Aunts can be very wise.

They are frequently maligned, but they can provide great wisdom, encouragement, and stuff your parents could never let you have, like a cotton candy sandwich.

Ginger teaTen years ago, I’d just bought a house on my own, was working fourteen-hour days on a high-profile project, and a good friend was dying of incurable cancer.  Within three months, my central nervous system went into a tailspin, and my main symptom was daily, severe, unrelenting nausea.

“Ginger tea,” Aunt Bettie suggested.  “Works wonders.”

I’d never heard of such a thing, but decided that at worst, it would be harmless, and I picked up a box of Lipton Ginger Twist Herbal Tea at the grocery store.  The next morning, I tried it out.  Whoa.  My nausea didn’t disappear, but it did recede for the first time in months.

I got curious about the tuber and read up.  It seems that ginger root in many forms has been used for thousands of years to treat nausea, the common cold, and even menstrual cramps.  Who knew?  Well, Aunt Bettie did.

Although my nervous system has more or less righted itself, my addiction to ginger tea remains.  In the morning I push the cat off my face, roll out of bed, and stagger downstairs for the thing that keeps me going, my morning cup.  My grocery store no longer carries the Lipton brand, so I go out of my way to get Yogi Tea at Whole Foods.  This is a bit more peppery than Lipton, but is stronger, and I love it.

What’s next?  Some people make their own out of ground ginger, or ginger juice.  Sounds good to me!  Aunt Bettie will approve, I know.  In fact, she’ll probably want me to make some for her, too.