Many years ago, on my first trip to New Dehli, India, I came down with a pretty bad sinus cold. I was traveling alone, staying in a guesthouse with a very chill rooftop restaurant, and didn't have much of an appetite.
When I saw "Ginger Lemon Tea" on their menu, it sounded like exactly what I needed, even though I'd never had it. Upon tasting it, I felt better almost instantly. I spent several days on that rooftop sipping this tea, my sinuses gradually clearing up. Ever since, this has remained one of my favorite teas.
In addition to clearing up head colds and excess mucous (kapha) conditions, the combination of ginger and lemon, often with the addition of raw honey, is an excellent remedy for nausea, kapha-type acid reflux, gas, bloating, constipation, and many other symptoms of indigestion.
Although ginger is heating and pungent, it's also an effective anti-inflammatory. Ayurveda teaches that this is because ginger aids in the digestion and removal of āma, or toxins/metabolic waste, which is often the underlying cause of inflammation. Combined with the immune-boosting benefits of vitamin C in lemon juice, this tea is excellent for a wide range of illnesses.
While dry ginger is considered to be very heating and pitta-aggravating, fresh ginger is more gentle, and can often be tolerated by pitta constitution individuals in moderation. Substituting lime juice in place of the lemon can make this tea neutral for pitta (meaning it won't increase pitta, but also won't reduce pitta).
Detox Ginger Lemon Tea
V↓ P↑ K↓
2-3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger, or 1-2 inches peeled and sliced ginger (more or less to taste)
juice of 1/2 lemon (more or less to taste; for pitta, substitute lime juice)
2 1/2 cups water
raw honey (optional, to stir in before serving)
Combine the water and ginger in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-15 minutes (the longer you simmer, the stronger the ginger flavor will be).
Remove from heat and allow to cool to a drinkable temperature, about 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, then strain into a tea cup.
Stir in some raw honey, if desired, before serving. Serves 2.
This recipe is included in the Spring Ayurvedic Cleanse. Click here to learn more about Ayurvedic Cleansing.