Scroll to bottom of the blog for ginger recipes
A hero among whole foods, ginger, known as the "Universal Medicine", is a small root that packs a big punch! With its warm and distinctive flavor, ginger has been cherished for its culinary and therapeutic uses and has spiced up lives for centuries. From soothing upset stomachs to fighting off inflammation and nausea, ginger is an unsung champion of the spice rack. As it spread from culture to culture, ginger captivated civilizations throughout history as a powerful medicinal herb.
From Rainforest to Remedy: Ginger's Ancient Origins
Ginger (zingiber officinale), is believed to have originated in the lush tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and then traveled to India. Ancient Ayurvedic texts that date back thousands of years, such as Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, mention ginger as an integral part of herbal remedies and formulations due to its potent healing properties. The ancient Ayurvedic scholars classified ginger as a "hot" herb, attributing it with properties that balance the "cold" nature of certain illnesses and imbalances in the body. Ginger is considered a "rasayana" in Ayurveda, meaning it has rejuvenating properties and supports overall health and vitality.
In China, Ginger became an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, ginger is considered "warming" and is used to balance the body's energy, known as Qi. Ginger was often combined with other herbs to create herbal formulas that treated a range of ailments, and was believed to strengthen the stomach, spleen, and lungs.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ginger's popularity grew in Europe. It was highly valued for its medicinal properties and was imported from Asia at great expense. Ginger was used to alleviate digestive issues, respiratory ailments, and even to combat the plague.
Today in many medical settings, ginger continues to be highly valued for its numerous health benefits and versatile applications. It is used in various forms, including fresh ginger root, dried ginger powder, ginger tea, ginger supplements, and even ginger essential oil.
Want to learn how to use ginger? Scroll to the bottom to get some healing recipes!
From Root to Relief: Ginger’s Health Benefits
From ancient times to the present day, ginger has been treasured for its digestive aid, anti-inflammatory benefits, respiratory support, and more. Ginger remains a timeless herb that bridges the wisdom of ancient traditions with modern holistic well-being.
Digestive Aid and Metabolism Booster
One of ginger's most well-known uses is its ability to improve digestion and enhance metabolism . Ginger stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, thereby aiding in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. It can alleviate indigestion, bloating, and flatulence. Consuming ginger tea or adding ginger to meals can promote healthy digestion, making it a staple in Ayurvedic cooking.
Anti-inflammatory and Immune-Boosting Properties
Ginger's active components, such as gingerol and shogaol, possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. Ayurveda recognizes inflammation as the root cause of many diseases, and ginger's ability to reduce inflammation makes it a valuable herb in combating various ailments, such as joint pain, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions . Plus, its immune-boosting properties help strengthen the body's defense mechanisms against infections and illnesses.
Respiratory Health and Cold Remedies
Ayurveda considers ginger as an excellent herb for respiratory health. Its warming nature helps naturally relieve congestion, coughs, and cold symptoms. Drinking ginger tea with honey and lemon can soothe sore throats, clear nasal passages, and provide relief from respiratory discomfort .
Menstrual Health and Nausea Relief
Ginger has been cherished for centuries as a natural remedy for menstrual discomfort, and as a means to promote cycle syncing through balanced hormones. Ayurvedic practitioners often recommend ginger to ease menstrual cramps and regulate irregular periods. Additionally, ginger is a well-known antidote for nausea, morning sickness, and motion sickness .
Sexual Health Treatment
Ginger is a natural aphrodisiac, traditionally used in India to treat impotence. While there are indications that ginger can possibly improve women’s fertility and libido, men are more likely to benefit from its sexual health properties. Studies have shown ginger to help increase testosterone levels  and also increase sperm motility .
From its knack for soothing digestive dilemmas to its anti-inflammatory powers, ginger is proof that big things can come in small packages. So, whether you're adding a dash of ginger to your next culinary masterpiece or sipping on a steaming cup of ginger tea, remember that this fiery root is more than just a flavorful spice – it's one of nature’s biggest health-boosters!
Ginger is just one of the many heroes in the bouquet of spices and herbs that make up our Immunity Potion. There's no better time than the present to give your body what it needs and visualize better health for yourself.
From Recipes to Refreshers: Ways to Use Ginger
Ginger Gargle Recipe
Use this recipe to soothe a sore throat!
1 tbsp of fresh ginger (or 1 tsp of dried ginger)
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp raw honey
- If using fresh ginger, wash and thinly slice it.
- Add the ginger and water to a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and strain the ginger from the tea into a heat-safe container.
- Stir in the honey until dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to cool until warm. Use as a throat gargle as needed. The gargle will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Take a bath with ginger and Epsom salts to improve circulation and warmth! Ginger helps you sweat out toxins for an effective detox.
3 tablespoons of dried ginger
½ – 1 cup Epsom salts
- Fill your bathtub with hot water.
- Add the ginger powder and Epsom salts into your bath, stirring to combine.
- Soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes.
- Dry off with a towel, then bundle up under a thick blanket or lay in bed under the covers for an hour or so to sweat.
- Rinse off in the shower.
- Rest and restore.
Reap all the best benefits of ginger by drinking it in tea!
Fresh piece of ginger (1 x 3 cm piece)
2 cups of water
2 tsp raw cane sugar or honey (or to taste)
1/2 tsp green tea
Few drops of lemon juice (optional)
- Pour water into a small pot. Add peeled and sliced ginger, sweetener, and green tea.
- Bring water to boil. Boil the tea for about 1 minute, switch off the heat and let it sit for a few more minutes. The longer it sits, the stronger the taste of the ginger will be.