Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, like turmeric, and is native originally to South Asia. As a spice, it has made its way into the kitchens and hearts of cooks around the world. In Western and European culture, ginger is commonly used in sweet dishes (ginger beer/ale, gingersnaps, honigkuchen, gingerbread, spekulaas, etc), while Asian and Indian cuisine showcase the flavor, aroma and spice in main dishes (ghee, lentils, curries, kimchi, korma, etc). Middle-Eastern coffee shops serve coffee with ginger powder. In the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) they add fresh, ground ginger to orange, pineapple and lemon juices, to make a drink called nyamanku. <– I will definitely be trying this over the summer.
I love ginger! I use it all the time. I even add a little knob of ginger to our smoothies by popping it into the hollow of a cored apple half. Ginger is one of those “feel good” spices, because it not only smells great, it’s good for you, too. In many countries, ginger is particularly useful for pregnant and nursing mothers, as it is calming on a sick stomach. It also stimulates salivation, which helps digestion. Traditionally, it’s been used to combat fatigue and increase blood circulation. In Folk Medicine, a common remedy for colds was steeped, minced-ginger tea. Give it a try!
Veggiewitch’s Grippe Panacea
2 Tbsp minced ginger*
2 Tbsp minced garlic*
3-4 Tbsp maple* syrup
* = Organic
∴ Add ginger, garlic and maple syrup. Take a small teaspoon-sized serving every time you’re feeling phlegmy, congested, sore throat, etc. Store in a lidded-jar in the fridge. Batch is easily doubled/tripled/quadrupled… Feel better!
Photo courtesy of Google