As a kid, whenever I came home with scrapes, cuts, and colds I remember having to wait in the kitchen to get medicine. Instead of opening up the medicine cabinet, my parents would open up the refrigerator and spice box and pull together some concoction that I either had to gulp down or was applied to my scraped up leg. This was long before "organic", "natural", "ayurveda" and other terms were buzz words, however the concept of "food is a drug" has been an age old philosophy in India and other parts of the world for generation. Through my own training in Nutrition, Ayurveda and Health I now have a more a scientific understanding of what some of those concoctions were. The one that sticks out the most is Ginger. If I had aches and pains, ginger paste was applied. If I had an upset stomach ginger tea was given. If I had a fever Ginger was eaten. Ginger is one of the world's most widely used medicines and cooking ingredients.
The reason it is so fabulous is due to its warming property. It induces sweat and therefore can help break fevers and also helps to boost the immune system. One of the most popular uses for ginger is as a digestive. It helps us produce more of the friendly bacteria that inhabit our intestines. These bacteria supply several B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin K, as well as keep in check potentially harmful bacteria that also inhabits the gut, such as E. coli and Candida. It also helps break down proteins to rid the stomach and intestines of gas and also aids in the digestion of fatty foods and can beneficially impact the super hormone Eicosanoids I wrote about a month back. So next time you sit down to have a meal, chew on a few thin slices fresh ginger or enjoy a couple of cups of warm ginger tea. It is best to use fresh Ginger Root and look for a root with a firm, smooth skin, free of mold and as few twists and joints as possible. If it is wrinkled, it is drying out and will be woody inside. The taste of ginger may not be so appealing at first but can be acquired over time.
Other benefits of ginger:
Alleviates High Blood Pressure – Ginger's warming quality improves and stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles surrounding blood vessels, facilitating the flow of blood throughout the body.
Treats Nausea and Morning Sickness – Ginger has been widely shown to prevent as well as treat motion sickness, relax the stomach and relieve the feeling of nausea.
Lowers LDL Cholesterol – Studies demonstrate that ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver. Its extract can help reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
With the winter months arriving, try keeping warm with this Ginger Tea Recipe:
- water, 4 cups
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
- optional: lemon slice
Peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add the ginger. Cover it and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea. Add honey and lemon to taste. (If using tea as a remedy, sweeteners are not recommended)
What's your home remedy? Post to comments…
BODY FAT TESTING
We are bringing back the Dunk Truck!!! This is a great opportunity to get an accurate baseline measure of your body fat or assess how you are doing since your last dunk. Post to comments if you are interested. This is open to anyone and everyone.
When: Friday November 6th 12pm-6pm
Where: Milpitas Health and Fitness