Plans Went Out the Door: Down and Out and Ginger Tea – an Elixir of Life

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Wow! I haven’t been this sick in decades. 8:15 am on a Monday: I was fine one minute and the next, I went to our school secretary and told her I had to go home. My intestines were in knots and doing other unpleasantries I will not share with you (it’s basically TMI). I felt like my entire gut was experiencing a Charley Horse. I was doubled over and our secretary said, “Ya gotta do what you gotta do”. The biggest question was, am I going to make it home without – you know – making a mess?

Well this was throwing a monkey wrench into the plans. I had planned to draft and complete two blog posts, create 3 videos, and finish choreographing 2 of the 10 pieces I am responsible for in our upcoming May dance concert. All of this went out the door. Little did I know, I was going to spend the next 3 days curled up on the couch with the puppy sipping on ginger tea and praying for a break – from my bathroom “breaks”.

My stomach felt like I drank acid and my intestines were literally THROBBING. They were boiling and roiling and my insides felt HOT. Food was not of interest in the least. This is unusual for me. I love creating, cooking and eating. It’s my passion. I didn’t even want to look at food. BLEH – the idea turned my stomach upside down. But this would not stand. I had to have something to eat or at least drink.

I did get home, thankfully without “incident”, and as I was walking into my kitchen I remember my old folk remedy for intestinal ailments from my days back in North Carolina. I needed some ginger tea. Not just any ginger tea, not tea out of a box or a package, but some good old 8-48 hour simmered ginger tea!

As an Artist (African and modern dance) in North Carolina, there were times I was food insecure, without health insurance or a steady paycheck. Life was a challenge. Often times, because I was poor and had no insurance, I had to take my health care into my own hands and find remedies for common ailments and hope for the best. One of those remedies came to me from a fellow dancer who had studied various folk remedies and she recommended I try it, ginger tea.

An aside: I did seek medical attention and it was determined that I had the nasty gut yuck that was sweeping through our community. As such, my provider told me I had to wait it out and consider the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apples and Toast) until it resolved itself.

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It sounds simple, and yes you can go to the store and buy ginger tea, ginger lemon tea, ginger and honey crystals: yadayadayada. But nothing compares to a big pot of water simmering with a pound of ginger for no LESS than 8 hours. The strength of this tea will knock the wind out of you along with any respiratory ailment, be it sinus our lungs. It’s going to smack the mucus to the moon. BUT, it is also excellent for the stomach and the intestines.

General Information about Ginger:

Ginger has long been known to reduce nausea, vomiting and inflammation. It has been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal irritations (Ware). Ginger contains gingerol a powerful compound used for centuries to combat nausea, aid in digestion and fight symptoms associated with respiratory illnesses such as the common cold and flu (Leech). Drinking ginger tea can calm your stomach. It has also been shown to be effective in combating motion sickness (Lien et. al.), morning sickness from pregnancy and nausea associated with chemotherapy ( Whitworth).

This is exactly what I needed! A good dose of ginger tea!

The recipe is easy. Boil and simmer ginger in water until the water is the color of a dark caramel. That’s it. So let’s do this!


  • A big 6-8 quart pot
  • A long handled wooden spoon
  • Jars or pitchers for storage


  • 1 pound of ORGANIC ginger root
  • 6-8 quarts of water


  • Rinse the ginger. If you do not have organic ginger root, you will need to peel it.
  • Break or cut the ginger root into 1 inch pieces. There is no need to peel the ginger if it is organic.
  • Fill your pot with 6-8 quarts of water and begin heating the water on high heat.
  • Place the ginger in the pot of water and bring it up to a boil.
  • When the water boils, bring it down to a simmer.
  • Simmer for at least 8 hours.
  • When at least 8 hours has past, you can turn it off and let it cool before you put it in your pitcher or your jars.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

You may simmer the tea for as long as you like. After 8 hours, I usually transfer it to a crockpot and go another 24 to 48 hours. This sounds crazy, but I want that tea to be STRONG! I mean, I want it spicy and HOT!


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I like to drink my ginger tea in a large mug with 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered honey and a slice of lemon.

Ginger tea is warming and medicinal. During this 3 day sickness, as I sat curled up on the couch with my puppy, I drank quarts of ginger tea with honey and lemon. With each sip, I felt my stomach calm down, my well-being improve and my energy increase. Today, the 4th day, even though I am still home from work, I am sipping my tea and I am even eating a little bit of solid. My intestines are no longer throbbing and I feel generally healed. This time for me ginger tea was an elixir of life.

I hope the next time you feel down and out, whether it be a upper respiratory virus or an gastrointestinal flu, I hope you’ll consider ginger as an added option to help you relieve your symptoms. It has helped me over the years and it definitely has helped me through this illness this week.

Just a Note: Medical Disclaimer

You must not rely on the information on my blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on my blog.

As always,  thank you for coming by to read this. I’d like to grow my readership. If you enjoyed this blog post, add a comment and share it with a friend. 😀 Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut to find more things I’ve made.


Leech, Joe. “11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 June 2017,

Lien, Han-Chung, et al. “Effects of Ginger on Motion Sickness and Gastric Slow-Wave Dysrhythmias Induced by Circular Vection.” American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, vol. 284, no. 3, 1 Mar. 2003, doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00164.2002.

Ware, Megan. “Ginger: Health Benefits and Dietary Tips.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 11 Sept. 2017,

Whitworth, Gerhard. “What Are the Health Benefits of Ginger Tea?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 20 Dec. 2018,

Categories Cooking, Life ChallengesTags , , , ,

1 thought on “Plans Went Out the Door: Down and Out and Ginger Tea – an Elixir of Life

  1. Patricia Parr May 12, 2019 — 9:00 pm

    HELLO, This sounds great, I’ve loved Matcha love organic Japanese green tea + ginger, can get expensive I need to make my own.


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