I’ve gotta admit: I’m a fair-weather friend. Each year, when the weather gets…fair, I again make ginger my BFF. Ginger and I become inseparable during the chilly months, hanging out every day, at least once a day…sometimes even twice or three times.
But then spring comes, followed by summer, and I phase out my bestie ginger, until I need her again come fall.
I guess I should feel bad for being a fair-weather friend, but I think ginger’s ok with it. I think she gets that she’s really a superb friend during…fair-weather.
- She knows that she’s one of the most MEDICINAL plants of ALL – I mean, her nickname in India is the “universal medicine.”
- She knows that she’s one of the most warming spices, so she helps our bodies internally heat up during the cold months – when we need warmth the most. She also improves circulation, which comes in handy when our feet and hands are prone to feeling like icicles throughout the winter.
- She knows that she’s a rockstar at stimulating and improving digestion, helping us “go,” and relieving us of uncomfortable gas and bloating (which is actually something she’s used for year round).
- She’s a cold and flu-fighting HERO – helping to treat these nasty jerks and clear up gross congestion in the throat and the lungs that can have us in bed sick and sniffly hiding from the cold outdoors (and binging on Friends).
- She even helps with nausea! From things like motion sickness, chemotherapy and even morning sickness.
- She’s really a girl’s best friend when she helps relieve us of menstrual cramps! (And allows us to bitch and cry to her when we’re feeling moody.)
- She’s extremely anti-inflammatory, and she can help alleviate pain from arthritis.
- She supports any weight-loss goals I might have – by boosting my metabolism and actually helping me increase my fat-burning abilities.
- And she’s aggressive! She can kill intestinal parasites with her own two hands.
- Hell, she’s even been known to relieve headaches by rubbing a few drops of herself in liquid form over the affected area on a person’s head!
So how do ginger and I usually hang out?
In liquid form (juice),
which I either juice myself in my juicer or buy as a “shot” (comes in a vile) from my local juice bar. I’ll spike my smoothies, tea, or just regular ol’ water with ginger juice when I’m feeling under the weather or have a tummy ache.
In peeled chunks,
which means I just buy a large knob of ginger from the grocery store and peel using a SPOON. (Yes, a SPOON! Try it. Ginger loves it when you peel her with a spoon.) I use chunks to make my own ginger tea (by pouring hot water over a few freshly peeled chunks in a mug and adding lemon and honey), or I throw them into a blender for a cold-weather smoothie.
which I grate myself with a grater and most commonly use to cook with. I throw grated ginger into things like soups, baked goods, stir fries, sauces and dressings.
which I’ll just pop into a juicer, alongside some other plants to make a nutritious, delicious juice to enjoy and boost my health.
In dried ground form (powder),
which I buy in the spice aisle of a grocery store. I use powdered ginger in recipes as well, primarily in baking recipes and soups and stews.
In dried crystalized form,
which is a mega-mazing healing treat! Dried chunks of ginger are wonderful for easing nausea or tummy problems and even double as a healthy piece of candy! Eat with caution, though, because ginger in this form has added sugar, so 1-2 per sitting is probably where you ought to cap off 😉
And in tea bags!
When I have no time, place or desire to deal with my own fresh ginger, I use ginger tea to save the day. Available at most stores that sell tea, ginger tea is perfect for sticking in your purse, gym bag or suitcase so you can boost your immunity, calm your tummy or kick a sore throat while on the go.
Wondering if ginger can become your best friend, too?
Of course she can! She loves hanging out and helping EVERYONE. My suggestion? Start by buying a knob of her, cutting off a 1-2” size chunk, throwing her in a mug, pouring hot water over her, adding a splash of honey or a pinch of stevia and enjoying her daily. Maybe you want to hang out when you wake up, maybe when you wind down to sleep, or maybe after a heavy dinner that’s given you bloating and heartburn.
She can be stored almost indefinitely in dried, powdered form, and for a solid 3-weeks in knob form, UNWRAPPED, in your fridge. (If she’s unpeeled, that is.)