I’ve been ill again. I don’t ever remember a time in my life where I have had such a succession of bugs and annoyances. This time, the visitor was a most unwelcome norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug. I am sure there are much better ways of describing it, it is the most vicious, invasive, overwhelming bug that I have had the misfortune to be slayed by. It brought me around to thinking about the food that we eat when we are sick, to get better.
Everyone has their particular favourites, some offer comfort from childhood, most are family remedies. Often they make no sense at all. Almost everyone seems to turn to fizzy drinks when ill. Even me. And I won’t touch them when I am not ill, unless they are partnering a spirit. The sugar is good, and some like ginger ale have ginger, but isn’t it better to go straight to source and make a fresh ginger tea?
Now, I know it sounds laborious, and when your sick, struggling to the loo is probably the most you can manage, but it’s easy, quick, delicious, and it’s of enormous benefit in times of tummy upset. Ginger relieves nausea, stimulates digestion, relieves gas and bloating and helps stop diarrhoea. Lemon juice with honey aids bowel movement. Honey is soothing for distressed throats and oesophaguses. Lemon is alkalinizing for a poor acidic stomach, this means it neutralizes the acid, or at least starts to.
This is not insipid like a herbal tea from a tea bag, it’s full of flavour and texture. I drink this regularly, as it’s really tasty and comforting, I find it especially soothing at times like these.
Want to make it? Per mug I make mine with fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, about an inch of it, the juice of half an organic unwaxed lemon and a teaspoon of honey. I top this up with hot water, leave to infuse for a few minutes and drink slowly.
Everything that passes my mouth now has intense diplomatic negotiations to face once they hit the stomach, and the folks down there are slow and gurgly. They like this lemon, ginger and honey tea though. It seems about the only thing that has diplomatic immunity at the moment!
What do you eat and drink when ill?