In the same vein as last week’s post, I thought I would continue with the immunity and self healing thread. It is winter and everyone is getting sick! My morning ritual revolves around meditation + yoga and a hot drink of some kind. In the summer I like warm water with lemon, and in the winter I like ginger and cinnamon tea. Having something warm first thing in the morning feels stimulating and soothing for my body. It also helps to keep my immunity up so it can fight all the colds and flus going around. The powerful anti inflammatory effects of these herbs help me keep my rheumatoid arthritis under control.
In traditional Chinese medicine, cool and iced liquids are thought to reduce Qi, or vital life energy. In Ayurvedic medicine, the same concept exists: drinking cold liquids and foods puts out your digestive fire. It is no surprise that hot herbal teas are commonly used in these cultures, to stimulate digestion and warm the body.
Cinnamon bark + fresh ginger root tea benefits:
Cinnamon is anti viral, anti fungal, and anti bacterial, making it wonderful for cold and flu symptoms. It is also effective against candida and urinary tract infections. It stabilizes blood sugar and is strongly anti inflammatory. And it is delicious! Cinnamon has a natural sweetness to it that balances out the spiciest of the ginger in this tea. I use dried cinnamon sticks. Ceylon cinnamon (the true cinnamon) is the most healing and medicinal variety. Cassia (common cinnamon) can also be used, and is more widely available.
Ginger is an equally wonderful and underused herb; it improves circulation, eases pain (headaches and cramps!) reduces inflammation in the body, aids with digestion, and soothes nausea (morning sickness!). Now I’m not talking about dried, packaged ginger tea- that stuff has little to no medicinal value. Get your hands on a nice fresh chunk of ginger and prepare yourself some tea!
Directions: (serves 1)
2-3 inch chunk of ginger, cut into slices
2 cinnamon sticks
Put all ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. This is crucial! My acupuncturist told me that different medicinal compounds get released by the ginger after it is cooked for 20 minutes. Otherwise it will not be as effective. Strain into a coffee mug and add sweetener of your choice to taste (raw honey is especially good), I usually use stevia.
Lots of love,