A steaming hot mug of ginger tea on a damp day warms up your bones and burns up thick heavy congestion.
When the weather is soggy you feel tired and groggy. You’ll naturally crave sunlight and heat.
Ginger clears away the damp clouds of winter, invigorating your whole system as it lifts your mood.
The perkiness of ginger bids you to say goodbye to dullness .
Ginger and Congestion
On damp days you may feel like the surface of your skin is damp, or that the back of your throat is swollen and coated with a thick layer of mucus. Ginger breaks up congestion as it liquefies mucus and invigorates circulation.
For congestion in the back of the throat, I make a syrup with 1/4tsp each of dry ginger, turmeric, and black pepper mixed into 1tsp of honey. Slowly lick over 15 minutes.
I Repeat up to three times a day. Place grated ginger in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam to clear a stuffy nose.
Ginger is most effect in late winter, naturally a lushy, soggy time of year.
Combining ginger with black pepper and another dried pepper, pippali, forms a famous Ayurvedic formula called trikatu. This formula is excellent for eliminating mucus and congestion in the lungs.
Ginger and Digestion
Volatile oils in ginger increase motility in the gastrointestinal tract. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend ginger for awakening tastes buds.
It gets juices flowing, and purifies the mouth. Ginger also stimulates the production of saliva, smoothing the digestive process. As it stimulates digestion and metabolism, ginger is a cleansing aid for detox. Eating a slice of ginger will aid with nausea in the stomach or burping due to excess mucous.
Ginger, Salt, and Lime before or after a meal stimulates digestion. 1/4tsp of Ginger mixed into 1 tbsp of castor oil is a home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. Consuming ginger with ghee is reputed to help osteoarthritis.
To stimulate your metabolism, mix 1/2c of ginger and 1/2c of baking soda into a hot bath.
Ginger and Inflammation
One of the amazing qualities of ginger is that it stimulates digestion without aggravating acidity.
Despite its spiciness, fresh ginger is an anti-inflammatory.
Dry ginger, due to evaporation of essential oils, is much hotter than fresh ginger. A fiery spice, those who are overheated or feel agitated by hot spices should steer clear of dry ginger.
Fresh ginger is a pain reliever, sedative, assails fevers, and has antibacterial properties. Ginger is a useful food preservative proven to kill the harmful bacteria salmonella. Ginger oil has some anti-cancer properties. Ginger is used in Asia to prevent nausea in pregnant women, although it is contraindicated for pregnancy in the USA.
My Recipes Using Fresh Ginger
A hot cup of ginger root tea with lemon and ginger is a soothing beverage. Three simple ingredients provide a refreshing drink any time of day. Make as a large pot at home, or single serving on the go.
2 cups water
4 slices lemon 1/4-inch thick
ginger 2-inch piece, peeled, cut into 8 slices
6-10 mint leaves
1 teaspoon honey or agave, (optional)
Add water, 3 slices of lemon, and ginger slices in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add 10 mint leaves to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add honey or agave if using, add more if desired.
Strain and serve the tea with a half slice of lemon and one mint leaf. Makes 2 cups of tea.
*You can also make this tea as a single serving cup. Reduce all ingredients in half and add to a large cup. Add very hot water and allow to tea to steep at least 10 minutes, or until the desired flavor is achieved.
Fresh Ginger Bread
4 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature
Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.
Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.
Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.
Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
As much as I love eating out at restaurants and watching TV shows like Top Chef, the cooking that is closest to my heart is home cooking dishes that are simple , but feel like the food equivalent of a warm hug. My gingery chicken stir fry is home cooking at its best: quick and simple to prepare, with a punch of flavor.
Thai Ginger Chicken
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed, canola, or other high-heat oil
10 -12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1/4-inch thick)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper (from about 1 small pepper)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
3-4 tablespoons fresh ginger, cut into matchstick size pieces
Cooked white rice or brown rice, for serving
In a small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. Keep near the stove, along with the chicken and vegetables.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the chicken in an even layer and sear, undisturbed, for about 1 minute. Add garlic, stir, and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Chicken will be lightly browned, but not cooked through. Add the green onions, bell pepper, onions, ginger, and sauce. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the bell peppers and onions are crisp-tender. Serve immediately, with plain white or brown rice.
Oyster sauce is a sweet and savory sauce made with oyster extract. (You can also find vegetarian versions made from mushrooms.) Look for it in well stocked supermarkets, Asian markets, or online.
I like serving this chicken with cooked jasmine rice and simple Thai stir fried greens.