Monday, December 20, 2010

The Healing Power of Ginger

The funny looking root known as ginger has been revered for centuries from ancient Roman times to King Henry VIII of England who used it for everything from arthritis pain to digestive health. Millions of people swear by the potent healing effects of ginger.

1. Motion Sickness – have you ever felt like heaving after a drive in the car especially while reading a book? The next time you travel, you may want to stop at the grocery store first instead of the pharmacy for one of the best motion sickness remedies you can buy – ginger. Add a ¼ teaspoon of fresh or ground ginger to hot tea or water twenty minutes before traveling and you are good to go. One of the ingredients in ginger is gingerol which is responsible for blocking the body’s reflex to vomit.

2. Migraine Headache? Ginger appears to short-circuit impending migraines without the side effects of medication as it blocks the prostaglandins – substances that cause pain and inflammation in blood vessels in the brain. If you feel a headache coming on, add 1/3 of a teaspoon to hot water or tea and soothe your headache away before it has a chance to take hold.

3. Arthritis – Add ginger to your medicine chest instead of pain medication. It works the same way as it does for migraine headaches blocking the pain, swelling and inflammation caused by prostaglandins. Enjoy ½ teaspoon of ground ginger in hot tea every day.

4. Blood clots – ginger has a similar chemical structure as aspirin that people routinely take to help keep themselves clear of blood clots. It appears adding ginger to the diet stops the production of a chemical called thromboxane which plays a key role in the clotting process.

It is best to use the freshest ginger you can find as it will have the most healing compounds and is more active than dried. Avoid fresh ginger that appears to have dry, wrinkled skin, mold or soft spots. Grating it is a great way to add it to salad dressings or stir-fries for great flavor or to enjoy in a hot cup of tea every day.

You only need less than an ounce per day to reap the health benefits. Look for varieties that come from Africa or India as these are more potent than the more common kind from Jamaica. It is difficult to tell where the ginger is from simply by looking at it so ask the Produce Manager at your local health food store as they will know which variety they are selling.

Here is a great salad dressing that is easy to make every day:

Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

Whisk together

1 tablespoon Peanut Butter

¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar

2 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp. ground ginger or grate fresh ginger

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

The juice of half a lemon

Sea salt and pepper to taste
Enjoy on mixed greens or add to a stir-fry with vegetables - it is delicious.

This article is the of courtesy of Alive  Please visit them soon. 

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