I find it interesting, how so many things in seem to come around full circle. Do any of you have grandmas or maybe great-grandmas who always seemed to know a few home remedies to treat a variety of ailments? My own grandmother didn’t have a huge store of herbal knowledge, but something she always had me drink when I had an upset stomach was ginger ale. She’d give me a few saltines to nibble on too. For many years, I associated ginger ale and saltine crackers with being sick, so I never had it at any other time. Even through all the years growing up and well into adulthood, when ‘modern medicine’ was the way to go (throw out Grandma’s wisdom, in other words), I still turned to ginger ale and saltine crackers when I was sick, especially if I was nauseous.
Out with the old, in with the new. Out with grandma’s remedies, in with pills and antibiotics. I never knew WHY she gave me ginger ale, only that she did and it often helped. Well, now that we’ve got resistant super bugs from antibiotic resistant bacteria – thanks to overuse – a multitude of side effects from drugs and drug interactions, we’re taking another look at grandma and her home remedies. Turns out grandma was pretty darn smart. Scientists are learning more and more about the wonderful healing properties of plants. For example, ginger is a wonderful her to use to quell motion sickness, most any type of nausea, aid digestion, pretty much help your gut. Fresh ginger wasn’t readily available when I was a kid, but ginger ale was in every grocery store. So it seems our society is coming back around to re-examining the wisdom of grandma’s home remedies, passed down through the generations.
That’s just one simple example. Did you have a smart grandma too? What kinds of home remedies did she use? Do you use any of them now? I still drink ginger ale, and gave it to my kids when they were sick. My husband has been sick this past week and guess what I picked up at the store on my way home from work? You guessed it – ginger ale.
Luckily, I’ve got access to fresh ginger and have been learning new ways to use it medicinally. Here’s a super easy recipe for infusing ginger into honey. It works great and tastes great in herbal tea (any tea actually).
GINGER INFUSED HONEY
Just take a hunk of fresh ginger (it should be firm and smooth), peel it, then either grate or dice finely, or process in a food processor with a teaspoon or so of water. Put that into a small saucepan, and just barely cover with raw, organic honey. Heat on low for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ginger is soft and the honey has a pungent ginger-ness to it. You can either strain the mixture through a metal sieve to remove the ginger (by the way you then eat the little bits of ginger for a zingy treat), or you can put it all together in a clean screw top jar and pop into the fridge. It’ll last for quite a long time, certainly enough to get you through cold and flu season. Add a spoonful to your tea, by itself, however you normally use honey at your house. It’s very soothing on an irritated throat. It’s also good to have when you’re healthy! Think of it as a good boost for your system, like a vitamin. Lots of nutrients in ginger, so use it in your cooking, your drinks, in all kinds of ways. You can even add some to brandy.