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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Ginger for Health

Dec 31, 2010 02:11PM ● By Stacey Patillo

Ginger, a perennial rhizome, has been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years. In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is used to treat ailments such as nausea related to morning and motion sickness, indigestion and inflammation.

Ginger contains natural volatile oils, specifically gingerols and shogaols, which are potent anti-inflammatory compounds that give ginger its spicy, pungent taste. Ginger is great for those with weak digestion, as it stimulates the gall bladder, calms the gastrointestinal tract and neutralizes acids. It also is warming to the body, so it helps break fevers, and can be used as a decongestant and support for the immune system. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects have been known to provide pain relief for arthritis sufferers.

Use ginger in several ways:
•    Add a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger to jazz up stir-fries
•    For nausea relief, crush fresh ginger and mint into carbonated mineral water
•    Mix raw, organic honey with ginger tea to use as an expectorant

Ginger Tea

2 cups water
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, or 1/2 tsp dried ginger
Pinch of thyme
1/8 tsp  turmeric
1/2 tsp honey
Lemon wedge

Add ginger, thyme and turmeric to a tea ball and place in a coffee mug or small tea pot. Bring water to just under a boil. Let cool for a minute or two and then pour into cup or teapot. Cover and steep for at least 5 minutes. Add honey and lemon and enjoy.