While you are lined up to get one of the estimated 140+ million vaccinations available this flu season, maybe you’d like to consider a natural root readily available in most grocery stores nationwide? It can help keep your immune system healthy, protect you from the symptoms of flu, and warm your chilly bones this winter. What is this naturally beneficial and amazing root? Ginger!
Ginger root is a delicious part of several types of cuisine but its uses go far beyond your dinner plate! Used for its medicinal qualities for thousands of years in India, Ginger root is an integral part of a healthy home remedy-based kitchen the world over and, when it comes to flu, ginger is useful in a variety of ways. While the symptoms of flu often resemble those of a cold (sore throat, sneezing, or runny nose) the onset of symptoms happens suddenly whereas if you’re contracting a cold symptoms come on slowly. During the course of a 24-hour period you can go from feeling fine to feeling lousy. Chills, nausea, headache, muscle ache, vomiting, dry cough, sweats, nasal congestion, fatigue, weakness, and a fever of 100 degrees plus are good indications that your body is setting up with the flu. During the winter is the most likely time to contract a viral infection and is spread rapidly through coughing and sneezing. Remember to always practice good hygiene - here’s how ginger can help:
- Feeling the chills or cold sweats? Ginger can tame this symptom because of its gingerol content. This active compound in the root gives ginger its hot taste and warms the body to counteract the chilly feeling. Because of the gingerol content, ginger encourages healthy sweating in the body which is especially helpful during the flu. German researches found that our sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that can attack infections so while you’re warming your chilly bones, ginger is helping to use the reaction of sweating in a beneficial way to get you back to feeling better or keep you well.
- If you are experiencing attacks of nausea or vomiting, ginger root is most definitely what you should reach for. As a powerful anti-nausea remedy, ginger has been used to ease complaints of nausea and vomiting in nearly every situation.
- According to ayurveda, ginger is known as an excellent remedy for flu because of its ability to break down the accumulation of toxins in the body, particularly in the lungs and sinuses. Aside from ginger breaking down these toxins, it also can cleanse the lymphatic system, the “trash bin” of our bodies. When there is a buildup of toxins in our lymphatic system we become susceptible to infections because we’re unable to fight them off properly.
- Rhinoviruses are a family of viruses commonly known to be in the flu family and sesquiterpenes, a chemical found in ginger root, target these viruses and work overtime to remove them from your system.
- Aches and pains that come along with the flu can be relieved with ginger as well. Whether you drink a cup of tea (see recipe below) or follow Hanna’s remedy of a ginger tea compress, you can ease sore muscles and even headaches.
- Because most of us generally feel pretty lousy when we’re under the weather with flu, our appetite isn’t what it should be. When we are sick it’s imperative to hydrate and nourish our bodies but the desire to eat generally isn’t there. Ginger root can help encourage the urge to eat by easing the digestive system and settling your stomach. While your appetite won’t be “normal” you’ll be able to get the much needed nourishment into your system so you can help your body further fight the influenza virus.
Try giving yourself a refreshing uplift and check out an all-natural Arnica-Ginger lotion. Arnica and Ginger that has been used for centuries by traditional medicine practitioners to soothe bruises, muscle and joint pain, reduce inflammation and stimulate healing .
To make ginger tea, first cut off and peel the skin off about two inches of the root and add to two cups of simmering water. Keep the root in the water for 20 minutes then pour into a mug with a tablespoon of organic honey and the juice of half an organic lemon. Stir the tea and drink it down while its still hot. Drink the tea 2 to 3 times per day as needed. Don’t have the energy to make your own tea? Keep Traditional Medicinal’s Organic Ginger Aid Tea on hand during flu season.
Try making a ginger tea compress mentioned above, dip a cloth in the tea and place it where there is pain associated with flu. Hanna found the most benefit in easing flu symptoms when applying the compress to the stomach.
Even if you aren’t suffering from the flu, ginger root is an excellent choice as a daily good health remedy. Because of its sweat producing properties, immune-boosting agents, and antioxidant properties, ginger root can keep your system functioning properly by helping you to ward off illness. Add fresh ginger to rice, oatmeal, or sauteed vegetables to get a daily dose or try my personal favorite of shredded ginger in mashed sweet potatoes. Prefer not to get an immediate dose of ginger? Hanna has you covered. Following her methods, Kroeger Herb created a ginger root tincture which is a powerful liquid remedy small enough to keep in your purse or bedside table. NOW makes Ginger Root for nutritional support for healthy digestion and overall well-being.
While ginger is effective for treating digestive woes and the symptoms of various sicknesses, there can be too much of a good thing. Take caution if you have an extremely irritated throat and use a small amount of ginger until healed (as the warming sensation of the root could cause irritation). As with taking any health supplement, consistency is recommended to see optimal results.
Looking for more flu and home remedies? Check out Hanna’s books!