Continuing my “So much more than” series, ginger is the wonder herb for this tip. Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Chinese sailors chewed gingerroot for seasickness, Roman doctors used it during military marches, Greek philosophers used it for digestive health, and King Henry VIII thought it would protect against the plague.
Its benefits are numerous and I encourage you to do more research or consult a naturopath if you see an ailment you have listed below. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and painkiller useful in preventing and treating migraines and menstrual cramps and can aid in arthritis relief. It is good for digestion and effective in treating motion sickness, nausea and run-of-the-mill upset stomachs. I’ve chewed crystallized ginger for years to treat a mild stomachache and its results are almost immediate. Ginger’s nearly dozen anti-viral compounds, along with its components that reduce pain and fever and suppress coughing, make it an important remedy for treating a cold. Make a tasty cup of hot tea using fresh gingerroot to feel better.
Ginger is also loaded with anti-fungal compounds, ranking second among all herbs, and is useful in treating fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot. Ginger also helps with circulation and can help prevent heart disease and strokes as well as reduce blood pressure. It can aid in preventing cataracts and a ginger compress can relieve toothaches. Ginger is a strong antioxidant and several new studies have shown that it may help with preventing certain cancers.
Ginger comes in different forms – fresh, powdered, crystallized, and dried. Fresh ginger is more active than dried and crystallized is next best. Some people think the varieties grown in Africa or India are more potent than the Jamaican variety, so ask your grocer where the ginger comes from. Ginger can be used as a tea, as a marinade for meats, and of course as a spice in baking. And dark chocolate covered ginger is a healthful and decadent treat!
Start incorporating this amazing and delicious spice into your diet and your medicine cabinet – you’ll be glad you did.
Information compiled from:
, The Green Pharmacy, by James A. Duke, PhD and The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies, by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention.