Winter Warmers… Spices: Ginger

I tend to add more spices in the winter for my food, increasing the yang energy at this time of year… but spices can also be used for many things – here’s a favourite 🙂

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a perennial plant that grows in India, China , Mexico, and several other countries. It originated in India and was introduced the China at a very early date. Ginger has been used as a spice and medicine from ancient times by India and China. Chinese herbalists have relied on ginger as a medicine and food flavouring for more than 2,500 years. There are numerous references to ginger in Sanskrit literature and in Chinese medical treatises. It has been used as a medicine in India from Vedic period and has been known as a “universal great medicine” by Ayurvedic texts.

Ginger is zesty and has a peppery flavor . It acts as a digestive, expels cough, purifies blood and is invigorating. Ginger speeds metabolic rate, plus it inhibits nausea and vomiting often caused by morning sickness or motion sickness.

In holistic health, ginger is used to strengthen the yang energy of the Kidneys and the will. Traditionally associated with the astrological planet Mars (a symbol of force and virility) this dynamic, fiery essence activates will-power, stimulates initiative and restores determination. With a combined action on the heart and the mind, it can in addition help to boost confidence and morale, particularly in those with poor vitality. It is perfect for easing mood swings, to help shake off a tendency to procrastinate and to alleviate general feelings of disconnection. All in all, ginger is great to re-energise the body and soul, bringing it back into positive grounding focus.

Ginger is derived from the root of a perennial plant. The ginger root may be consumed raw, steeped in hot water to make a tea or added to a variety of dishes. Ginger is also available in capsules, prepared teas and as an essential oil.

Ginger may be used for hair care:

It has circulatory agents that help stimulate the hair follicle’s growth cycle. Additionally it is rich in fatty acids which are recommended for hair loss and the thinning of the hair shaft. For a simple hair treatment, combine 1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger with 1 tablespoon of sesame or jojoba oil. You may choose to combine it with another oil too if you prefer. This formula mixture can be used in two ways. The first way is to apply it before or after shampooing. If applied after, be sure to rinse extremely well. The second way is to massage into the scalp and leave on for a minimum time of 30 minutes. After using it, shampoo or rinse out well with warm water.

Here are some more ways in which you may use Ginger:
For instant grounding of the senses: Place 2-3 drops of pure essential oil of ginger in a diffuser or place on a cotton ball and inhale 2 to 3 times.

For joint problems, muscle pain and backache: Use 2-3 drops of pure essential oil of ginger into 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage into affected area. Or use 2-3 drops in a hot or cold compress on affected area.

For sinus problems, sore throat or as a decongestant: Use 2-3 drops of essential oil of ginger as a steam inhalation.

To revitalize the libido: Use 2-3 drops essential oil of ginger in 1 ounce of carrier oil and use as a massage, or diffuse 2-3 drops into the air.

A warming Ginger tea for those cold mornings!

For every day life, this is definaely a wonderful spice to keep in your kitchen.

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