As parents, my husband and I have a no-tolerance policy for malingerers, primarily because when we were teenagers we both faked sick as often as possible. We are therefore suspicious of nausea, “migraines,” or any other illness not accompanied by symptoms that can be verified by physical examination. A fever that registers above 100 on an accurate digital thermometer is acceptable proof of true malaise, as are copious amounts of mucus and/or swollen tonsils.
This is a raw deal for our boys, for whom a sick day means spending the day in bed without television, Nintendo DS, iPod, or other modern forms of entertainment. We want them to be so miserable on sick days that going to school is infinitely more attractive, and so far it’s working. That’s how we knew it was the real deal when our oldest son bolted up the stairs one day last week at 5 a.m. to tell us his stomach hurt, even before he provided us with graphic proof. He was, it turned out, an early victim of a 24-hour bug that was making the rounds at our elementary school.
In spite of our tough stance on playing hooky, when the boys really are sick, I’m a complete sap, ready with blankets, books, chicken soup, and water bottles (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate). A fever means a trip to our pediatrician, but for something like a stomach virus, the best thing to do is to treat the symptoms and get some rest.
This recipe for soothing homemade ginger tea is a good option for relieving the nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea that accompany stomach flu. Ginger’s root contains chemicals that relax the intestinal tract. It also works for relieving motion sickness and is safe alternative to harsh over the counter medication for pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness.
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 4 cups water
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 cinnamon stick or a few fresh mint leaves
- 2 black peppercorns
- Peel the ginger root and grate it.
- If using a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add the ginger, mint leaves or cinnamon, and black peppercorns and turn off heat. Put the lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the water to remove the ginger.
- If using a teapot, place the ginger and other ingredients in the teapot and pour boiling water in it. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- Add fresh lemon juice and pour into cups. Recipe makes 2 large coffee cups or 3 smaller ones.