This is it…the first cool mornings are here and fall is not far behind. Mums have begun to appear everywhere, Halloween “goodies” are on sale and you can even find the odd Christmas item here and there. Did I just say that? We all would like to hang on to summer for just a little while longer, but the calendar has decided otherwise.
Today, for the first time in months, I made a big pot of ginger tea to drink while I work in my office. Why ginger and why now?
Ginger, in Ayurveda, is the universal remedy. This king of spices has culinary as well as medicinal properties and has been used for thousands of years. It has heating properties and is well known to rekindle the body’s digestive fire. It has been studied for its many healing effects, from safely treating morning sickness in pregnancy to reducing nausea associated with cancer treatments or alleviating migraine headaches.
But the one property that has me paying attention this fall is ginger’s ability to improve circulation and reduce symptoms of cold hands and cold feet.
I don’t know about you, but my feet in the winter are always cold…whatever I wear! I can see pots of ginger tea in my future!
It is a perfect drink to carry in a thermos for early morning duty at the barn!
For all you fitness warriors out there, if you notice that your muscles are a little sore after a particularly hard workout, add 3 or 4 teaspoons of ginger powder to a hot bath and soak for 15 minutes. It will help alleviate the after-exercise soreness. It will also be extremely effective if you are sore after raking too many leaves this fall!
Ginger has pungent properties and it is often used to treat respiratory issues. If you feel a cold coming, chewing on a fresh ginger root will help clear congested nasal passages. Add a saline rinse with a Neti pot; it becomes a winning combination to avoid a full-blown cold from developing. (See here for a Neti pot use demonstration.)
Ginger can be used in different ways:
Make a tea with a fresh ginger root. Cut a small piece from a ginger root, about 1 inch. Scrape it with a spoon to peel the very thin outer skin. Rinse and chop into small bits. If you can find an organic root, wash it well and use it without peeling. Pour boiling water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. You can add lemon or honey. You can find ginger tea bags in the grocery store, but the fresh root is cheaper, more pungent and just as easy to use. It is widely available everywhere.
To make ginger tea with twist: first, juice a 3 inch piece of ginger. Pour juice into a Vitamix blender; add 1/2 peeled lemon, 2 tsp honey and hot water. Blend until foamy.
Chew on the fresh root. Cut a small piece, peel and chew it, like gum. Beware that ginger is very spicy and potent; the taste may be more than you bargained for. If this is the case, make tea instead.
Use ginger powder. You can mix 2 tablespoons of ginger powder with a few drops of hot water to make a paste. Apply to the forehead to calm a migraine or tension headache.
Chew on a ginger hard candy. Ginger hard candy is very practical, especially for pregnancy. Keep a tin in your purse, so you always have some with you when needed. Make sure it is an organic brand. I always favor the use of tea over sugary candy, but for convenience, this can be a good choice.
Just a word of caution: Reduce or eliminate your consumption of ginger if you suffer from heartburn; ginger may be too pungent for you and cause over-heating.
Wishing you crisp mornings and beautiful colors, the smell of burning wood in the fireplace, warm hands and feet and the crunch of frost beneath your horse’s hooves…Happy Autumn!
Christine Cronin of Satya Wellness is a holistic Health and Wellness consultant with a practice near Boston. She coaches clients all over the world using Skype. Originally from Switzerland, she is fluent in English and French. She trained in Ayurveda with Dr. Deepak Chopra and holds a Ph.D. from Kingdom College of Natural Health. Her core belief is that our greatest wealth is health. Eat well, move well, think well…be well. That is the cornerstone of her philosophy.
Christine is empowering her clients to take responsibility for their health by teaching them the Ayurvedic lifestyle practices and meditation, optimal nutrition for a healthy mind, body and spirit and conscious communication for better relationships, at home or at work. She organizes retreats in the USA and Europe. www.satyawellness.com