Ginger Tea

In our increasingly complicated world, we all know that generally the simplest, little things  carry the greatest impact, day-to-day. A hug is a haven from hurt, the darkest mood lightens with the wag of a tail, and no problem is completely impervious to a good night's sleep. So why is arriving at the simple solutions  so often time-consuming, if not difficult? If you spent any time following the adventures of our most amazing ginger root, you may be interested to know that a month on, it was still rather impressive, in spite of being removed to the freezer for assisted living. That said, it was showing signs that the end of days was fast approaching, such as unappealing blue-grey tincture straining the outer edges, and finally I chose to do the obvious, and made tea. In England, I picked up the habit of marking everything with a cup of tea. No occasion was too big or too puny not to be inspired/motivated/acknowledged/celebrated/remembered with a cup of tea/cuppa/cup o' cha. I wouldn't be the least surprised if crime rates were lowered due to the necessity of fitting in a spot of tea, at least in the rural Lake District where we lived. The only problem tea couldn't solve, and in fact created (at least for me), was the tendency to stain. But then again, my teeth seem to adore collecting and displaying bits of food as well, so that could be a highly individual thing, and perhaps a useful reminder to regularly visit the dentist. Coming back to the States, it was especially important to keep the fluid flowing, a simple little link between Dave and his homeland (despite the fact that we cannot seem to find tea strong enough to match plain old British Tetley, and savor each tea bag overstuffed into the precious manila envelopes sent from Dave's Mum overseas).

Spicily invigorating ginger tea has long been used as a home remedy for such afflictions as indigestion, nausea, colds, flu, and sore throats. I love Triple Leaf Ginger Tea, to which I was introduced by my friend Christina, but it's just as easy and far more sustainable to brew your own. All you need is a ginger root and some water. Today, I've been relishing how tea can soothe and solve problems, having stressed myself out by over-committing to things on spring break; a cup of tea was the perfect way to pause, decompress, and admit the situation of planning too many things is not really all that bad, or un-doable. Ginger tea is especially hitting the spot today--two days on from a half marathon that turned out to be tougher than expected; whether ginger's trademark anti-inflammatory properties are really tackling inflammation from the race, or if it's just a placebo, I like convincing myself that quietly sipping tea is actively engaging in the healing process. And, last but not least, clear ginger tea doesn't stain. Who would have guessed such bang for the buck, a cure-all cup? Goliath the ginger root is now gone but not forgotten,  his replacement already squatting in the fridge.

Ginger Tea Recipe

  • 4 cups water
  • Approximately 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • Optional: honey, lemon, cinnamon

Peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add the ginger. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. Add honey, lemon, or cinnamon to taste if desired.

Photo credit: Flikr user digiyesica