With our hectic lives on what seems like fast forward day in and day out, it is very difficult to keep a lifestyle that can be categorized under “healthy”. It would be nice to have a simple cheat code in our back pockets when it comes to health issues, wouldn’t it? Well, there’s a simple little option that involves ginger. It’s a wonder why my “abuela” is always raving about this super natural remedy.
First of all, ginger is a flowering plant of many variations originally from southern China. Eventually, it found itself spread across Europe through the spice trade as early as Roman times. It is now grown most in India, along with its popular cousin, turmeric. Believe it or not, the part of this plant we see spread through restaurants and markets is the root. This is where we find all its qualities that you will soon be benefiting from.
Now, the true question is as follows: what ARE the benefits you can hope to receive from ingesting ginger? Simply put, A LOT.
For one, “gingerol”, a powerful ingredient found in ginger has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; some speculate that it may have more than all those “super fruits” you hear about at those vegan smoothie stores.
Ginger can also be used as a remedy against indigestion, morning sickness and nausea, even for patients undergoing chemotherapy. (Ask your doctor how much ginger you can ingest if you are pregnant)
If you are in and out of the gym on a weekly basis, or even taking special exercise classes at home, ginger will reduce muscle related pains after prolonged use on a day to day basis. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties which, in addition can help relieve some symptoms of certain types of arthritis!
Not only will it reduce your muscle pains, but it will also lower your blood sugar and reduce your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. It was recently discovered that patients who took 2 grams of ginger powder per day actually managed to reduce their blood sugar by 12%. Good news for those concerned with diabetes.
To those of you who receive that special gift from Mother Nature once a month, we have great news! One gram of ginger powder per day during your cycle can reduce the pain due to cramps as effectively as ibuprofen. Talk about avoiding pharmaceutical chemicals!
Although it has not yet been scientifically proven, due to experiments involving cancer cells and pure ginger extract, it has been found that ginger may actually reduce the probability of cancer development in those with non-high-risk factors. Studies have also shown that ginger may improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Many investigations have proven that animals ingesting ginger had improved cognitive function.
Last, but not least, it has been found that ginger lowers the risk of oral infections, such as gingivitis. It has also been linked with reduced risk of respiratory infection; something to think about if you work with harmful chemicals, dust or fumes.
Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering; how can you ingest all this ginger and enjoy doing it? Well, there are a number of recipes to make ginger as tasty as it is beneficial.
- 2 cups unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 cups water
- Process ginger chunks in a food processor or blender until finely chopped; add to stock pot.
- Add sugar and water to the pot and stir.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for one hour until a rich syrup is created.
- Strain the syrup twice through cheese cloth or a fine sieve into a large jar or bottle. Refrigerate. (swansonvitamins.com)
You can use your syrup to make tasty homemade ginger ale. Just mix with club soda and a dash of lemon and sit back, relax.
This next recipe has been passed down for generations as one of the best home remedies for colds and flus and now, it is an ideal tea used to ingest ginger for all its benefits. It’s also ideal because it is so easy to make! All you need is ginger chopped into pieces, a strainer, some honey and boiling water.
Ginger and Honey Tea:
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 cup of hot water (or the tea of your choosing)
- After grating your ginger or cutting into very small slices, place in container and pour boiling water in
- Pour honey into container and let everything sit together and cool down, stir occasionally
- Use strainer to separate the ginger from the liquid
- NOTE: You can use the concoction without straining as a sauce to add flavor to your fish or chicken. You can also use the ginger once you’ve separated it from the tea to add some zest to your food.
- If the concoction is too strong to the taste, you may add brown sugar or lemon to your liking
(Article by Nicole Olivieri)