It may not get as much attention as kale, acai berries, noni juice, or coconut oil, but Ginger is a praiseworthy super food and a powerful spice that has been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
It is inexpensive, available all year round, and can do everything from making gingerbread men to treating painful menstrual periods! So I decided to bring Ginger back into the spotlight by giving a quick breakdown of some of its main health benefits along with a healing Ginger Tea Recipe – perfect for colder weather or those sick and fluey days curled up on the couch.
The Health Benefits of Ginger
1. High in Antioxidants
Ginger is said to be one of the top antioxidant rich foods and therefore is useful in the prevention of many illnesses by helping to protect the cells in the body from free radicals. Antioxidants may also be able to slow the ageing process.
2. Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory so it can alleviate headaches as well as assist in the treatment of arthritis, joint paint, and back pain. It can also decrease tissue inflammation and can help to relax aching, stiff muscles.
3. Promotes Good Digestion
Ginger contains gingerol and shogaol, and is said to stimulate the production of saliva, bile and gastric juices, helping to pass food effectively through the digestive tract. It can relieve heartburn, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and protect the stomach from ulcers.
4. Natural Treatment for Colds & Flus
One of the best known benefits of Ginger root is that it is antimicrobial and antiviral, and can be taken to lessen the duration of colds and flus by killing bacteria and fighting infection. It can reduce the severity of symptoms such as fever, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes.
5. Cure for Morning Sickness
Ginger is believed to be one of the best natural cures for morning sickness as it can settle the stomach and reduce nausea and vomiting. It also helps with motion sickness for this same reason, which is why some people will drink ginger beer before going on boat, car or plane rides.
How to Use Ginger
Ginger is ideal for use in curries, stir-frys, soups, sauces and dressings. It can also be;
- Used to flavor vegetables, rice and couscous
- Grated over salads, fresh fruit, or yoghurt
- Added to baked goods such as biscuits
- Used to make desserts and sweets
- Made into tea or beer
Ginger is normally stored in a dry, cool place and keeps well when sealed in the freezer.
Ginger Tea Recipe
This is a really comforting ginger tea that I drink when I’m feeling run down or starting to get sick, but it can be enjoyed at any time and makes for a great caffeine-free beverage to wake up to.
Makes 4 cups or 2 mugs
- 4 cups Water
- ¼ cup Ginger
- 1 Garlic clove cut in quarters
- 2 tbsp chopped Parsley
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- 4 tsp raw Honey
- Peel and thinly slice ginger, place in a saucepan with parsley, garlic and water.
- Bring to boil then turn the heat down and simmer for around 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add lemon juice, honey and stir until dissolved.
- Pour liquid through a strainer and into a serving pot/jug.
* Serve with your favourite biscuits or protein balls