An Elixir Spawned in KL
As I ponder back upon some of the places I’ve travelled to and the knowledge that I’ve gained, I realize that one of the most eye-opening experiences from my yesteryear is the three-month backpacking journey that consisted of meandering through a chunk of SE Asia.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aka KL, I fell slightly ill. It was only nausea due to a combination of heat exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Bear in mind that KL sits at a mere 3° above the equator, providing for a torrid tropical temperature. Also, my 20-bed ice-cold hostel suite didn’t allow me to get the solid sleep that I’d needed. Multiple people sleeping in open areas do not cater well to the light sleeper, nor does extreme chill caused by A/C overkill.
Lacking energy, I was tipped off by someone in my hostel.
“Order some ginger tea.”
I found two friendly Malaysians operating a small stall in a mall. With a straw, I sipped and finished one very large bag of warm ginger tea. Almost instantly, I had more energy, and my nausea was subsiding. I proceeded to drink three more enormous bags over the next two hours. I was revived. Life felt good again. Sipping on this relaxing ginger tea provided a revelation.
Since this trip 12 years ago, I have been experimenting with different ways to enjoy this medicinal yet quenching concoction. However, about a year ago, I finally made it a point to prepare and drink it almost daily. I now have the drink perfected.
In a teapot, I drop one 15G packet of Instant Crystal Honey Ginger Tea. This can be purchased in most Asian grocery stores. I’m now fortunate to be able to buy this in bulk at C-Mart in Boston’s Chinatown. If you can’t acquire the packets with the honey, they’ll probably carry the same product with rock sugar in lieu of honey. This will suffice. Next, I place a green tea bag in the pot, followed by a cinnamon stick. Then, the final and most important ingredient is fresh ginger. Take a generous piece of ginger, cut or peel off the brown skin. Then, cut the fresh skinless ginger into small pieces. Dump this bright, cut-up, yellow root into your tea-pot.
Ginger is easily found at almost all grocery stores. However, I’ve noticed that the Asian stores tend to carry ginger which is fresher and of a more optimum quality. Next, fill your teapot with boiling water, stir, steep and voila. Your elixir is born.
As I have evolved into being a ginger tea connoisseur, I’ve learned that many Asian cultures have been using this panacea for thousands of years to prevent and treat the common cold, nausea, and gastrointestinal ailments. In addition, it’s great for blood circulation and arthritis. This godsend will sooth your throat and digestive tract.
Give it a shot. It only takes a few minutes to prepare. It goes down incredibly well and if you make it a habit, you’re sure to suffer much less from the colds, nausea, heartburn and stomach issues.