I have long been a lover of ginger, as you will see by its inclusion in many of my recipes! In the Ayurvedic and Chinese Five Elements Traditions, it comes under the category of “pungent” foods and is thus great for helping to bring balance to the lungs and large intestine. You will see, for example in Chapter 5, that there are many drinks I have created which contain ginger, either for warming the body; providing great digestive qualities; for helping eliminate and prevent colds or flus and gastrointestinal problems.
For instance, at my summer parties I either make my Summertime Zingy Ginger Punch or serve one of my cordials with fizzy water to make them extra special - namely, either my Elderflower & Ginger Cordial (Elderflower is also a great “eliminator” of toxins from the body as well as being delicious) or my Ginger Lemon & Lime Cordial. Both of these drinks contain citrus fruits as well (the Elderflower & Ginger Cordial also contains a high level of lemon juice), which have anti-inflammatory; anti-viral and antibiotic properties, so not only do the drinks taste delicious, they are also doing you good at the same time. In the winter, I add hot water to the Ginger Lemon & Lime Cordial and add in fresh lemon; lime and ginger pieces to make it into a hot punch. I have found, increasingly, that my friends tend to consume more and more of these non-alcoholic creations than any alcohol present, even my Mulled Wine at the Post-Christmas get-togethers can be neglected!
Here are some of the many health benefits found in ginger:-
It contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which are primarily found in the root. These compounds are believed to really help people who are suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It has been shown in trials over the years that many experience reductions in pain as well as improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger on a regular basis. It is believed that Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines, which are some of the chemical messengers of the immune system
Used on the skin it can stimulate the circulation and soothe burns
It also encourages perspiration, so is great at reducing any fever-like symptoms if you are suffering from a cold or flu
Ginger also has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating discomfort and pain in the stomach. There is a substance contained in it, which is known as a “calminative”. Calminatives promote the elimination and reduction of excess gas from the digestive system and also soothe the intestines. In trials, it has been found that people suffering from colic and dyspepsia responded particularly well to having ginger as part of their diet
Ginger root also appears to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness such as dizziness; nausea; vomiting and cold sweats
It has also been used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with mild symptoms of pregnancy sickness