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.

7 Responses to An Elixir Spawned in KL

  1. Clara Hannig says:

    Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.[5] Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine which has been made commercially since 1740.^

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  2. earthdrifter says:

    JUDITH: I’m so happy that I could turn you on to my ginger tea elixir: please let me know how it works out for you.
    I also discovered the Ginger Lemon Honey tea in India and found it to be the next best thing to my elixir. :-)
    As for the ubiquitous Chai in India, I drank a ton of it, however, can’t keep that up as all that liquid sugar is SO unhealthy thus counter productive. There were a few times when I was able to get them to omit the sugar. That looked at me like I was nuts but were still happy to make the sale.

  3. Judith Hall says:

    I was recently given a ginger/honey tea following an ayuverdic massage (present from a friend who obviously thought I needed it). Never had this sort of ginger tea before, but was instantly insane for it. Trekked around a lot of Indian stores looking for it and getting shaking heads before I discovered an Indian spice market business that keeps it. It comes in sachets like crystals and is ginger/honey/sugar combo. Dissolves instantly and is heaven to settle me down for the night. Sleep well on it.
    I can see I shall have to experiment with it after your recipe posting.

    I loved the Coffee bean& tea places in KL ( frequented the one in MidValley Mall) and discovered chai tea in gold silk teabags which I haven’t been able to find in Aus.

  4. earthdrifter says:

    I’m not sure exactly what was in the huge bags -as opposed to cups- of ginger tea except I remember it tasting very strong; thus, there was a ton of ginger in there and perhaps it had been seeping a while, which of course increases the intensity and therapeutic effect.
    Also, if I am so fortunate to spawn more ideas for elixirs I will be sure to post/share as panaceas add value to lifestyle.

  5. saracena8 says:

    Bravo! I’ll be sure to try it.

  6. Maida says:

    Sounds like the Malaysians’ straight ginger tea did you pretty well; you can always bring along some ginger teabags, even if you can’t enjoy the elixir. And maybe you will discover new elixirs on your impending journey… be sure to share. :)

  7. earthdrifter says:

    Great! When you do, let me know how it worked out.
    I may have a slight dilemma soon. When I start traveling I won’t be able to concoct this elixir as easily and frequently as I do now. Gotta roll w/ the pros and cons of everything huh.

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