Ginger: Ginger has been revered for centuries in Asia for its gorgeous aroma and impressive array of medicinal benefits. Ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory properties called gingerols that can help inhibit and tame inflammatory processes in the body that often take hold during times of illness. Ginger also contains natural warming properties that help support blood circulation and promote mild sweating. These properties also have the comforting effect of warming our chilled bodies. Lemon: As a citrus, lemon offers one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the duration of cold symptoms in both adults and children.
Vitamin C is also important during times of physical and emotional stress not only as an immune builder but also because the adrenal glands (the glands that are responsible for releasing stress hormones) require a steady supply of this nutrient to function properly. This is a good time to stock up on vitamin C rich foods including: citrus fruit, red bell pepper, broccoli, kiwi and strawberries.
Honey: Honey not only tastes delicious, particularly in the company of lemon, but it is also hygroscopic in nature meaning that it absorbs water. This is a helpful property when it comes to treating ailments like the common cold because honey can help bring moisture to tissues that are dried out from repetitive coughing. Both lemon and honey also contain antibacterial properties that help cleanse the body of infection-causing bacteria. Juniper Berries: Juniper berries are probably best known for giving gin it's unique flavour, but these berries are also credited with a number of medicinal benefits. The oil found inside the juniper berry is said to act as a natural decongestant, helping to dilate bronchial tubes and move excessive mucus in the respiratory tract. Juniper berries also have natural antibacterial properties - similar to lemon and honey - that help combat infection. While more research is necessary, the health benefits of these fragrant little berries are definitely worth keeping an eye on. CAUTION: juniper berries are not recommended during pregnancy nor for individuals with a history of kidney/liver ailments - be sure to consult your health care practitioner prior to use. Chili Pepper: Hot peppers have a thermogenic effect on the body - meaning they have the ability to raise our body core temperature and stimulate metabolism. Spicy foods - especially those containing capsaicin like chilis, also help stimulate the production of endorphins in the body - those feel good neurotransmitters - that help contribute to a general sense of wellbeing (this may be one reason why some of us find spicy foods so addictive...!). ~~~~~ Healing Hot Toddy (Alcohol-Free)