My mother is from Thailand, which made for a life a little different than most of my friends'. In my home, the rice cooker was on 24/7, wearing shoes inside was a huge offense punishable by grounding, and if I was sick, my mom always turned to her expansive cabinet of herbs. When I was younger, my American-born dad would look at her cautiously as she mixed up her treatments. "Why can't we just give her some Tylenol?" he would insist.
Back then, I hated my mother's herbal concoctions; most were bitter and came along with too much coddling and detailed explanations of each herb she used. As an adult, I crave the comfort of her blends and all the healing powers that seem to come from them — none more so than her fresh ginger-lemongrass tea. It's a surefire way to clear up congestion or a sore throat, ease aches and pains, and soothe an upset tummy. It also brings along with it the gentle and persistent love that only a mother can provide.