Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Considering the vast majority of us have been on the Corona lock-down we already are home. But seriously - GO GINGER and tell Corona to go home.
I'm not going to sugar-coat it. This virus is no sissy; but then again, neither am I. This is the most difficult virus I've battled in my life-time. With an underlying autoimmune condition and mild asthma, I have presented an easy target to Covid19. I've been working at a complete recovery for nearly 7 weeks now and still counting. I'm in it for the long haul and I've found rainbows and made a lot of lemon aid on my journey. I've learned more about viruses, pandemics, herbs, antiviral recipes, alternative therapies, my community, finding my voice, and taking rest.
Corona came into my life with a sore throat and within days started began impacting my ability to breathe with any level of comfort. I'm not talking about stuffy nose hard to breathe, but the feeling of someone sitting on my chest hard to breathe. Over a period of weeks it got worse until breathing became difficult. I couldn't get enough air. I couldn't sleep laying down. Even sleeping in an upright position, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air or from dull shooting pains in my lower lungs. In the end I had burning and pain in both lungs when I would breathe both day and night. I had a dry non-productive cough for 5 of those 6 weeks. And despite many tries, I couldn't get a test for Covid19 due to test shortages. I also couldn't get an in person doctor appointment because doctors' offices don't want people with Covid19 symptoms in the office. This is the first post in a series of posts that examines some of the challenges I faced, and the methods I used to cultivate health and wellness.
I've partaken in this hot beverage morning, noon and evening for the last 5 weeks as a complimentary healing treatment. Ginger juice tea can help boost your immune system, loosen up congestion in the lungs, reduce coughing and is a general antiviral (an herb that inhibits virus replication, slows it down while boosting the bodies immunity). Plus this tea tastes yummy and it warms you up.
When I take a sip I hold it in the back of my throat, and I visualize it eviscerating the pesky little corona viruses that had taken up residence in MY cells.
This recipe is adapted from a fantastic book I read called Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Buhner is an award-winning author, herbal and holistic healer and naturalist, who was greatly influenced by his great-grandfather who primarily used botanical medicines as a physician in rural Indiana. He shares a wealth of knowledge and provides levity in a book that covers how viruses work inside and outside of the body. He also provides a fascinating history of the 1918 pandemic, the factors that lead to pandemics (very relevant), and a practical guide to powerful antiviral herbs, including when to use them, how to use them, and why they do what they do.
3-4 ounces freshly squeezed organic ginger root juice
1½ cups boiled water
1-3 tsp agave syrup (to taste)
⅛ tsp or a few shakes of cayenne pepper
1/2 squeezed fresh lime juice
Juice a generous amount of fresh ginger root at a given time. I typically do 1-2 pounds and store in a mason jar. Fresh juice will keep a week in the fridge with a lid. I recently invested in a juicer, but you can also use a blender, adding 1/3 cup water. Just wash and scrub your ginger, no need to peel. Blend until you have a pulpy juice and then pour into a nut bag and squeeze the ginger juice into a mason jar. Note: Save the fibrous ginger pulp.
Combine ginger juice with boiled water, Stir in agave syrup, lime, and cayenne. Drink 4-6 cups of ginger juice tea per day during acute infection. Feel it kicking the Corona!
Juicing in quantity saves time when you want to pull together a quick cup of gingery goodness. This is especially relevant when you're feeling poorly and plan to partake in this drink regularly throughout the day. What I love about this recipe besides the way it hits my mouth with a punch and then warms me up from the inside out, is the tradition of healing with herbs. I'm not popping a pill and forgetting about it.
I'm mindfully preparing my medicine. I am setting a schedule, a pouring a cup of tea every 4 hours. I'm holding my favorite mug and it radiates warmth into my body through my hands throughout the day. I'm savoring this tea and the moments, slowing down, and focusing on my wellness and healing. It really resonates with me - this is how are bodies are meant to heal.
Consider juicing turmeric root (in ginger family) while you are at it and add 1/2 ounce to your tea for both a punch of flavor and a punch at the virus or bacteria that's taken up residence in your cells! Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacteria, anti-viral and an antioxidant! Try it!
You can also sweeten with 1 tablespoon honey. Another vegan alternative is 1-2 tablespoons date paste depending on your desired sweetness. Cut up 2 cups of dates, cover with water and soak at least 8 hours or overnight. Blend in blender and stores in fridge for a few weeks.
If you don't have a blender that is not a problem. You can go real simple with juicing and grate the ginger using a grater, then add water, and remove juice from the pulp using a nut bag.
Two great options here:
I hope you saved the fibrous ginger pulp! I dry mine out on a baking tray overnight and store in a mason jar. You can make good old fashioned ginger tea with it - just add a tablespoon to a cup and fill with freshly just boiled water. Let it infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Ginger infused tea! Add a slice of lemon and or a sweetener if that's how you like it!
For a stronger infusion put 1 1/2 cups water into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
You can also use the fiber in recipes such as ginger cookies and sweet breads.
You don't have to be sick to drink this tea! Have a quiet cup once a day in the morning for a perfect start, (perhaps sip it as part of a morning mindfulness practice if you have one or wish to cultivate one). You can also end your busy day with a cup of ginger juice tea as you turn off your screens, and prepare for some meditation or quiet time with your favorite book. This is one of many ways to leverage nutrient-dense foods and herbs to build immunity ahead of the flu and virus season.