Checking into our kitchen pharmacies again, we still have lots of things available to help us in our quest for naturally good health. So today we are going to talk about something that is widely available in Kuwait and all over the world. It comes in different types, but it is all still basically the same. The type available in the USA is cool and sweet, while the type from India (which is usually the one available here) is hotter and stronger, but still totally palatable and delicious.
In America, ginger (scientifically known as Zingiber officianale) has been used as a medicine for hundreds of years, and information about its use is available in all the old-fashioned books about herbal medicine. Ginger has been used throughout the ages by many different cultures as a medicinal herb. The ancient Egyptians, the ancient Arabs, the ancient Indians, and the ancient Chinese all used this amazing herb in their medicaments.
One of the most common ways to have ginger in the USA is to have candied, or crystallized, ginger. This is made by taking thin slices of ginger and partially drying them out on a large tray (big enough to keep most of the slices separate), but before they are half dry, cover them with granulated white or brown sugar. Make sure that they are completely coated and leave them in an open place, preferably in the sun. Keep turning them and if you need to add more sugar, then go right ahead, because they have to be dry and sugary. When they are completely dry you can take them and transfer them into plastic bags or a glass jar, or whatever convenient storage method you might have as long as they will stay dry. The great thing about candied ginger is that it stays fresh for ages. It never goes bad once it is perfectly dry. Once your ginger is ready you can eat it whenever you have a sore throat, or a stomachache. You can also eat it for no particular reason at all. It tastes delicious! It is great for combating nausea and any kind of digestive problems. It is also good for cleansing the blood, and will help as a general tonic as well.
You can also eat or drink ginger in order to help reduce the bad cholesterol in your blood, and it is known as a very strong antioxidant, which can get rid of your nasty free radicals that are floating around wherever you don’t want them.
I will never forget the first time I ever used ginger as a medicinal remedy. I had the worst neck ache in the history of neck aches, and I couldn’t get rid of it. I tried everything I could think of including massage, creams, etc, and while they helped a little, the pain still wouldn’t go away. Then I turned to my old herbal remedies books, and decided that the only thing I could do (because I didn’t have anything in the house and I literally couldn’t move to even go to my own clinic to get some oils) was to grate up some fresh ginger (which was the only thing I had in the house). I did that and took the juice and the pulp and made it into a poultice by putting it inside gauze and putting it directly on my neck. Well, that ginger began to work immediately. It was amazing! It was momentarily cold and then quickly became hot. It became so hot that my skin began to sting, but I knew that it was only temporary and only a feeling (that it wasn’t really burning) and after a short period of time my neck pain began to ease off. It worked so well, that I could move afterward almost immediately, and after more applications I was completely better. Ginger is truly the next best thing to a miracle.
Ginger can be helpful with digestive colic, headaches, gasses, and even diarrhea. In fact ginger is so good for the digestive system that it will even reduce or cure digestive type inflammation and colitis (even the ulcerative type). It is also great for arthritis (internally and externally), and is said to be great for heart problems by all the good old herbalists. Perhaps, one of the reasons it is good for the heart because it has been found to be good for reducing the clotting factor in the blood, and because lots of people who suffer with heart problems have clogged arteries and the like, ginger would help in reducing those problems. (But if you are already taking aspirin or something like that to thin the blood, then it’s probably wise to check with your medical practitioner first, and either stop taking your blood thinners or not to have ginger).
Many people swear by ginger’s benefits for the common cold, fever, and the flu. Ladies and girls who suffer from difficult menstruation, can try ginger compresses over the lower abdominal area in order to ease the pain, and also can drink a lovely light ginger tea. And women in the throes of menopause can use ginger to reduce hot flashes.
If you have over done it at the gym then turn to some fresh ginger for your problem solver. Just make some compresses from crushed ginger and you can apply it directly on the area you have pain in. Also, drinking ginger tea will help calm you and also ease the pain even more.
Now for the kicker. You know that pickled ginger that is served with your sushi at every Japanese restaurant? Well, the reason that is served is in order to prevent the nasty possible side effects from eating fresh raw fish (particularly the poisonous type) just in case! Bet you didn’t know that did you?
Before I forget, I don’t want to forget to mention the benefits of ginger ale. While this isn’t exactly the fresh herb, ginger ale has some of the essential oil or extract of ginger or infusion, depending on how it’s made, and is absolutely amazing when it comes to calming down a nauseated stomach, and is good for people who are suffering from motion sickness as well. Ginger ale is even good for pregnant women who are having morning sickness. Drinking a little ginger ale or eating a little candied ginger will work wonders for that problem. But just make sure that you read the ingredients before buying it, because the ingredients list must say natural flavorings, if it says artificial flavorings, then don’t waste your money, because fake ginger isn’t going to do you any good!
While powdered ginger is also usable and great, I still always prefer using fresh ginger (or ginger essential oil), but if worse came to worse, then you could easily use powdered in a pinch. So, go out and get some fresh ginger root right away.
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