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Monday, January 7, 2008

Ginger: A Natural Healer?

Written by Opal Tribble

I dislike being sick. As a child, the cure for stomach upset and nausea was a very strong Jamaican soda that contained ginger root. This is something my mother religiously gave to my brother and me. We actually loved the taste and at times we pretended to be sick so we could have this rare treat.

I didn’t know it then, but the reason the soda was so effective was because it contained a lot of ginger. Ginger is used in a variety of products to combat nausea and indigestion. As I became older, I was curious about the healing powers of ginger so, naturally, I wanted to learn more.


Ginger has been used for hundreds of years as a medicinal and culinary herb. It was a well known herb to the Romans and Greeks and by the 11th century it was a common trade item.

How Is Ginger Used? To loosen phlegm, alleviate gas, soothe sore throats, alleviate menstrual cramps, alleviate nausea during pregnancy, and to ward off colds. Also, indians used it to treat digestive ailments and the chinese used it to combat sea sickness

Properties of Ginger

Ginger has a spicy odor and is warming. What makes ginger so effective? Ginger has 1-4 volatile oils. These constituents are thought to be the reasons for its medicinal properties. Numerous studies have been conducted on ginger root and in some of the studies they have found similar effectiveness between ginger and certain drugs.

You can take ginger in a variety of ways. For example, you can find ginger in teas, pregnancy pops, and herbal tinctures.

What do I use? I purchase ginger root. You can find it in numerous grocery stores.

I add about 2” of the root to a pot of tea, brew it for 15 minutes, and let it steep for a few hours. If you don’t want to drink it unsweetened, why not add honey or another natural sugar like agave nectar, or stevia to the blend? If you’re like myself you might find that you love the taste.

I usually end up making a large batch of ginger iced tea. I’m able to enjoy it throughout the day. The times my daughter has had nausea I have given her a cup of ginger root tea. It soothes her upset stomach and before long her discomfort has gone away. Do you know what? At times, she pretends to be sick just so she can have this tea. I’ve included the recipe below.

Recipe for Ginger Tea

  • 4 cups water
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • *Honey, agave nectar, or stevia and lemon slice, optional

    If your looking for a natural cure that is soothing why not try ginger? Along with a whole food diet, I found this to be an effective way to ward off sickness during the flu season.

    To read articles written by Opal Tribble

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