I wandered around one of the supermarkets this afternoon. While looking at the various boxes of tea, I was tempted to purchase one that claimed to help lessen the effects of “la gripa”. Yesterday, I had a sore throat and runny-stuffy nose, so it made sense to have some remedy on hand. However, the bills in my pocket were few, and I still wanted to stop at another store for some fruit and vegetables.
It had begun to rain when I got to the fruit/vegetable store. As I went up to pay, I remembered that Joel likes having fresh eucalyptus in the house, so I added a bunch to my “basket”. The strength of the falling rain had increased, but I decided to edge my way under the narrow overhangs back to the apartment (you see, the skies were sunny and clear when I had set out earlier = no need for an umbrella).
Back to the tea…it was called Eucalyptus & Honey tea, but also included ginger, thyme and lemongrass. Since I now had fresh eucalyptus on hand, I decided to look for a recipe online. Not that I couldn’t guess. I just wanted to get a good idea of the ratios. In the end, I just put one leaf of eucalyptus with a few slices of fresh ginger and 2 teaspoons (more-or-less) of honey into a mug with boiling water.
Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in commercial cold remedies, adding a distinctive aroma to everything from chest rub to cough drops. The vapors from the oil act as an expectorant and decongestant, helping to thin secretions and open nasal passages, easing breathing and relieving congestion throughout the respiratory tract. Eucalyptus oil can be taken in capsule form or added to beverages, such as tea, and ingested. Alternatively, a few drops of the oil can be added to a tub of boiling water. The scented steam can then be inhaled, causing the mucous membranes to shrink and promoting drainage of the sinus cavities.
Ginger is a popular and effective treatment for runny noses and colds. Chew on a small, peeled piece of raw ginger root or coat a spoonful of grated ginger with honey to make it more palatable. Once ingested, the enzymes in the ginger will work to increase circulation throughout the body, reducing inflammation and swelling while improving drainage of the nasal passages. Alternatively, make a cup of ginger tea by adding a chunk of peeled ginger to two cups of boiling water and allowing it to boil for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger, sweeten to taste and drink. Repeat these treatments three to four times a day until your nose stops running.