A favorite way to quench thirst in the summer that serves double duty as an anti-inflammatory for over-used sore muscles is ginger lemonade. I like to keep some made up and in the fridge most of the year because we love it so much, but it’s so popular here in the summer, I have switched to a gallon jug in order to keep up with demand!
The lemon juice is a great detoxifier, which cleanses your liver and kidneys and is full of vitamin C. It also has a nice alkalinizing effect on the body, despite it being a citrus fruit and being acidic. It is very good for your digestion and will help to flush toxins in this way as well, stimulating the natural flow of normal digestive juices and enzymes which our bodies can often get sluggish in producing, leading to poor digestion.
Ginger root is an amazing natural anti-inflammatory, which works better than ibuprofen and other over the counter non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (and better than many prescription ones as well, in my opinion!) The bonus is it is safe and without side effects. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and is an excellent way to boost your immune system and ward off any potential or current infections. I try to include ginger in my diet every single day. (Garlic too, for similar reasons, but that’s another post!)
Ginger soothes the stomach (including morning sickness) and digestive tract and is fantastic to take/drink when you have an upset stomach or other tummy issue. It will significantly shorten the duration of a stomach virus and lessen the symptoms. (Though if you take it daily, you may rarely or never get one at all!) It helps reduce and relieve the severity and duration of migraines, menstrual cramps, arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia pain (any pain really). It can help reduce sinus pressure, allowing them to drain. Whew!! Lots of benefits from ginger! And the truth is, I am restraining myself to keep the post short and get to the recipe! I could really go on! It’s good stuff!
To make 1 gallon of Ginger Lemonade:
4-6 inches fresh ginger root (found in most produce sections), grated or run through a food processor
5-6 lemons, juiced (NOT processed, bottled lemon juice–real lemons!)
1/2 teaspoon stevia, 1/2 cup raw honey, or other sweetener (to taste)
1.Using a funnel, pour the juice from the lemons into the jug or container you are using for the ginger lemonade. This may be the point you wish to add the amount of sweetener you are starting with. Start on the low side! You can always add more after all the other ingredients are added in. 2.Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil while you grate your ginger root. I use my tea pot for this as it is exactly the right size and it doesn’t take very long. 3. Put the grated ginger in a mesh wire strainer set atop a small bowl so that the ginger is cradled in the bowl. 4. Pour the boiling water into the bowl, over the mesh wire strainer with the ginger in it and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes. The idea is to make a hot ginger water that is a bit strong. 5. After about 20 minutes, pour the ginger water into the gallon jug (use the funnel). Let it cool before doing this, if you need to. Discard the grated ginger. 6. Cap and shake the jug, or mix with a spoon, if using an open container. Then fill to the top with cool water, shake again, taste and if sweet enough for you, refrigerate.
Enjoy whenever you would like a refreshment or anytime you need a boost of some of those lovely benefits from ginger or lemon. I suggest at least one glass a day. If you want to increase the health benefits, especially as an anti-inflammatory agent, try adding a teaspoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar to your glass of ginger lemonade! I recommend Bragg’s, for taste and the benefits I see, but there are others as well.