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Family remedies

I grew up with the old fashioned grandmother. Nanny grew her own food, raised chickens out back, wore an apron most of the day, hummed gospel hymns over collard greens and black eyed peas, made dumplins from scratch, and frogs legs on special occasions. 

Culture is critical to one's foundation. It stays with you long after folks pass on, long after the lessons end. 

Maybe it's cuz I am the oldest grandchild or perhaps because I was the slowest eater. Whatever the reason, of all the things I learned from Nanny, the food is what stuck with me. And as I raised my own children, those family recipes brought comfort, healing and a few new twists. Seeing as it is the cold and flu season, I wanted to share one with you.

This concoction came in handy whenever my family came down with sniffles, sore throat, fever, or chills. Make large batches to drink throughout the day, using local and organic ingredients when possible.

3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
3 whole Chinese* star anise pods
1 1" piece fresh ginger root
2-4 quarts water
lemon (optional)

Bring water to a low boil in stainless or glass pot/kettle.
Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and ginger root.
Turn off heat, cover, and steep for 10-15 minutes.
Serve alone or with a little raw honey and/or lemon.


  • Potential for regulating blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and improving memory
  • Improves circulation, lowers risk of infection, and healing to the sinuses.
  • Increases digestion
  • Excellent source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, vitamin A, and niacin


  • Warming and soothing
  • Antispasmodic properties help to relieve coughing
  • Useful at relieving indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Helps control heart rate and blood pressure
  • Great source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, selenium, calcium, fiber, vitamins A, C, B1, B6 and K

Star Anise (Illicium verum)
*CAUTION: Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) is highly poisonous!*

  • Energy building
  • Strengthens immune system against respiratory ailments
  • Reduces pain, cough and respiratory infections
  • An important ingredient in Tamiflu
  • Good source of calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamins A and C

Ginger root

  • Settles the stomach
  • Relieves nausea and vomiting
  • Promotes healthy sweating (helpful with cold and flu)
  • Safe to use during pregnancy
  • Good source of magnesium, B6, potassium and copper


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Reader Comments (6)

Family remedies are old-fashioned and the key that Grandmothers use/used to keep the family healthy and well. Thak you for sharing :-)
December 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Lynnette
Yes, our grandmothers were key to a family's health and well-being. Thank you for sharing, Lynnette.
December 31, 2009 | Registered CommenterQiy
I always use Ginger root for curing cold and flu and this is really effective. I also try a ginger root tea which is relief from nausea and pain and treatment for a sore throat.
December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlood Pressure Support
I have stomach problem so i will try Ginger root... Let see how effective it is..
April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterboot camp marketing
I hope it helped to settle your stomach. All the best!
July 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterQiy
Yay! I love a success story like yours.
July 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterQiy

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