In this dreary season of freezing temperatures catching a cold or a flu is almost unavoidable. We all have experienced some sort of discomfort from stuffy nose to high temperature fever. I am here to tell you that the relief for your aches is just around the corner, in your cubby. You see, it is all very simple, all you need is a spicy lemongrass tea.
Lavender tea is a beautiful deep purple, rooibos is a rich red, lemongrass is a vibrant yellow. Color is just a small part of the tea experience, but you are looking for results, am I right?
There are so many tea variations that it might become hard to find the right one for your condition, might it be cold and chills or just plain sleepless nights. Even if you are one of the lucky ones, who has not been hit with the sniffles, you will enjoy the aromatic warmth of tea on a cold evening. Since we did start talking about cold and flu, let’s stick to that subject and leave all the rest for another post.
Herbs for Cold
It is widely known that ginger with its aroma and zest is an effective preventative remedy for cold and flu. It boosts your immune system by promoting healthy sweats, which is of course helpful during a cold or a flu. It has been proven by German researchers that good sweat is a lot more than just a simple detoxification.
Let me put it this way, sweat contains an effective bacteria fighting agent that can help your body fight off infections. You might not be familiar with dermcidin, but it is a gene manufactured by the sweat glands. It secretes into sweat and is transported to the skin’s surface. This is where dermcidin provides protection against invading microorganisms such as E. coli bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus infection and Candida albicans fungi.
Ginger not only prevents, it also relieves cold and flu by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. This is done through the use of a compound called gingerols. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study in February 2005 which states that ginger suppresses the pro-inflammatory compounds produced by cell compromising agents such as synoviocytes, chondrocytes, and leukocytes.
Long story short, ginger not only helps with the common cold and flu, but it also relieves gastrointestinal distress and protects against various cancers. It even relieves nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, believe me, I know!
Did you know that cloves were once pink? Looking at this dry, brown, spice it is hard to imagine a pink flower bud. But it is true. Another thing that is also true, but not widely known, is that cloves are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin K, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Much like its fellow spice ginger, cloves possess anti-inflammatory components. Even though, at first glance cloves appear to have hard exterior, their flesh is bursting with oily compound called eugenol. Eugenol is proven to reduce inflammation by 15% to 30%. That answers the question why clove oils can be found in throat sprays and mouth washes.
This is probably my favourite herb. It is not only easy to grow in your herb garden, but it also has a phenomenal aroma. This aroma comes from volatile oils. Lemongrass is warming and dispersive. This means that as the warming effects spread through the body, they start to move things around. So if you are experiencing first effects of a cold, your body is definitely a lot tenser than usual. But never fear, Lemongrass is here! Lemongrass will get things moving and very soon you will feel your body relaxing. Another way lemongrass can help with your cold or flu is by bringing energy up and out in an attempt to clear respiratory system so that you can breathe easier.
Other medical advantages of Lemongrass are:
- Antioxidant properties
- Urinary condition reliever
- Antiseptic and antimicrobial
- Helps the digestion of fats
- Source of vitamin A and C, Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium
Spicy Lemongrass Tea Recipe
If you have been paying attention, you would have noticed that ginger, cloves and lemongrass are all in possession of vigorous fragrances. This is due to the fact that these spices are all from the family of aromatic herbs, which means that they are antiseptic and antimicrobial. Combining all three in one cup of tea brings to the table an incredible cold and flu fighting remedy! So without further ado, here is a wonderful recipe for your collection.
For 1 Cup Of Tea
- 2 cups (16 oz) of water
- 1 tbsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh lemongrass
- 3 slices of fresh ginger
- 6 cloves
- 3 peppercorns
- 6 cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp fennel
- splash of Honey (optional)
- Place the herbs into a small pot filled with 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has diminished by half.
- Drain the tea into a cup and enjoy with a splash of honey. If honey is not to your liking, try yacon syrup. It is full of fructooligosaccharides that nourish the good bacteria in your intestine.
Note: You can experiment with different variations of herbs such as mint, for added flavour. If your taste buds decide that this tea is too dry, you can add moistening herbs like marshmallow root or licorice.