Costa Rica Health Care – Rooting for the ROOT

Most Costa Ricans have knowledge of medicinal plants and their restorative properties. (Take a walk with a tico through an area of vegetation and they will be able to point out which plant or leaf is good for digestion, the kidneys, your heart, etc.) One of the more commonly known and frequently used therapeutic plants is ginger. This knobby looking root can be found in the produce section of grocery stores, at open markets or maybe even in your own backyard. While ginger adds zest to stir fry cooking, it can also be used to make a curative tea for those suffering with colds, congestion and coughs (gripe and tos). To make the tea, thinly slice fresh ginger – a half inch or so of a finger-sized width of ginger – and pour boiling water over it. Let it steep for about 5 minutes so the tea is concentrated. If this is too strong or you dislike the taste, you can add honey (another cure-all) and freshly squeezed lemon (great for some added vitamin C). ¡Salud!

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