Herbal Spotlight: Ginger - by Liana MacNeill
One of our most potent herbal allies in the kitchen is good old-fashioned ginger root. I am sure you are familiar with ginger's warm, pungent and mildly spicy flavor. It is often added to spice blends, chai tea, Asian dishes and desserts galore. But did you know it’s a medicinal powerhouse as well?
Ginger has been used in medicinal remedies for thousands of years, all over the world. In Chinese medicine, ginger is referred to as sheng jiang. It has an affinity for the Lung, Spleen and Stomach (Middle Jiao) meridians and is used to get stagnant Qi moving as well as disperse cold.
It has been used for everything from improving circulation, fighting seasonal colds and flu to sore muscles, cramps and tummy complaints of all kinds. Use ginger in teas, soups, even baths to add immune-boosting warmth and circulation into your life!
Zingiber Cold and Flu Tea:
If you find yourself starting to feel under the weather, make yourself a hot cup of ginger tea. Simply chop up some fresh ginger root and add lemon juice (fresh preferred), a spoonful of local organic honey and a pinch of cayenne to boost your immune system.
For sore, stiff muscles due to the cold:
Chop or grate a 1-2in piece of fresh ginger and add it to a medium-sized pot of hot water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes, then use this water for a foot bath to relieve headaches and sore muscles. You may also add your ginger brew to a full bath with epsom salt for a truly restorative experience.
For more information on ginger, check out this informative herbal monograph from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.