There are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your daily consumption. Other than hot tea, you can also make a chilled ice version – ginger water, a perfect invigorating refresher for a hot summer day –simply brew your tea as described above, and after letting it cool down, squeezing in lemon juice and adding honey (making sure it dissolves completely) – pour over ice and enjoy!
Fresh ginger can be added to your meals – just finely chop or grate and mix into your salad or combine with olive oil and lemon juice as an ingredient for a healthy and delicious dressing, add to your smoothies or green cocktails.
Simply put a small piece in the juicer to add extra health benefit to any of your freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juices. Pineapple and mango go especially well with that little bit of spicy ginger zing!
Moreover, when cooking, fresh or powdered ginger can be added to almost any dish, just as you do with other herbs and spices. It will enhance the flavor of any stir-fry, gravy, curry, ragout, sauce or marinade, broth or soup, and can be combined equally well with vegetarian dishes, seafood, poultry or meat.
Finally, of course, for those with a sweet tooth there are plenty dessert options – like ginger cheese cake, ginger and pear cake or molasses cookies – that use ginger as one of the main ingredients.
When a stronger concentrate of ginger is required – freshly squeezed ginger juice is a good option. As mentioned above, it can sometimes be used on the skin in place of an analgesic balm or rub.
In addition, it can also be taken internally, mixed with some water and sweetened with honey to make it easier to drink, or it can be used as an ingredient in what is known as a ginger shot – an item becoming more and more popular on the menu in juice bars and health food cafes – usually pure, undiluted ginger juice mixed with a little bit of citrus and sometimes with spices like pepper or turmeric for an extra flavor punch. It is normally only a small shot, just around an ounce (30 ml), but it is an effective invigorating natural tonic, packed with goodness and healing powers of fresh ginger.
Another concentrated form of ginger that’s easy to find and quite pleasant to use is its essential oil, and it is safe to be taken orally, as well as used topically, much like ginger juice or ginger-based creams and balms. Just remember to dilute when applying directly to skin. In aromatherapy ginger essential oil is considered warming, comforting, uplifting and life-affirming, and is often used to increase confidence, help concentration, improve mood and reduce lethargy, sadness and nervousness. Taking a warm bath with a few drops of ginger essential oil added to the water will almost magically melt away tension and soothe many ailments, including muscle soreness, body aches and pains, such as backache or headache, menstrual cramps and even digestive disorders where intestinal inflammation is present. Make sure the water is not hot, but rather very warm, as ginger oil will stimulate blood circulation, increasing your body heat.
Ginger is truly a universal medicine, and can help you improve your health greatly. Keep in mind that if you are planning to take ginger in extracted or concentrated form, like oil, capsules or tablets, it is usually best to limit consumption to under 4 grams per day. Always read instructions on the packaging carefully and always consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any treatments or supplementations. Use caution and seek professional advice if you are taking medications, as ginger supplements can interfere with other drugs, for example blood thinners, such as aspirin.