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Herbs at home: Ginger

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In Chinese medicine, Ginger  – 生姜 or Sheng Jiang – is a common ingredient in many healing herbal formulas – and you’ve probably got a jar of it on your spice rack right now.

Ginger is a wonderful herb –  not only does it taste great in whatever recipe you originally bought the jar for, it’s also one of the healthiest herbs on the planet.

​It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Here are some things that you should know about ginger and ways you can use it at home:

  • Ginger can easily be made into a tea or added to broth. Just grate some fresh ginger into boiling water or broth, and voila!
  • Whether taken as an herb or eaten in food, ginger is very warming to your body. If you’re feeling cold to the core, grab some ginger tea or broth to warm up.
  • If you’re coming down with a cold or the flu, ginger can help. Combine grated ginger root with scallions in a broth. Boil the broth until it’s hot and drink it down, bundle up and go to bed. The combination of ginger and scallions is hot and should make you sweat a little, just enough to head off the cold before it settles in.
  • Ginger is also what you need if you’re feeling nauseous. It’s known to help with everything from morning sickness and sea sickness, to nausea from chemotherapy. Just grate some ginger into water, heat it and drink.
  • The warming nature of ginger makes it a good digestive aid. You can drink grated ginger in hot water, eat candied ginger, ginger cookies, or pickled ginger after your meal.

Want to add this hard-working herb to your kitchen cupboard? Ginger is as close as your nearest grocery store.

Raw ginger root is found in the produce section, for ginger powder, look in the spice section of the same store, and look for pickled ginger in jars in the Asian foods aisle!

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