Sunny and Spicy Anti-influenza Tea

Since we are right in the middle of a raging flu season, I thought I would post a quick recipe for ginger-garlic tea. Believe me, it will help to ease flu symptoms in no time flat. It may even prevent the illness altogether. And it actually tastes good -- another incentive to try this unconventional combination.

As you may know, garlic gives the immune system a nice boost. It is also a natural antibiotic and has strong antiviral and anti fungal properties. Garlic will not harm beneficial bacteria in the gut like standard antibiotics and is an excellent decongestant. It will even prevent the stomach flu by destroying illness-causing pathogens. Make sure to use raw garlic that has been chopped and left at room temperature for 15 minutes before consuming. This rest period activates the health promoting allicin. See Paul Fassa's article here for more information on the outstanding benefits of the 'stinking rose.' And for those who fear they might emanate a garlic aroma, eat 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed after enjoying the tea.

Ginger and honey are good friends to have around when battling the flu as well. Ginger will help ease nausea and a throbbing head. It enhances the immune system as well. And honey will calm sore throats and coughs. In fact, a study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that buckwheat honey significantly reduced coughs and sore throats in children. As an added bonus, the children also slept more soundly. I would venture to guess this variety of honey would help adults quiet coughs too. Don't forget about manuka -- the queen of honey. Learn more about this amazing food here. It is important to note that honey should not be given to children under the age of two due to the possibility of infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness.

I have added a touch of lemon for a dose of vitamin C. This tangy juice also helps relieve bothersome congestion.

Here's to a healthy and happy New Year.

Sunny and Spicy Anti-influenza Tea

Yield: 1 serving

*As always, organic ingredients are best for nutritional value, health and flavor.

2 cups purified water
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 medium sized cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon high-quality honey.
Juice of half a fresh lemon

It doesn't get much easier than this: In a small covered saucepan, simmer ginger and garlic in water for 5 minutes. Strain into your favorite mug. Add honey and lemon juice. Stir and enjoy.

As a preventative, one cup per day is a good starting point. If you are in the thick of an illness, flu or otherwise, make sure to drink at least three cups each day until symptoms subside.

"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, 
for me, garlic is the most deserving."
                             -Felice Leonardo (Leo) Buscaglia

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