Ginger for Colds & Flu

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2002-2014
During this season, many people may suffer from colds and flu. Chinese medicine refers to this form of sickness as “invading cold” or “invading damp” which means that our system has been assailed by the cold weather. Whether in the form of: influenza, chills, coughs, or bronchitis, this is a condition that lasts far too long for anyone. Herbal help can be found as close to you as your spice rack or local grocery store. Spices are thought of as warm to hot, and ginger is strong enough to repel the assailant.


Whether fresh or ground, ginger is a marvelous spice as well as a delicious non-alcoholic beverage. Ginger used in baking livens up cookies, cakes and breads and naturally helps create that fabulous Christmas mainstay: the Gingerbread House.

1. Ginger contains a high level of enzymes that break down meat, similar to our own natural stomach enzymes. Ginger can be used as a meat tenderizer.

2. If you want to stimulate circulation in the intestines, then ginger is the herb you’re looking for.

3. Want a natural antioxidant? Ginger’s your herb.

4. Ginger helps balance your diet. Too many cooling foods, such as vegetables, need a counter balance. Ginger is known in all forms of Eastern medicine as a warming herb.

5. Ginger helps relieve motion sickness and nausea.

6. Ginger is used to help detoxify the body, especially aching muscles from colds and flu.

7. If you’ve exerted yourself too much, ginger relaxes tight muscles.


powdered ginger

Fresh ginger root is what you’ll find the most beneficial in easing your colds and flu symptoms. One whiff of a fresh ginger root will have you starting onto your road to recovery. It’s a distinctive scent, highly aromatic, and images of far off lands might come to mind. Once it’s consumed, it radiates outwards, warming your body and clearing away your illness. Fresh ginger can be added to food or brewed into a tea.

Dried/powdered is the simplest way to take ginger. You can buy the capsules in health food stores. It’s easy to find bulk ginger at Chinese grocery stores or via the Internet. When you purchase ready-made capsules, take as many as directed on the label.

Tea is found anywhere, but make sure you read the ingredients. You can find it mixed with other herbs or else listed so far down on the label that it’ll be useless. Ginger should always be listed first for it to be effective. However, the following recipe is the best for cold/flu conditions.


Ginger Tea
This should be made with a fresh root.

Grate a small piece of ginger [about the size of a nickel] into a mug. Add the juice of a ½ lemon. Fill the mug with boiling water. Stir in a teaspoon of organic honey.

Ginger Socks
This will keep your feet warm and boost sluggish circulation.

You will need powdered cayenne pepper for this to be even more effective. Mix ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper with 1 teaspoon powdered ginger. Add the mixture to a pair of socks. If you are very cold and are not moving, this remedy won’t be of much help. The more you move, whether you’re walking around in your home or are outdoors really getting a workout, the better this is. A lot of movement will heat your feet too much so be careful! If you are really feeling unwell, you should attempt to do some form of exercise, even if it’s just wiggling your toes, so that the cayenne/ginger mixture has some kick to it!

Ginger Bath
Bathing in fragrant ginger is a luxury as well as a recipe for getting better. Powdered ginger is the recommended form and it should be added slowly. Start with the addition of 1 tablespoon’s worth of ginger. If that isn’t enough, add another. Don’t add too much. You will feel your heart rate increase and you’ll begin to detoxify your symptoms soon after bathing in ginger. Drinking plenty of water is recommended.


You can find ginger at your supermarket or health food store. Or try Amazon 

Note: Consult your physician before trying any of these remedies. Ginger is not recommended for infants or young children under the age of three.