Herbal Healing: Ginger



BY LISA S.T. DOSS

The cultural knowledge of herbal lore is not entirely lost. The information may still be in our genes, urging to take root and blossom. It begins by first loving the fragrance and taste of herbs. Take the interest one step further! Start drying leaves and flowers to make delicious teas, healing salves, tinctures, poultices and more to promote wellness! 

Spices have a connection to various seasons. Like cinnamon and peppermint, ginger’s scent or taste immediately transports the mind to a family gathering or a holiday meal. Once the taste arrives at the mouth, the intense, spicy sensation spreads to the taste buds, mixing with other flavors. Just imagine what the medicinal chemistry of oils and heat can do to stimulate the body.

Ginger Tea

Herbalists are proponents of the medicinal values found in ginger. Through the antioxidants, it can strengthen a weak immunity system and help reduce stress. Breathing deeply to inhale the stream relieves nasal congestion, respiratory issues and environmental allergies. Taking sips of the heated concoction relieves motion or morning sickness to lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation and preventing blood clots. Some find drinking hot, ginger tea reduces the sensation of hunger and prevents obesity-related complications.

Recipe for Nausea

Peel and chop a one-inch piece of fresh ginger, or measure one teaspoon of dried ginger.  Simmer in one-cup of water for 10 minutes. Add milk or sweater to suit preference. Sip until the nausea subsides.

Recipe for Flu

Combine one tablespoon of fresh ginger, a pinch of cayenne powder, one teaspoon of peppermint and two teaspoons dried rosehips (for added vitamin C) in a saucepan with three cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes; then, strain and add lemon and honey. Drink as often as needed; one cup at a time!

Ginger-Lemon Exfoliating Scrub

Pamper the body, such as hands and elbows, and feet with an exfoliating, sugar scrub. While it will create soft, smooth skin, it is much too harsh for the face. Ginger contains 40 anti-oxidant elements, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent while improving blood circulation, promoting collagen production, increasing elasticity and balancing skin tone. Keep in mind the beneficial quality of various ingredients. While lemon tightens pores and honey prevents acne, olive oil heals scarring. (Tweak recipes to serve your needs.)

Recipe: Oils will come to the surface of your container; therefore, always stir before using. Apply while in a tub, and be careful when standing. The surface may be slippery.

Combine one-cup granulated sugar, one tablespoon grated lemon rind and two teaspoons powdered ginger to a small bowl. Mix 10 drops of lemon and five drops of ginger essential oils. (Makes eight ounces.) Use gentle circular motions.

Foot Soak

As colder weather approaches, the feet need a treatment to combat the winter’s aches and pains or heal athlete’s foot. Ginger is a useful remedy, especially helpful to boost warmth and increase circulation. As the muscles relax, ginger eliminates toxins. Mustard powder promotes heat to ease chills while boosting energy levels and pain.

Recipe:

In a foot bath or similarly sized container, fill to the ankle with warm to hot water. (Have water on hand to add if the temperature becomes cold.) Add the combined powders of three tablespoons of ginger powder with six teaspoons of mustard powder. Swish with feet. To relieve muscle pain, add two drops of peppermint essential oil. Repetition works best; therefore, soak your feet for up to 20 minutes daily until the feet feel better.

What is Ginger Yoga?

All across the country, the yogis are celebrating the benefits of ginger combined with yoga practice through the title “Ginger Yoga.” Drinking the tea comprising cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorn is known to aid breathing techniques and soreness while creating a warm core in cold temperatures. In thinking that exercise requires an empty stomach, ginger tea is recognized in China and India as an herb to enhance the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems as well as heal sprains and arthritis pain. Try the combination by starting slow. Begin with arm circles and forward bends before entering positions, such as Staff Pose. Just like taking sips of tea, start slow with stretches and the asana breathing technique!

Next Month: Peppermint


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