Ginger, we might use it in curries, or the occasional smoothie but how many of us are using ginger on a regular basis? Apart from helping with nausea, discover why ginger ginger needs to be on your weekly shopping list, especially during the colder months and how to use it during festive celebrations!
For thousands of years the beneficial properties of ginger have been used by Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine for ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. Whether you are freshly grating it into your food, having a ginger tea, using the spice in biscuits like gingerbread or opting for a ginger beer its medicinal properties have been valued throughout the ages.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called Gingerols. The root of the ginger plant is rich in volatile oils and within these oils are the gingerol compounds.
Gingerols are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines; chemical messengers of the immune system.
The many curative properties of ginger are widely researched. Do you feel the cold? Drinking ginger tea will warm you up from the inside. Also as a diaphoretic it encourages perspiration, so it can be used in feverish conditions associated with flu or colds. Simply buy a ginger tea or even better make your own with sliced fresh ginger root. Ginger can also be used on the skin for it can stimulate the circulation and soothe burns.
Soothes the digestive system
Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating discomfort and pain in the stomach. Ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system and soothes the intestinal tract. This is one reason why ginger helps people who are bloated, constipated and have other gastrointestinal disorders. It relaxes the smooth muscle in your gut lining and helps food move along throughout the system.
How to use it
Fresh ginger root is best but ground ginger can be beneficial too.
- Ginger Root Tea
- Ginger Hot Shot
- Add ginger to your smoothies, highly recommended during the Winter months and if you feel the cold do it during Summer too.
- Use fresh ginger grated into dishes, especially curries.
- Make mulled ginger beer
For the calming effect that it has one the digestive system, alleviating discomfort and igniting your digestive fire, simply add ginger into your everyday eating. A tip for festive season celebrations is to not eat and drink at the same time for this dilutes your digestive enzymes and what this means is that digestion will take much longer than normal. One simple trick is leave at least 15 minutes either side between drinking and eating, if you can manage it aim for 30 minutes for this is the optimal time to allow your digestion to work most effectively.