Lactobacillus acidophilus were half as likely to get a cold or fever as those who drank plain milk. Kids drinking milk containing Lactobacillus plus the bacterium Bifidobacterium animalis were 72 percent (!) less likely to develop a fever.3
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic