Ginger root is one of the healthiest foods available. Due to the many essential oils it contains, it is not only beneficial for us but also tastes wonderful and is packed with intense flavours.
Ginger in Ayurvedic terms
In Ayurvedic teaching, ginger is not just ginger. There is a clear distinction between fresh and dried ginger. Because of the drying process, dried ginger is said to have different properties than fresh ginger. For example, fresh ginger is considered to be more drying for the body, while dry ginger is said to be smoother.
Here are some of the most common uses for each type of ginger.
has an appetising effect
decreases Aam (deep-seated toxins)
reduces chills by increasing heat and circulation in the body
helps with nausea
is a mild laxative
is said to help with joint pain in arthritis
beneficial for swelling and edema
reduces Vata and thus relieves pain in the back or neck
helps with diarrhoea
helps with abdominal pain
reduces respiratory problems such as cough, hoarseness, runny nose, asthma, etc.
has an aphrodisiac effect
Before meals, slice up some fresh ginger and eat it with a pinch of rock salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime. This improves the sense of taste and is said to help with the absorption of nutrients.
To help relieve swelling, make a paste of dried ginger and water and apply it to the swollen area. The paste also helps when applied on the sinuses or forehead when you have a cold. (CAUTION: do not use on sensitive skin).
Perfect for Christmas
Ginger is a spice that has a warming effect. Therefore, it should be used sparingly in summer, early autumn and in people with dominant Pitta.
But that makes it perfect for the Christmas season. Not only does it provide cosy warmth on cold winter days, it can be used to add a wonderful warming flavour to cookies and other sweet treats.
Try adding ginger - both fresh and dry - to your meals and enjoy the taste as well as the benefits.