Stoking the Fires

Remember when Grandma would make a home remedy of hot lemon and honey whenever someone was sick? Some grandmothers might have added ginger, others a dash of cinnamon, some a pinch of black pepper, and the bold even added a shot of Brandy!

Grandmother’s medicine is a lot like Ayurveda. It is based on Intuitive Intelligence, and includes a lot of what I call Kitchen Wisdom, with healing ingredients you can find in almost any kitchen.

For instance, Grandma knew that in the winter, when it is chilly, often windy and dry, the very best way to prevent or treat a cold, is to keep warm and hydrated. From this simple premise came chicken soup, the hot toddy, spicy teas, and as my friend Jane from Bournemouth, England says, “A po’ o’ lemon.”

A wonderful “Grandmother Recipe” that we drink at home and that exemplifies the best of Ayurveda ~ botanical, simple, accessible, and highly effective ~  is the  Lemony Ginger Tonic.

To make two servings, put one half-inch slice of fresh ginger root into a blender. Add the juice of one whole lemon, 2 cups of water, 2 heaping teaspoons of raw honey (our favorite is Honey Gardens’ “Northern Raw” ), three shakes of cinnamon, two shakes of turmeric and one shake of cayenne powder. Blend thoroughly and pour into glasses.

Lemony Ginger Tonic can be heated and served warm, but in that case do not add the honey until you have poured your Tonic into the mug and allowed it to cool to drinking temperature. Honey should not be heated past 120 degrees.

This drink can be taken first thing in the morning to kindle the inner fires and hydrate the tissues, with meals to stoke the digestive fires, throughout the day to keep metabolic fires blazing and stay warm, any time to banish the blues when the days are gray, at the onset of a cold to clear the respiratory passage, and every day to strengthen your immune system.

Cinnamon is antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-clotting, balancing to blood sugar and energizing to the brain. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, blood and liver cleanser with a history of reducing tumors. Cayenne, or Capsicum, is a powerful antibacterial, pain-relieving, fat and mucus busting, cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure-regulating, cancer fighter. All three of these everyday spices are amongst the most highly researched herbs in the U.S. today, for their multiple use and safe potency in healing.

To your Good Health ~ Santé!