What is ginger? Ginger is a flowering plant, in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine.
I don’t know about you, but ginger is my kitchen staple. Whenever I’m sick, I soothe myself with this simple tonic. Whether I actually feel like I’m coming down with a cold or the flu, or whether my voice is just hoarse, as it is this week from being on a busy tour, this tonic simply does the its healing trick.
I recall having a bout of the flu a few years ago that lasted nasty 11 days, and this drink was the only thing I consumed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to give medical advice, but now I can confidently say that this cocktail kept me alive when it seemed that the flu was trying to kill me!
Even if you aren’t as down and out as I was during that round of flu season, it’s good to have a recipe for such a soothing elixir, perfect for frosty winter days, no matter what the state of your tummy or your throat is. And when you’re all wound up and know that relaxation would be salubrious, sip at this elixir.
The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some, or all of these, symptoms:
■Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
■Runny or stuffy nose
■Muscle or body aches.
■Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than in adults
Flu Season Ginger Honey Lemon Tonic
- 1-inch piece ginger root (or more, to taste), peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ whole organic lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
- 1 cup water
In a small pot over medium heat, heat the water, ginger, lemon juice, and honey. Strain the mixtures into a mug. Drink it “bottom’s up.” Cheers!
I recently saw a recipe for a ginger syrup, and thought I’d give it a try. Like always, I had to change things up a little bit to suit my own tastes and purposes, so this is my own recipe for ginger syrup.
This syrup is great for mixing with soda water, starting a sauce, or putting in hot water or tea. Ginger is an indispensable remedy for upset stomach, fever, and sore throat. On top of all that good stuff, it’s incredibly delicious!
Flu Season Fresh Ginger Honey Syrup Recipe
- 8 fresh ginger root (I always hate when recipes call for a weight. Who has the time for that precise measuring? Just get a big ginger root!)
- 1 cup local honey
- 6 cups water
Cut the ginger root into large pieces and roughly peel them. Some recipes say you can leave them unpeeled, but unless you know where that root has been grown, I’d go ahead and peel it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get the majority of peel off. Cut the peeled root into nice small cubes.
Put the root and the water in sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for about 45 min to an hour. You want the water to reduce to 2 cups of liquid.
Remove the sauce pan from heat, and allow cooling a little to a temperature that is safe to handle. Strain it through cheesecloth into a Pyrex measuring cup.
You need about 2 cups of liquid. The ratio is 2 parts of liquid to 1 part of honey, so if you have more or less liquid, just adjust the honey amount. For example, if you only have 1½ cup liquid, use ¾ cups of honey.
Wipe out the pan, and return the liquid to the cleaned pan. Put the pan back on the stovetop on low heat.
Add the honey, and allow melting and incorporating fully into the infusion. Use local honey, if possible. Local honey will contain pollen from your local environment, and this is believed to help reduce the immune response to pollen that people with allergies suffer from.
Put the finished syrup into a jar and cover. Keep refrigerated – and it should last about 12 weeks.
What can you do with this ginger syrup?
Add about a tablespoon to sparkling water with a squeeze of lime for a natural lime ginger ale
Use it with a bit of fresh garlic and tamari for a delectable Asian sauce
Use a tablespoon in hot water with the juice of half a lemon for an excellent cold remedy
That’s all you need to leave behind the terrible colds and the flu.
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