A couple of weeks ago, I was right there with you, weighed down in the dumps by a nasty cold. I just woke up one morning and there it was. Snots, sniffles, and a sore itchy throat.
But was I ever lucky. The day before it hit, my wife walked through the door with some home-made fresh ginger juice. Her mother makes it fresh in the fall and bottles up liters of the stuff so we have it on hand if illness hits. It’s spicy and puts a real charge into you, but taking a shot seems to completely quell symptoms. All it takes is a shot every few hours—or when you notice the symptoms creeping back up—and it keeps things under control.
Ginger may work by eradicating viruses that lead to colds. There is research indicating it can stimulate the immune system to kill viruses, so maybe this is what happened. Compounds in ginger are also proven to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may play a role in why my throat and sinuses cleared up. Maybe it was the spice that cleared the airways and relieved the throat. Really, I can’t pinpoint the mechanism that was employed—just that within a day and a half, my cold was gone.
There are a few ways you can take ginger to potentially experience its benefits for cold symptoms. One is chewing pure ginger root. You can buy a root, cut off a one-inch piece, and just start chomping away. When it gets pulpy, you can swallow or spit it out—your choice. Just remember, this isn’t for everybody: ginger is quite spicy.
Other ways to take it are teas (root can be steeped for about 5-minutes in boiling water), lozenges, and powder extracts. Of course, you could always try to make your own ginger juice, too.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe for my mother-in-law’s medicine. But what it seems like she does is takes some fresh ginger root, ground it up, and sit it in water. Perhaps she steeps it in hot water before bottling. It literally tastes like pure ginger and has some serious bite, and we take it cold, out of the fridge. It’s not a big soothing hot cup of tea, just a wham/bam 1.5 ounce shot to the head for long-lasting cold relief.
Next time you’re bogged down by a cold, try using ginger to help get you back on track. It’s natural, cheap, and offers plenty of health benefits.