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Ginger has been used medicinally in China and India for ages.  Pickled ginger is eaten with many meals in Japan.  It’s delicious and has warming properties, so it makes a great winter-time tea.  Ginger is especially beneficial for the digestive system (which in turn is beneficial for the skin).

[As always, if you are pregnant of breast-feeding please check with your physician.  This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any illnesses.]

Health Benefits of ginger

* Contains the powerful anti-oxidant gingerol, which promotes elasticity and radiance in the skin

* In Ayurveda, it is believed that ginger clears out ama (which are toxins that are the source of disease, according to Ayurveda) from the body

* Stimulating and warming (dry ginger more so than fresh)

* Helps to calm upset stomachs and relieve nausea, morning sickness, and motion sickness (In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger tea is drunk to help relieve menstrual cramps)

* Aids the digestive process.  Promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes, can reduce bloating and other digestive issues.

* Anti-viral properties– helps to prevent and relieve common cold

* Lowers cholesterol

* Acts as an anti-histamine and helps to relieve allergies

* Anti-inflammatory– helps alleviate symptoms of arthritis.  The anti-inflammatory properties may also help to relieve eczema and acne.

Ways to Prepare

*Fresh and dry ginger contain different healing properties, so feel free to use both!  I use a lot of ginger powder when I am not feeling up to the task of peeling fresh ginger.

Ginger tea:  You can easily make fresh ginger tea by boiling some pieces of ginger (skin on) in water for about 10 minutes.  You can make a super concentrated batch of this and keep it in a glass jar in the fridge– just add a little to your cup and top with boiling water.  You can also just dissolve half a teaspoon of ginger powder in hot water!

Ginger Peanut sauce: In a small saucepan over low heat mix about 1/4 c soy sauce, 1/3 c. peanut butter, 1/2 c. water, 1 T fresh chopped (peeled) ginger, a dash of cayenne pepper, 1 T sugar (brown or white, or honey or agave nectar), 1 T. rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and 1 T each fish sauce and sesame oil if you have some.  Add more ginger to taste.  You can substitute dry ginger powder if you want.  Use as a sauce for noodles, tempeh, or stir-fried vegetables.

Ginger ale— I haven’t made this but it looks pretty easy.

Lacto-fermented ginger

Pickled ginger

Sources

Read about some medical studies with ginger (studies dealing with morning sickness, arthritis, ovarian and other kinds of cancer)

Ginger in Ayurveda (also, here)

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