Snow. Rain. Wind. Sleet. Whatever is beating on your window this winter you can keep the chill away with either of these teas. Both are winter elixers of heat and health. They’re simple concotions but hold an impressive list of benefits.

Ginger Tea

This golden liquid tastes like sweet sunshine. The ginger has just enough heat to add pizazz while the honey and lemon bring out ginger’s soothing properties.

Studies have shown that ginger is an effective aid in treating nausea, is a digestive aid, and some even find arthrginger teaitic relief with ginger.  Think of ginger as anti-anything-bad. Ginger extracts have shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects on cells. So if you’re under the weather or just want to be nice to yourself ginger tea is your drink. And it’s ridiculously easy to make so you have no excuses.

2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger; 5 cups of filtered water (okay, this is the duh-factor here.  Any water will work but the cleaner the better); 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemons (you want fresh if you’re going for health benefits); honey to taste.

lemon wedgeSimmer the ginger in the water for 20 minutes. Strain the ginger out. Add the lemon juice and honey to taste. Et voila: 5 cups of the best ginger tea ever.

Cayenne Detox Tea

Buried in cayenne’s gorgeous red hues is a wall of heat. But when paired with honey and lemon the taste becomes its own.  Trust me on this one, it’s delicious albeit unusual. If you have a cold, you need to drink this. I know what you’re thinking, my throat is on fire so why would I want to pour a flaming heat spice on its tender, miserable surface? I’ll let you take full responsibility on your final decision but all I can say is that strangely enough, it works. Cayenne’s heat actually soothes sore throats. It relieves stuffy noses and headaches. It feels perfect.

I did a little research to find out why. Here’s the scoop: all chile peppers (including cayenne) contain a substance called capsaicin. The more capsaicin the hotter the chili. This substance has very real health benefits. It’s an inhibitor of something called Substance P,  which triggers the inflammatory process. The simple explanation works something like this: capsaicin inhibits Substance P from causing inflammation…at least it slows it down. That means people who suffer from inflammation pain (like arthritis or a sore throat) will find relief with capsaicin.

Chile peppers also give your immunity system a boost with their concentrated levels of beta-carotene and Vitamin A. And they protect the fats in your blood from free-radicals. Could you ask more from a humble but beautiful spice? 

This is even easier to make than the ginger tea.Detox tea

A mug of filtered hot water; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more depending on your tastes), 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon.

Add your ingredients to the hot water and stir. Keep your spoon to mix the ingredients occasionally while you drink your tea. The amounts above are a guideline. Add more or less to your own personal tastes…except the cayenne. Yes, you need to be prepared for some heat but that’s kind of the the point of this detoxifying drink.

A votre sante!