Herb Spotlight: Ginger
It’s been quite awhile since I did an herbal spotlight, and I just knew that I needed to do one on Ginger Root. I have always been drawn to ginger personally, and I feel like it is one of my favorite herbs overall. It is such a common, “simple” spice that it tends to get overlooked for the powerhouse that it is.
Benefits of Ginger
Most people are likely familiar with ginger to an extent. We know it can help with nausea and gas, but there are SO many other reasons why it is amazing for health. Its medicinal and culinary uses have been spoken about for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian medical texts as well as ancient Roman, Greek, and Arabic cultures. Its actions are Antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, carminative, diaphoretic, antimicrobial- again, quite a powerhouse!
- Anti-Inflammatory– Ginger has been shown to be helpful for soothing and reducing inflammation in the body, especially for joint and muscle pain.
- Lymph Booster– Ginger can be an invaluable helper for those trying to heal from chronic infections as well as for those with more acute conditions like colds or flus because of its strong action to stimulate the lymph system.
- Nausea/Morning Sickness– This is one of the most well known uses of ginger! It has an amazing ability to settle a sick feeling in the stomach, whether it is from illness, pregnancy, stress, or even sea sickness
- Gut Healing– Ginger can actually help with healing stomach ulcers, increase digestive ability of food (it’s in many herbal bitter formulas for this reason), and it is helpful for calming down flatulence (especially if it is due to a detoxification reaction)
- Infection Support– Ginger can help quite a bit with fungal, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
- Circulation Support– Ginger is a warming herb that helps those that tend to have a sluggish circulation, especially if you have a tendency to be cold all of the time.
- Can bring on a late period– if your cycle is a bit wonky due to stress, then a strong ginger tea can help with initiating things to get movng a bit quicker
- Possible helper for cancer prevention and healing– according to Herbal Academy, “Studies have been conducted on ginger’s ability to induce cell death in ovarian cancer cells and for its protection against colon cancer “
How to Use Ginger
- Tea– This is one of the most common ways to consume ginger, and one of the quickest ways to get its benefits. You can make it with fresh or powdered ginger ( 2-3 slices of sliced fresh ginger in one cup hot water or 1 teaspoon of ginger powder in one cup hot water ), or go with a great brand like Traditional Medicinals. Adding some lemon to a hot cup of ginger tea is pretty delicious.
- Tincture– This is one of the most helpful options for those that want to use ginger more long term, especially for chronic infections like EBV or Lyme and Co. I personally use Herbalist and Alchemist’s Ginger, but Herb Pharm has a great one as well.
- Juice– You can make yourself some fresh ginger juice (peel fresh ginger root, finely grate it, and then squeeze the pulp into a bowl until the pulp is completely dry), or you can use a juice like this one. I recently found this ginger juice and I am so excited- I LOVE ginger, but it is just not feasible to juice it myself every day. Add this juice to ACV, lemon, smoothies, or anything you can think of where it will taste good!
- Ginger Bug– This is actually a natural soda starter! You can make your own fermented ginger starter to make delicious, bubbly soda. This recipe is very easy to follow.
- Powder– This is easy to add to foods like garlic-ginger chicken, or baked goods. It’s not as potent as the other options, but it can still be helpful and tasty!
- Fresh root in food– Many Asian-inspired dishes use fresh ginger. Check Pinterest for ideas!
One of my favorite recipes with ginger:
I make a “Switchel” like mix with ginger and a few other additions. I choose from apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice, raw honey, cranberry juice, and cinnamon.
My favorite variation: 1-2 Tablespoons of Ginger Juice, 4 Tablespoons of ACV, and 1 Tablespoon of raw honey mixed together in a quart mason jar. Once honey is sufficiently mixed, fill the jar with filtered water and mix a little bit once more. Enjoy 1-2 cups a day 🙂