Got cold symptoms? Trying to keep the cold or flu at bay? Then consider adding in fresh ginger root to your daily routine, especially around the holidays, for a whole foods approach to cold and flu prevention.
Ginger root is a very safe and effective tool to use during the cold fall and winter months. Gingerols are the most studied active component of ginger root that are associated with both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial (both viral and bacterial) properties thereby reducing pain and soreness and while fighting off infections. This combination makes ginger root a prime tool come cold and flu season.
Not only can ginger help directly fight off bacterial and viral infections, but it can also help stimulate the immune system to better fight off current infections. This powerful combination allows for quicker symptom relief and recovery. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger root may help reduce discomfort including body aches and sore throats. Don't be surprised if other areas of your body feel less pain too — think menstrual cramps, joint pain, and more.
Fresh ginger root provides more antioxidant activity than dried, but both can be used to help ward of cold symptoms. However, fresh ginger root is my preferred way to use this root — not only for the health benefits but also for the flavor. Fresh ginger root is spicier and more pungent than dried, and overall, more warming. When combined with raw, local honey you get added anti-microbial benefits as well as some sweetness.
Let me share with you two easy ways to add therapeutic doses of fresh ginger root to your daily cold prevention routine.
Easy Fresh Ginger Root Tea
It cannot get more simple than fresh ginger root tea.
DIRECTIONS: Slice 4-6 slices of fresh ginger root and add to filtered water in a saucepan and cover. Bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
Optional: Stir in raw, local honey and fresh lemon juice to taste.
Powerful Ginger Juice Shots
The most versatile way to use ginger root, is to make your own ginger juice with a high-speed blender. Then you can make your own cheap ginger shots for a quick boost, mix the juice with sparkling water for a refreshing drink, stir into hot water for an easy ginger tea, blend into a smoothie, or even add to soups and broths. The options are endless!
DIRECTIONS: Take a palm-size ginger root, coarsely chop, and blend with 2/3 cup water. Pulse to break up and then increase speed to high and blend into a very smooth liquid. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a glass jar. Use the back of a spoon to press the juice out, leaving behind only dry ginger pulp. Alternatively, you can pour the liquid through a nut milk bag and squeeze out the juice. This keeps for about a week in the fridge. Shake before using as the ginger compounds settle to the bottom and take 1-2 tablespoons per day. Stir in raw, local honey and lemon juice if desired.