By Enyeribe Ejiogu
For seven days, from October 23 to 30, this reporter had it rough with cold and catarrh, coupled with headache made worse by the pain of coughing and sneezing. Medical doctors would call that a case acute bronchitis. It started as sore throat (upper respiratory tract infection). Then the infection began to inch down the trachea (windpipe) towards the lungs, producing that sensation in the lungs typical of bronchitis. One was not eager to adopt any heavy-handed measure against the attack by taking any brand of the class of antibiotics that are generics of augmentin, as used to be my practice.
Just then a bulb lit up in my mind: why not extract the juice of fresh ginger, make ordinary tea and pour the juice into it and drink a number of cups all through the day. The idea seemed very good and interesting. Imagine killing two birds with one stone.
Incidentally, existing literature on the internet endorsed the idea as I found out from Wikipedia. Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. After water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world. There are many different types of tea; some teas, like Darjeeling and Chinese greens, have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour, while others have vastly different profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral or grassy notes.
Tea originated in Southwest China, where it was used as a medicinal drink. It was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to Europe during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India to bypass the Chinese monopoly.
Armed with this information, my wife bought fresh ginger, scrapped off the scaly covering, diced and pounded it into pulp with pestle and mortar. She scooped the pulp into a small aluminum pot, poured water and boiled it to extract the juice. Then she popped two teabags into a flask, poured boiling hot water from a kettle into the flask and let it draw, to extract the golden yellow tea essence.
From the flask she poured a good measure into my regular mug and topped it up with the ginger extract. And gave me to drink. I drank about three cups in the course of the day. Did the same the next few days after. Like magic, my lungs which had been under fire and the stuffy nose began to clear. My voice loosed gradually. The intensity of the coughing reduced. In the succeeding day, I began to cough out thick phlegm. Oh goodness, I saved money (about N3000) I would I have spent on generic versions of augmentin. The ginger cost N100. The upside was that I got to drink my exciting tea beverage and got healed of the cold and catarrh too. Quite a good condition that gave a good amount of anti-oxidants and flavonoids, both are essential for maintaining good health at little cost.