I’m going to talk to you today about another wonderful, natural cure all: ginger. For most of us ginger is just a word that comes before bread or snap. Some people know its benefits for nausea or upset stomach. But ginger has a wide range of ailments and diseases it addresses. Many cultures (primarily in Asia) rely heavily on ginger for its spicy kick and medicinal properties. Fun fact about this herb: No one knows where it originated because it does not grow in the wild. All ginger plants today are purposefully cultivated. It has been recorded to have been used as a spice and an herbal remedy for as longs as records have been kept in tropical countries from Brazil to Nigeria. The value of ginger in countries where the climate prohibited it from growing was at one point so high that a ginger importer could trade one pound of ginger for an entire live sheep. Why is it that this incredibly spicy little plant has gotten so much attention? Well let’s take a look at what it can do.
Ginger has widely been used in treating or preventing the following
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic Fatigue
- Joint health
- Kidney Stones
- Muscle Strains
- Ovarian cancer
- Quitting Smoking
- Raynaud’s disease
- Viral infections
- Water retention
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Yeast Infection
- Well this one’s a stretch, but Zygote forming (yes ginger has been used as part of a regimen to treat infertility.)
So, you see ginger is really quite useful and that’s just from A-Z. Most of those letters could have a column of ailments or issues that ginger helps treat. Now you’re probably wondering how to use it. Well, obviously it’s edible so cooking with it is always a good start. Be advised, though: fresh ginger is very strong. Try tossing a thin slice in a blended fruit smoothie. Newmans Own makes potent ginger “mints” that don’t have artificial sweeteners or processed sugar. Many people use dried ginger as a rub for meat. I personally am not a fan of the taste of ginger in most instances but I do enjoy it as an ingredient in one of my favorite beverages: Sassy Water:
1 cucumber sliced with the peel on. One lemon sliced. 1/2-1tsp dried or grated ginger. 10 mint leaves. Mix in pitcher with filtered or bottled water. Let chill over night. This makes a great wake-me-up drink as well as a great after work out hydration.
Ginger can also be used topically for joint, muscle, or ligament pain. Mix warm ginger paste with a little turmeric and place on the affected area twice a day.
No matter how you go about it, just make sure you get some ginger in your diet somewhere. It’s amazing what it can do for you. As they say, it really is good for what ails you.