Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Tis the Season--Cold and Flu Remedies

There are 180 different varieties of cold viruses - a horrible fact.  We were equally horrified to learn that the only place on earth where they do not exist is in the frozen wastes of Antarctica.  Despite our abhorrence of the coughs and general malaise that a cold bestows, we have no desire to relocate to such an inhospitable place--it is much too far from Reading Terminal Market to contemplate. Instead, we decided to delve into some weapons against the common cold.  And our featured food, ginger, keeps popping up.

Three different friends, all hailing from disparate parts of India, swear by the following tincture.  (Thanks to Pia, Farah and Anjali for substantiating its efficacy):

Ginger Turmeric Tea

 1 inch piece fresh Ginger  (approx 2 tsp grated)
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp  turmeric
1 cup boiling water
Mix together and drink hot.

Lynette Chen, Reading Terminal Market's Tea Expert and Proprietor of Tea Leaf  recommends three herbal brews to bolster the immune system and battle the nasty bugs.

In her herbal tea range, she offers Organic Echinacea (the wonder drug extracted from coneflowers), Organic Ginger Root and an Immune Enhancing Blend.  Chen also dispenses a free leaflet providing instructions on how to make a "proper cup of tea" and other tea recipes for Chai and Thai Iced Tea.

After consuming a welcome cup of tea at Tea Leaf, we hot footed it over to The Herbiary, and chatted with Andrew Celwyn, Owner of this fascinating purveyor of medicinal herbs, teas and tinctures.  Coincidentally, November's herb of the month is Ginger.  Celwyn explained why the Indian brew is effective - he claims it is the turmeric, which is rumored to be a natural anti-inflammatory, rather than the ginger, that hits the spot. 

Ginger root, when boiled in a tea, is however marvelous at settling the stomach and also allegedly increases circulation.  According to the team at the Herbiary, it's Nature's pick me up - a wonderful tonic.

What do you reach for when a nasty cold takes hold of you..?

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