I think everyone knows that feeling where you feel like you are so sick but nothing has been helping; you’ve gone through the cough drops, the chicken noodle soup, the cold medicine, the WikiHow, the whole shebang. And here I am to add one more thing to that list! Ha, you can thank me later.

Okay, so I’ll let you in on my big secret: ginger.

Ginger has so many health benefits that you are probably unaware of. Remember when you were a kid and you had a stomach ache, you were told to have Ginger Ale and it made you feel better? Well, it was that magic ginger at its work. Thanks to my mom, I began to honestly believe in the magic of ginger every time I’m sick. She told me that she learned it from my grandma, so I’m guessing it was just passed down the generations.

The 'Tea' Behind Ginger

My favorite way to have ginger is through ginger tea. There’s nothing like some hot steamy tea when you are with a cold. First of all, the warmth is great when you are sick, as any teas or soups are. But more specifically, ginger tea has a great feeling of immediate gratification. By this, I mean that when you drink it, you can immediately feel your stuffy nose being relieved and your sore throat being soothed. It's also an anti-inflammatory which will help your sore throat even more. The ginger has a spicy nature to it that kind of wakes you up and gives you a little jolt of energy. I guess I can sort of analogize it to that feeling you get when you drink ice cold water after brushing your teeth or chewing mint gum. This whole ginger tea thing has been a true lifesaver for me. Especially when you are busy after school studying and doing homework and do not have the time to make chicken noodle soup and are sick of cough drops, this is quick, easy, and simply great.

Making Ginger Tea

I usually like preparing my ginger tea with real ginger just to make it more fresh and natural. You can get ginger at practically any grocery store. For my tea, I first slice up the ginger and put it in a Ziploc bag. Next, I store the bag in the freezer for whenever I need the ginger (this is awesome because the ginger’s shelf-life is prolonged). Then when I want to prepare my tea, I take about 3-5 slices (depending on how strong I want my tea to be), some honey for sweetness, and steep it in boiled water for a few minutes. When I like the strength of the tea, I either keep the ginger slices in there or squeeze out any tea in the ginger by pressing it on the side of my mug with a fork and throw it out. Plus, if you want a little embellishment and citrusy touch, you can add some slices of lemon!

Other Ways To Have Ginger

While ginger tea might be my favorite way of having ginger when I’m sick, there are many other ways I enjoy ginger. There are so many Asian brands out there that make ginger chews, which are like ginger candies. I like these just in general, but especially when I’m feeling under the weather. My personal favorites are "Gin Gins." Although something sweet is always nice when you are sick, ginger has been proven to have properties that strengthen your immunity. If you are looking for another drink, ginger beer is perfect for when you have stomach aches. The ginger helps your digestive system as well as settling your stomach and any nausea. While many suggest having ginger ale, I believe that it’s recommended simply out of convenience since ginger ale is nearly everywhere. However, if you are at the grocery store and want to keep something at home, then I think ginger beer is the way to go. It’s a lot more natural in the sense that it has less sugar than normal ginger ale, and the ginger is more concentrated and stronger in the ginger beer.

I really hope this little secret will be able to help you out the next time you’re feeling under the weather. I don’t doubt it!