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....... ahhh.... ginger...
I have recently rediscovered my old friend.
Fresh ginger root, well rhizome actually, has long been one of my favorite spices. I was feeling “under the weather” recently and had a yen for ginger tea. I have been drinking it practically every morning since.
I love the smell of freshly grated ginger on my fingers and always put my hands to my face to breathe in that refreshingly aromatic scent... and I have learned after that first whiff it is best to rinse it off my hands for if the juice gets into eyes... oooh... yowser!
I use a nub of ginger, freshly grated, about half the size of my thumb to make a nice cup of tea. Use the smallest holes or blades on your grater to make a fine, juicy pulp. Although ginger has a reputation of being a soothing and warming beverage, it can also be an irritant to the stomach if too much is used. I find that often happens when using the pulp in a beverage mixture, so I use a garlic press to extract only the juice and discard the pulp. Or you can just squeeze the pulp with your fingers into your mug...and inhale that marvelous scent on your fingers... ahhh...heaven.
To sweeten the tea, I like to use honey, the tastes blend together well on my palate. A trick that my naturopath taught me is to brew a pot of ginger tea with a little licorice root for sweetener, so beneficial for most B’s. The licorice does tend to nullify the ginger and take the “bite” out of it , so this is something to try if you don’t like the sharpness of fresh ginger. On the topic of sweeteners... I read on a label of fructose that even though fructose is still identified as fruit sugar, most fructose is made out of corn syrup... so B’s beware!
Ginger, honey and juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon is an excellent tea for colds, digestive and menstrual cramps. Ginger is also good for promoting circulation.
When I was attending homebirths, we used ginger in perineal compresses. Fresh ginger root was part of the “birthkit” the parents-to-be needed to assemble prior to the birth. Toward the end of the first stage of labor, we would get out a saucepan, fill it with water, cut up the ginger root and simmer it on the stove. Oh.. it filled the house with such a lovely aroma... and we would soak cloths in the liquid for warm compresses on the perineum. It did promote circulation which helped reduce perineal tears during second stage. And all the women remarked how wonderful the ginger compresses felt.
Ginger is also a universal beneficial for all blood types (neutral for AB secretors). So if you have a mixed blood type family like myself, you can use ginger without restraint! Try it in bean dishes, stir frys, casseroles. We substitute powdered ginger and a touch of cloves for cinnamon in our granola recipe... I like it better than the cinnamon version which me being a cinnamon lover is really saying something.
Ahhh.... ginger... good to see you old friend.
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