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January 28, 2015

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Ginger and Lemongrass: Fight the Flu This Season

'Tis the season to be cough-ing, fa la la la la, la la la la. Last week I tried really hard to convince you that winter in Ottawa isn't all that bad, but this week, I have to admit the truth: flu season is the absolute worst. Catching a cold is my least favourite winter activity because not only do you feel like you have snot all over your face, but it is pretty difficult to obtain sympathy from anyone. “Oh, are you sick with a cold? That's terrible, you should just stay home and sleep all day” said no one ever.  I just love going into work with my nose so red that the kids mistaken me for Santa's favourite reindeer. Even though resting in bed could give my body the time it needs to fight the bad guys, I can't remember the last time I called in sick because of a sore throat, dry cough or because I was uncontrollably sneezing. That's what over the counter cold medications are for, right? Sure, except I am not really a huge fan of loading myself up with chemicals whose names I can't pronounce, like pseudophedrine and dextromethorphan, just so I can get through the day feeling like a zombie.

            Before I switch to the hard stuff, I prefer to try more natural, organic cold fighters like lemongrass and ginger to help me cope. Also known as citronella, lemongrass has a lemony flavour and is commonly added to Asian dishes for increased deliciousness. With many medicinal benefits, lemongrass can be used to treat stomachaches, headaches, fevers and the common cough. It contains vitamin C and antimicrobial saponins which help fight bacteria, and only one teaspoon of lemongrass provides .4 milligrams of iron to give your energy a boost! Ginger is a super ingredient used in the cuisines of many cultures, especially in India and Japan, and can be consumed in a variety of forms. It is known to relieve sinus congestion, calm an upset stomach, and, because it improves circulation, has even been shown to help the body recover from frostbite (another point against winter). Ginger also contains high levels of antioxidants which strengthen the immune system so that you can hopefully avoid catching whatever coughing disease your coworker brought into the office. By adding the combined calming and stimulating aromas of ginger and lemongrass into your diet, you can give your body the ingredients it needs to naturally get better.

            If you find yourself debilitated with a cold this flu season, I prescribe a cup of Tealee's original blend Mother Nature's Medley. This tea combines the medicinal benefits of lemongrass and ginger with the flavours of apple, spearmint, rosehip and rose petals for a truly rejuvenating feel. It's detoxing properties also aid in digestion and reduce bloating to get you feeling 100% again. Try a cup of Mother Nature's Medley next time you can't possibly imagine getting out of bed – it always helps me get through a long day of thesis (or blog) research!

 

Best wishes for a healthy flu season!           


Carolyn Hebert

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