How to brew ginger correctly: Iga’s Magic Ginger Potion

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For many years, I used to brew ginger in a way which did not do justice to this amazing plant.
I first learnt making ginger tea from my helper and cook, Vijay, during my brief time working in India. Here is how she did it: peel the root, chop it into rough chunks, cook in water and add a teabag for the last two minutes or so. It was tasty, infinitely better than the store bought “ginger teas”, and it helped me to get up in the hazy morning hours and get through a day of filming a documentary. Now, as a health professional, I can tell you – that is not how you extract the true medicinal potency of this wondrous plant.

I learnt how to brew ginger correctly from my friend and colleague Preeti, when suffering from Covid in 2020. I assure you, ginger is now my new best friend, and this brew fully deserves the title of a Magic Potion.

Benefits

Why you need it:

  • Better than aspirin: taken at the initial stages of a viral infection, it will help to sweat out the intruder and related toxins. It will also enhance your circulation, thereby mobilising the immune response. Make sure to cover up in bed with a warm blanket if taken this way – you may experience a similar bodily sensation as after taking aspirin, only without the side effects.
  • Warming: Ginger warms the body, which in turn creates an optimal environment for your immune system to function. That protective Qi is Yang in nature, therefore it is nurtured and reinforced by warmth.
  • Eases coughs: Drinking ginger will ease your cough and help to loosen phlegm.
  • Digestion: ginger will support your digestive system to make sure you can actually make use of all the goodies you are eating. In Chinese Medicine, this is called the “transport and transform” function of the digestive system, and it needs heat. Digestive system usually gets weakened whenever we suffer from a viral infection, as naturally it is not a priority for the body.
  • If you suffer from bloating, nausea, or a feeling of food “stuck” in your stomach, drinking ginger can most likely help you. It cuts through the clogginess and at the same time warms your Spleen Qi, lighting the “digestive fire” Ayurveda also refers to.
  • Perks you up: it can be a coffee substitute if you need a morning or late afternoon perk, but will not cause you to crash afterwards. We explain it in Chinese Medicine, to simplify greatly, is that ginger is Yang and therefore raises your clear, active energy.

Recipe

How to make it:

 

STEP ONE:

Peel a generous one inch piece of ginger root.

STEP TWO:

Grate your new best friend on a rough grater (please do not do this to all your best friends. Just this one).

STEP THREE:

Cook in your most magic-inspiring cauldron for about 10-15 minutes, with about 2 cups (400-500 ml) of water.
I prefer to simmer this for 15minutes, but 10 will do.
And using a lid is a good idea, you want to drink that water not make a cloud.

Image by Jalyn Bryce from Pixabay

STEP FOUR:

No magic potion or healing elixir would work without a secret ingredient, right? Now is the time: strain your liquid through a sieve and INTO A CUP. I emphasise this, because when I was Covid-struck in 2020, my helpful young son strained mine into the sink 🙂 Add the juice of half of a lemon or a large lime. To preserve the most vit. C, wait a little bit until the ginger water cools down just a little. You want to drink it hot, but Vit C is rather heat-sensitive, so it is important to strike a balance.
Finally, add some raw honey to taste.

And voila! All done.

Caution:
A word of caution before you enjoy your drink: this is very potent! It tastes absolutely nothing like teabag ginger, and very little like the chop-and-simmer ginger concoctions I was used to.
To be honest, the first time I tried this, I thought I will not make it through my full cup, and had to adjust my mental perception from “enjoying a drink” to “taking medicine”. However, I soon found that my taste buds adjusted to the intensity, and after several more sips it seemed quite drinkable. Another cup, and I was an addict.

Please share your drinks on social media with me and @vitality.within 🙂

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