It’s been a long day of chaos! Oh, the things one takes for granted most days: effective communication and cool air streaming from the dashboard of my car… they were both gone today! I felt the FIRE of frustration and anger today, I felt HOT like internal combustion mode, I even had to replace my phone, and the summer’s heat just took the rest of my energy right out of me. Phew! I am hopefully going to have someone fix the car’s A/C tomorrow but this all really made me think about what herb I use for increasing internal fire.
Have you ever made yourself a cuppa fresh ginger tea? Most months of the year I have fresh ginger at the ready for general wellness and flavor. The gentle flavor of fresh ginger starts to permeate and the first sip is always a sweet surprise on the palate. Sipping this tea is also nice when I’m on a car or plane ride to calm motion sickness and my frazzled traveling tummy.
Traditional Medicinal Uses: Ginger is wonderful for combatting nausea and is a stimulating synergist which means that when it is combined with other herbs it helps increase their effect on the body. For example, adding it with cayenne for inflammation will help increase body circulation and move energy into the extremities.
The Herbal Energetics: Pungent, Hot
- Circulatory Stimulant
- Digestive stimulant
Some of my favorite uses for Ginger:
Ginger is great for morning sickness and motion sickness. Additionally, ginger helps improve the absorbance of nutrients, especially iron, so it helps treat anemia. That’s why our blackstrap molasses, infused with iron-increasing-herbs like yellow dock, work so well with ginger! As a digestive health side note: I only use ginger for those whose complexion is pale - here’s a tip: look at your tongue in a mirror and if you see a bright red tongue then ginger isn’t for you (you have good digestive fire), but if you see a pale tongue that is leaning towards white or light red then ginger is likely your herbal friend. This isn’t the case for for everyone, but it is a good place to start for those that need a little digestive fire.
Pain relief: A little bit of ginger essential oil infused in some avocado oil (or grapeseed oil) is one of my favorite ways to warm up a tight muscle. The heat increases circulation to that specific spot. It’s also one of of my favorites as a warming tonic for menstrual cramps. Simply use 15-20 drops of ginger essential oil in about a 1/4 of carrier oil (avocado/grapeseed) to make your own blend.
Ginger is also a Circulatory Stimulant that helps to make blood flow to the surface which then helps with cold sores, chilblains*, and cold hands and feet. I would try it with either a ginger juice applied to the surface of the skin or a strong infusion. Since ginger is a circulatory stimulant, I love it for headache relief: either in a tea or massage oil.
Respiratory Conditions: Ginger is a pure antiviral so it is a perfect remedy to warm the body up and expel the sickness from coughs, colds and flus.
Surprising Culinary Uses: Grating fresh ginger into all your cakes & cookies will add oomph and a more gentle flavor than dried ginger.
Growing and Habitat: Native to Asia, Ginger is more and more becoming a cash crop for farmers below the Mason Dixon Line so you may find some fresh at your local farmer’s markets or farm stands. Ginger flourishes in fertile soil with plenty of water, most often a hoophouse/green house in our climate and the rhizome is harvested around 10 months old.
Medicinal Recipe: Fresh Ginger Honey
- Add ½ cup fresh, peeled and chopped ginger to a small ½ pint glass.
- Pour raw honey all over it and let it steep for 3 to 4 days, stirring often to combine the honey and ginger juice.
- You’ll see it start to get more watery as the ginger lends the water to the honey. Talk about FLAVOR!
- Add this powerful honey to teas, drizzle it over berries or add it to a little fresh whipped cream. Make sure you put it in the fridge after it has reached your desired taste to stop it from continuing to ferment. After you finish or strain it, add a little bit of bourbon for a cordial that is shelf stable and perfect for sipping on a wintery night.