February is both National Heart Month and National Cancer Prevention Month. “A lot of research is looking at inflammation and for both heart and cancer,” notes Patty Guay-Berry, outpatient oncology dietitian who leads our monthly cooking class at the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical CenterAquilino Cancer Center. “If we can decrease our inflammation inside our bodies, may be able to prevent heart disease and cancer.”

Patty Guay-Berry

So, how do we decrease inflammation? Avoid processed foods. Eat more whole foods, fruits and veggies. Consider lifestyle changes, like those highlighted in our monthly Integrative Medicine seminars. Start taking steps to de-stress and nurture yourself, like warming up with a cup of this nourishing tea.

Commonweal’s Healing Tea

By Rebecca Katz, author of “The Cancer Fighting Kitchen”


  • 1/3 cup sliced peeled fresh ginger, cut 1/4 inch thick
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cardamom pods
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk or almond milk
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine the ginger and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the rice milk and maple syrup and gently reheat without boiling for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm. Stir in the vanilla, then taste. Add more milk or sweetener if you like. Serve hot or cold. Makes 8 cups.

Cook Notes: The tea will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks without the milk and sweetener, so you may want to set some aside prior to adding the milk and sweetener.