It’s January and if you’re anything like me, you will feel slightly drab. That sluggish feeling that clothes are just slightly too tight, a touch too tired and spring is an awful long way off.
Something needs to be done about it, right? A little bit of inner cleansing maybe, nothing drastic, just some small changes. This is not the time for salads, but giving our systems a little bit of a break is a good idea, and staying warm and cosy has to be a priority at this time of the year.
So, what could be better than enjoying a nice, hot cuppa? I’m not talking about a cup of builders brew, something a little healthier, and something that will help your system to recover from all those chocolates, biscuits, turkey sandwiches and alcohol.
Here are a few herbs and ingredients that will help you on the way, and will hopefully give you some of your pre-Christmas bounce back.
Ginger has healing and detoxifying properties which help to cleanse the built up toxins in your liver and other organs. It has the ability to neutralise acids and support your digestive system which in turn relieves things like bloating and constipation. To enjoy this in a ‘tea’, slice four or five thick slices off a fresh ginger root, add to a mug and top with hot water. Add a little honey to sweeten the drink if you want.
Lemon is another great detox aid and might be more to your taste if ginger isn’t your cup of tea (pun intended) and you are happy to swop your coffee for it first thing in the morning – the best time to drink it in order to help your body. Apart from the obvious Vitamin C content, a cup of hot lemon will help your bowels to eliminate any lingering waste, it cleanses the blood and helps your liver to produce more bile which in turn aids digestion. Simply squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into a glass and top with hot water.
Honey has long been recognised as a natural remedy. It has antiseptic properties and can be used as a remedy for ailments from sore throats to burns and cuts. Especially comforting when you have a cold is a mug of hot water, honey and lemon. It’s so good, especially if you have a cough. The lemon juice helps cut through the congestion and the honey soothes the throat.
You can also add honey to your fresh ginger and lemon ‘tea’. This is a veritable hug that will keep your spirits up.
By the way, did you know that honey also has anti-inflammatory properties? Dab a little honey onto chapped lips and small scratches to speed up the healing process. Just don’t be tempted to lick it off as soon as you put it on your lips….
Last, but not least, you should consider turmeric, the most tested herb for inflammation. Turmeric probably has the most powerful cleansing, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and will help your liver to recover after overindulging in a tipple or two. The best way to use turmeric is in combination with ginger and lemon as this will not only pack a real detox punch, but also taste best.
Add four slices of fresh ginger to a saucepan together with 500ml water and bring to the boil before turning down the heat, and then add one teaspoon ground turmeric. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding a slice of lemon and a little honey to sweeten.
So, I hope this little guide will help you to get the year off to a healthy start and see you through the grey month of January.