Holistic Ginger Inside and Out

by Toni Lewis

Fresh ginger is a holistic powerhouse, but ginger root wasn't always available in my old Chicago neighborhood. I don't even remember the root being used in our kitchen. Which is not surprising because my grandmother was clinically blind, but that didn't stop her from cooking (Oh, my whacky family!). A hamburger would start out a nice size, but once it entered the cast iron vortex, it would emerge a miniature version of itself. Sometimes so dry, I literally would have trouble getting it down my throat. (Water please!)

I tell you all of this to say two things:

1. Grandmother's independent spirit was a lesson for us all.

2. Recipes...not her forte'.

Another lesson we learned is that Canada Dry Ginger Ale is great for stomachaches!

Now that I'm doing the cooking, I've discovered ginger and not only cook with it; I use the root to make tea. It's delicious, healthy and medicinal.

Ginger is a perennial herb native to China and India, although most of the supply today comes from Jamaica and Africa as well. In the wild, ginger produces flowers when the herb is at its most ripe stage, but the good stuff is in the root, which has a knotted, brown appearance.

Holistic Ginger As Medicine

Ginger has active ingredients known as gingerol (anti-inflammatory compound) and shogaol. Holistically, the combination of volatile oils and pungent compounds are thought to be responsible for healing nausea and vomiting. It helps break down proteins to alleviate gas from the stomach and intestines. It also helps break down fatty foods.

We can add ginger to the list of herbs that fight against heart disease because Studies show that ginger helps lower LDL Cholesterol by reducing absorption in the blood and liver.

It can also be useful as a remedy for morning sickness. (Please consult you doctor beforehand.) And as a circulatory remedy it stimulates circulation and helps with high blood pressure.

Herbalists use ginger extract to decrease inflammation, which is a leading cause of many ailments including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, dermatitis, and ulcerative colitis.

You’ll find fresh ginger root in the produce section of your market. Look for a root with a firm, smooth skin, free of mold and as few twists and joints as possible. Wrinkled, dry looking roots are too old and should be avoided. Always try to choose fresh over dried and organic over commercial.

There are rarely any side effects when used as recommended. However, some people can be sensitive to the taste and may experience heartburn. People with gallstones history should consult a physician before using.

For skin

Ginger is a holistic powerhouse known for its invigorating properties that bring a warming to the body. It is used in massage oils and lotions.

When used on the face, it can help reduce breakouts by cleansing pores and drawing toxins out of the skin. It is also helpful in decreasing inflammation and healing scar tissue.

You can apply it directly to the skin by laying slices on the affected area. After removing the brown skin, slice the ginger into ¼ inch thick pieces. Lightly wash the area to be treated; them simply rub the pieces on the affected area until it is lightly coated with the oil.

Warm ginger baths are also helpful for full-body skin treatments and invigoration. Add minced pieces to bath, mix small amounts of essential oils to warm water or use ginger-scented soaps.

As an anti-fungal

Ginger contains caprylic acid and is a natural way to treat athlete’s foot. Simply make a tonic by adding one ounce of crushed ginger to a cup of boiling water and let simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool and apply to affected areas.

Ginger falls under the holistic banner because of it's healing properties both inside and out.

It increases sweating and helps reduce body temperature in high fevers. It aids respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, and flu with its warming, soothing properties. You can make ginger tea easily at home.

Simply peel the brown skin off, chop the root into small pieces, add to a cup of boiling water and steep. You can also drink this tea to avoid motion sickness.

Who knew that a root could be so versatile? Look better, feel better and enjoy more foods with holistically pleasing ginger. Here's to your yummy health!


BNET,Vegetarian Times,Earth Clinic,EHow,University of Michigan Health News,Wikipedia,

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