The weather in New York this winter is quite predictable, getting colder and colder each day. It seems that everyone is becoming more and more like Queen Elsa in this chilling cold. It is now Lidong, in solar terms, the Start of Winter, a great time for nourishment and healing. So let me share a well-being tea that fights against this frigidity—ginger tea.
Treatise on Febrile Diseases, a classic book on herbal medicine states that “ginger can warm our bodies (enhance blood circulation), energize internal organs, and reduce excess internal fluid (accumulated water), expelling air (expel gas) and help with digestion.” It is also mentioned in Compendium of Materia Medica, a classic medical book from the Ming Dynasty, that “ginger controls all evil (all diseases).”
During the 16th century, plague killed one third of London’s population. When King Henry VIII learned that “sufficient ginger shall prevent death”, he ordered the London Mayor to “let all people have more ginger”. We can still buy ginger bread man in London today.
To make ginger tea:
Based on the size of the cup, add 3 to 5 slices of organic ginger, each about 0.3 cm thick (0.12 inches), into boiling water and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Organic dark brown sugar or honey can be added and the body will feel warm immediately.
In traditional recipes, moms love to cook ginger tea but it should not be too rich nor too spicy. Discomfort may occur such as throat pain, stomach ache, to overall pain in the body.
It works even better with black tea! The caffeine in black tea has diuretic effect and the oxidation products from tea polyphenols can enhance digestion. Moreover, from the yin and yang perspective of traditional Chinese medical theory, the red color of black tea shows that it is a kind of food that can warm our bodies. In other words, foods that are blue, white, and green in color will cool our bodies, while red, black and orange ones will warm us up. So green tea is suitable for spring and summer, while black tea is great for fall and winter.
Also from the perspective of yin and yang theory, dark brown sugar can warm our bodies, reducing the discomfort caused by low body temperature. When our body temperature increases, it can enhance the burning of internal fat, waste, and sugar, helping with weight lost and to clarify the blood. “A person will get fat by eating dark brown sugar” is actually incorrect; one will even become skinny when taking it with black tea!
My personal recipe:
1. Brew a cup of Premium Yunnan large-leaf black tea (Golden Silk Yunnan Black Tea would be great too)
2. Add about 5 slices of raw ginger, each 0.3cm thick (0.12 inches), into the cup of tea.
3. Wait for 10 minutes and enjoy.
You can also keep it in a thermos and enjoy it slowly; keep the lid tight so it will stay warm.