Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan MoFo! Post #2: Sinus-Zap Tea

Foods That Heal... 

I've been sick for the past week, and I'm at the point where my voice, my sense of smell, and my ability to taste are all compromised. Yep, with a busted tailbone and the flu, I'm in pretty bad shape right now. So I'm in on this lovely Saturday night when I would otherwise be at my friend's birthday party/housewarming bash. I don't want to miss out on more than I already am, so I'm ready for this flu thing to be over! (I want the tailbone issue to be resolved, too, but I realize that takes time and it is healing quite nicely, albeit slowly.) At the helpful suggestion of my roommate, and because of my fascination with Prometheus Springs, tonight I decided to concoct a special get-well-now drink. Not soon. Now.

My favorite Prometheus Springs drink, and really, a favorite juice combo of mine in general, is Lemon Ginger. All of their drinks contain capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers spicy. Capsaicin will create a burning sensation in any tissue that it touches, including skin (anyone who's ever chopped jalapenos will tell you this!).

Chili peppers have been used since 5000 BC in South America and China for both cuisine and medicine. Today, the capsaicin in chili peppers is still believed to have a wide range of medicinal properties, including but not limited to improving digestion, helping with stomach ulcers by stimulating the production of mucus, and strengthening heart function [3]. It apparently increases blood circulation, [1] and can prevent or even stop a heart attack [2]. It's also supposed to help with pain relief when applied topically, including mouth sore pain from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as sore throat pain [3] [2]! These are just some of the things capsaicin can do for your health. 

Cayenne pepper, one of the many types of chili peppers, is what I decided to use in creating my own lemon-ginger-capsaicin drink. I used the powdered form. It's such an easy way to incorporate capsaicin into a drink because you can get it relatively cheaply, it's non-perishable (well, within reason), and a little bit goes a long way. Not only that, but cayenne, specifically, is said to be full of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as some of vitamin B6, vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese [1] [2].

It cures what ails ya.

There you have it. And does this miracle food work, you ask? Well, I can tell you that it certainly did temporarily clear my nasal passageways so that I regained my sense of smell and was better able to breath. It also helped temporarily relieve my sore throat pain. See below for what I did!

S i n u s - Z a p  T e a

100% pure ginger tea leaves (bagged or loose, whichever you prefer)
2 lemon wedges
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder 

Steep the tea in boiling water. Add the cayenne, then squeeze lemon juice into the cup. Let the lemon wedges remain in the cup.

Let me know if you try this and tell me how it goes for you!


  1. Wow. I hope you feel better soon!

    My favorite healing drink is green juice--the greener the better! I hadn't thought about adding cayenne, but that's a great idea.

  2. This sounds really awesome. I love anything with ginger. Get well soon!

  3. @Jackie - Green drinks + cayenne is a FABULOUS idea!!!! I will have to do that, too, now.

    @Monique - Thank you for the well wishes! Hope you are staying cold/flu-free!

  4. This is what I needed last week- and it sounds delicious. Definitely filing away for future reference!

  5. Awesome post- I was just wondering today what cayenne did health wise. Thanks!!

  6. I am keeping this around for the next time I'm feeling less than great.

  7. thank you thank you thank you! i'm glad this post is helpful to others!!!! makes me very happy. :)

  8. I'm totally giving this a go! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  9. No problem, April, let me know how it goes!

  10. I always knew ginger was great for sickness, and heat helped prevent sickness and also sweat it out. But this is great!! I probably will use fresh ginger, because I'm not sure where I can get just ginger tea leaves, and steep it for 30 minutes, then add everything else when heating it back up. Awesomeness!