Ginger the great

Posted on: 07 February 2017 by 50connect editorial

Ginger is wonderful for your digestion. Kim Lightbody explains why we should all be drinking ginger tea.

Ginger

Probably the best tea of all, it reaches parts of the body that other herbal teas just can’t reach. It can be used to wake up the digestive system, warm you up and help you be present in the moment. Ginger is a go-to herb whenever you feel a chill wind blowing.

In Ayurveda, ginger is known as the ‘universal medicine’ which is good for everyone. It’s easy to see why, as it’s regarded as an excellent carminative (a herb that reduces intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (a herb that relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Its ability to penetrate deeply into the body helps it to relieve stiffness and pain and it’s commonly used as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for arthritis. Fresh ginger also encourages peripheral circulation, warming the tips of your fingers and toes (while dry ginger is more warming to your core). Ginger thrives in the hot Asian sun, absorbing its potent heat and then offering it to us whenever we need warming up.

If you have any pain on your body you can make a flannel soak with this tea. Make the tea, soak a flannel in the hot infusion, ring out any excess fluids and apply to the area. I use this at the first sign of a sore throat and apply to the chest and throat until the skin is reddened, or use it to soothe painful joints or muscles. A flannel soak is also useful for reducing period pain – just place the hot ginger tea-soaked flannel over the painful area.

Ginger root is digestion’s best friend; warming and spicy with thermogenic properties that increase metabolism, its spiciness is not only delicious but also helps us to absorb more nutrients from our food.

It contains the wonderfully named gingerols and shogaols – these natural plant-protectors have been shown to stimulate the circulation and reduce the stickiness of our platelets to give our blood a healthier profile. Shogaols, in particular, have antiemetic properties, helping to relieve nausea.

Ginger tea

Ingredients

  • Fresh ginger root 5g, about 2.5cm/1in

This will serve 1 cup of warming ginger tea

Method

  1. Scrub the ginger or lightly peel. If you choose to peel ginger, use a teaspoon to scrape the skin away (it’s the best way by far – granny’s top tip). Slice the ginger into fine slivers and put in a pot
  2. Add 250ml/9fl oz of freshly boiled filtered water. Leave to steep for 10–15 minutes
  3. You can then strain it, or you can leave the ginger in. If you want to make the tea stronger, you can simmer the ginger in a pan with the lid on for a few minutes

If you do suffer from bad digestion, these five steps could help you achieve digestive peace.

The majority of your diet should be freshly cooked, eaten warm and made with spices that aid digestion.

  • Warm drinks nurture your digestive fire.
  • Cold drinks kill it.
  • Remember your stomach is about the size of your cupped hands and it’s best to keep portions in line with this to help you have an easy day.
  • Wait until you have fully digested your previous meal before you eat again and try not to eat on the go – your digestion works best when you are relaxed.
  • Follow your gut instinct and most importantly, enjoy your food.  

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Learn to harness the power of plants with the guidance of Pukka’s co-founder Sebastian Pole who brings together 70 tea recipes using dried herbs, fresh botanicals and nature's finest ingredients. Cleanse Nurture Restore can be purchased on Amazon.

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