Warm Up to Ginger
Anyone who has ever soothed an upset stomach with a glass of ginger ale
knows that ginger is also a helpful digestive. Sipping ginger tea or chewing on
fresh ginger helps digest heavy foods or hearty meals, and children may chew on
ginger to ease a stomachache or to relieve motion sickness. In fact, a study
reported in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1982 found that
ginger was more effective than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) in reducing motion
sickness. "The easiest way to prevent motion sickness is to carry candied
ginger in your pocket and suck on it throughout your trip," notes Ms.
Griffin. Depending on your weight and size, more candy may be nibbled on every
Ginger compresses may be used to treat headaches and relieve arthritic aches
and pains. Keep a batch of ginger-tea ice cubes in your freezer for making the
compresses -- this way, both hot and cold ginger remedies are readily
available. For a tension headache, soak a clean washcloth in melted -- but
still cold -- ginger-tea ice cubes. Place the cold compress on the back of the
neck or the shoulders for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with fresh, cool tea as
necessary. For an arthritis ache, soak a washcloth in warmed tea and apply to
the site of the pain. Again, repeat as necessary.
Healing Ginger Recipes
Ginger tea: Grate 2 teaspoons of fresh gingerroot in 1 1/2 cups of
room-temperature water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then drink.
Candied ginger: Slice fresh gingerroot into 1/2-inch-thick pieces and
dip the slices in honey. In a skillet over low heat, cook in a little butter
for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer ginger slices to a cookie sheet and allow them to
cool and harden (30 to 40 minutes).
From A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year (Destiny Books;
1995; $12.95), by Ellen Evert Hopman:
To clear the sinuses: In a blender, mix to taste vegetable juice
(such as V8), grated ginger, powdered cayenne pepper, garlic, horseradish, and
For the flu: Grate a few teaspoons of fresh gingerroot. In a tightly
covered nonaluminum pan, simmer in water (2 teaspoons ginger per cup) for 20
minutes. Add lemon juice and honey. Drink until mucus becomes thin and clear.
For stubborn congestion, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
CAUTION: Lactating or pregnant women, chemotherapy patients, or those
suffering from hypertension should not ingest large quantities of ginger.
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