1/24/12

Warming-up with Ginger

Photo by 戴奕驥
The last few days have been rainy in the bay area, and I got a tad stuffy and congested. So I bought organic ginger at the farmer's market.

Not many people know of ginger's wealth of nutritional and medicinal benefits. But in traditional Chinese medicine as well as Ayurvedic, Ginger is present in half of all prescriptions, as its yang (or warmth and energy) is a stimulant that warms the body and boosts circulation.

It's stimulating properties also help a slow metabolism speed up, digestive problems, and its nutrients increase immunity to colds and flues. Although it's mostly used to calm the gut, it also helps heal ulcers, sooth menstrual pain, reduce sinusitis and throat soreness, and its anti-inflammatory chemicals, rightly named gingerols, are beneficial to people suffering from conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

Some other medicinal uses include thinning the blood, toning the heart, and reducing cholesterol levels.

During rainy days I like to prepare a nice warm cup of ginger tea:
I wash my organic ginger, cut it in thin slices, put as many slices as I can fit in my tea ball, put it in a cup and add boiling water like I would most teas, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes (the longer you steep it the more powerful, flavorful and fragrant). I prefer to keep it steeped even while I drink it. Sometimes I add a little lemon and/or a natural sweetener like honey or agave (especially if I have a cold and a soar throat). And walla! A fragrant tea to warm-me-up and stimulate my senses.

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