Herb of the Month: Ginger

Ginger is a herb that I only recently started getting into. As a child my mum didn’t cook with ginger a lot and it wasn’t until I started studying naturopathic medicine and living on my own that I thought I would give ginger a try… and boy oh boy and I sure glad I did!!!!

Ginger is a herb that is so easy to use and it so versatile… the possibilities are literally endless when it comes to using ginger!! It can be made into a tea, added to alcoholic drinks or non-alcoholic spritzers, added to soups or curries, eaten like candy, made into a syrup, taken in a capsule + so many more! When I found out that ginger could be use like a million different ways I knew I had to jump on the ginger train (choo choo!!)

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Ginger has been used around the world for ages! It is really popular in the warmer climate areas as it can function as an anti-microbial and antioxidant that helps to preserve food and help with digestion. For example, people in India eat ginger daily to help with digestion of meals. Let me tell you.. I think we should be a little more like India and we all wouldn’t have tummy aches after we eat a massive meal!

Ginger is a very warming herb, it just makes you feel all cozy inside and that is why I though it would be the perfect herb of the month for March🍀 It’s also nice to learn more about ginger this month as people are still getting sick quite often so the recipe I am going to provide at then end of this post will help make you feel all warm + cozy inside and help fight that sickness away for good!

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The herb nerd stuff:

Expand your knowledge when it comes to ginger! Ginger is so versatile as it can be used in cooking + drinks, candied, encapsulated… the list goes on! Start by learning a little bit on constituents and medical actions of ginger to helps broaden the ways you use ginger!!!

  • Latin name: Zingiber officinalis
    • *Latin name is a universal name for each herb that is recognized world wide
  • Part used:
    • Rhizome — a modified stem that sends out roots and shoots
  • Constituents:
    • *Constituents are what the plant has that is giving it a medical action
    • Volatile oils (zingiberne)
    • Oleoresins (gingerols + shogaols)
    • Sesquiterpenes (zingiberene + turmerone)
  • Medical actions:
    • *Medical action is the response the body has to the constituents
    • Anti-emetic — reduces feelings of nausea + helps to prevent vomiting
    • Carminative — helps the digestive systems function with greater ease
    • Anti-spasmodic — reduces cramping + spasms in the muscles (smooth + skeletal muscle)
    • Anti-inflammatory — reduces inflammation in the body
    • Warming stimulate — help increase activity in the body
    • Antioxidant — helps prevent cell damage by reduces the amount of oxidative stress
    • Anti-microbial —reduce + eliminate the pathogenic microorganisms in the body
    • Cholagogue — helps with the movement of bile
    • Choleretic — helps increase bile production
  • How it can be taken:
    • Tea — dry or fresh herb steeped in hot for 10 or 20 mins, respectively
    • Tincture — alcohol extraction of the herb
    • Dry herb — taken in meals + drinks
    • Fresh herb — taken in meals + drinks
    • Candied herb — taken orally
    • Topical — applied to the affected area as a compress, salve + liniment
  • Contraindications:
    • Pregnancy — be careful with this one during pregnancy!

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Ginger is great to use both internally and externally! I know you might think I’m crazy when I say externally but let me explain why first before you judge 😉

  • Internally — in the form of a tea, tincture, fresh herb, dry herb + candied herb ginger is absolutely WONDERFUL to help reduce motion sickness that is accompanied by nausea + vomiting. It is also great to help reduce cramping, gas + bloat and be an overall aid to the digestive system.
  • Externally — in the form of a compress, salve, or liniment ginger is a great peripheral circulatory stimulant (this means it helps to bring blood flow to an area). Application of ginger to an injured or sore area can help reduce inflammation and soreness. This makes it great for inflammatory joint conditions like arthritis.

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Immune Boosting Ginger Tea

[serves: 1]

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 C boiling water

Instructions

  • Boil water
  • Steep the dried ginger root in the 1.5 C boiling water for 10 mins
  • Add honey + lemon juice
  • ENJOY!

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XO

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References:
Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT. Healing Arts Press.

Marciano, M. & Vizniak, N. (2018). Botanical Medicine. Canada. Professional Health Systems Inc.

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