Keep warm and well this Christmas with these all natural essential hot drinks that will soothe and heal the body and mind.
One of the best ways to keep seasonal sicknesses at bay is to stock up on your vitamins and minerals, this will help to boost the immune system as well as making you feel good at the same time. A great way to add to your daily intake as well as give yourself a soothing warm drink is to put together one, or all, of these natural recipes.
My ultimate healing tea is a mixture of grated fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of locally produced raw honey, and topped up with hot water. Ginger has incredible medicinal properties and is an excellent source of nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Its high levels of gingerol give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Ginger also helps to combat nausea and reduce muscle pain as well as osteoarthritis. Ginger can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as lower blood sugar. It can also help to fight infection, improve brain function, lower cholesterol, reduce menstrual pains, treat chronic indigestion, and even help to prevent cancer. After reading that I’m sure you are wondering why we don’t put it in absolutely everything!
To add flavour you can throw in some fresh mint and to really boost the medicinal properties you can add ginger’s just as incredible cousin, turmeric; just grate it straight into the cup or pot. But more about turmeric later.
Another excellent source of wellness is green tea. For it to deliver to its potential you must source a high quality tea. The cheap green tea bags from the supermarket will contain a minimum amount of health benefits compared to an authentic Japanese green tea leaves. Opt for the best, for the best outcome. This next concoction really packs a healthy punch with its green tea base and the added vitamins from the lemon juice, the amazing properties of the ginger, and the fresh mint. The goji berries, a previously trending superfood, are an amazing source of immune support as well as promoting healthy skin, protecting against cancer, stabilising blood sugar, preventing liver damage, and improving depression, anxiety and sleep patterns. The pinch of cayenne pepper adds a metabolic boost, aids digestive health, helps reduce the risk of cancer, assists with pain relief and digestive health. Add to that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of the honey (again opt for good quality to reap the best effects), and we are on to a full power super tea extravaganza that you can take every day. Simply place all these ingredients into your favourite mug and top with hot water.
- Pinch of quality green tea or matcha powder
- Juice of half a lemon
- A few leaves of fresh mint
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tbsp goji berries
- 1 tbsp local raw honey
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper
This winter warmer stems from Ayurvedic traditions and incorporates turmeric root with milk. Originally it would have been cow or other animal milk but modern times permits a choice in this field. I usually opt for a coconut and rice milk combination but you can swap for your personal favourite. Simply grate some fresh turmeric – a heaped teaspoon per cup will suffice – into a small saucepan, add your milk of choice plus some freshly ground black pepper (this activates the turmeric’s properties) and warm to just below boiling. You can add a sweetener to taste but opt for either a raw honey or maple syrup rather than sugar. You may also want to grate in some fresh ginger for an extra health boost. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is well-known to promote the holistic health of the body with its antioxidant, antibacterial, anti cariogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. This tea will help to fight off infections and boost your immune system, reduce pain and inflammation, improve brain function, aid with digestion, help moderate blood sugars, and promote healthy skin.
Our next contender is the powerhouse matcha tea, which is basically green tea leaves ground into a powder. The properties are stronger than regular green tea due the method of use – green tea leaves can only release a certain amount of their inner goodness when steeped in water. To get the most out of the leaves we need to consume the whole thing. But who wants to eat a bitter-tasting tea leaf? The best way to do this is to have a cup of matcha, it contains all of the beneficial properties as it is ground straight after being picked and once the powder is placed in warm liquid it releases everything the plant was born with. Matcha boasts a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids which other green teas cannot match. Opt for a high quality authentic matcha, organic and traditionally produced to help boost your metabolism, lower cholesterol, improve brain function and concentration, help prevent and fight infection and disease, and keep you calm and relaxed.
And finally we head to South America for a cup of Yerba Mate. This medicinal tea has been taken for over five centuries, originally created by Guarani natives from the leaves of the trees that grow wild in the forest. You can take Yerba Mate in different ways but the traditional and most popular way is in a specifically designed container, often made from wood, pumpkin, or metal. You fill the container three quarters full with the loose leaves, make a cavity in the leaves and fill with warm, not boiling, water, then once steeped sip through a specially designed, usually metal, straw. The leaves can be topped up with water several times and still deliver the health benefits. Yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals as well as 15 amino acids. It is rich in antioxidants, improves energy levels, helps with concentration and focus, boosts the immune system, reduces risk of heart disease, lowers blood sugars, protects against infections, and can help you lose weight. You can easily purchase all the necessary equipment and leaves online and in specialised shops, it is relatively inexpensive and a large bag will last a long time, as will the cup and straw, so it is not a huge investment for an incredibly great source of health and wellness.
Whichever you choose, and I urge you to try them all, if you incorporate these incredibly powerful teas into your regular daily diet I am sure you will discover a whole new world of health benefits and a warm and soothing drink that avoids the regular caffeine intake of coffee or black tea.
Online diploma courses in Nutrition
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences one of our most popular colitis therapy courses is in nutrition. In fact, we offer 8 specialised nutrition courses, all of which are accredited in 26 countries worldwide, meaning you can start to practice as soon as you have passed your exams and are qualified. Visit these pages for more information on the course: