Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

The Top 10 Benefits of Ginger

ginger

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, one of my kids got an upset tummy and did not want to use Peppermint, which is usually my go-to solution for nausea.

You know, the type of yuck that crops up for all of us from time to time?

So, knowing that ginger is great for nausea and upset tummies, I drove to my local grocery store and grabbed a bottle of ginger ale. This was something my mother always gave me when my stomach was queasy and it’s what I normally think about giving my kids when they have the same symptoms.

As I was standing in line, I turned the bottle around to look at the ingredients to see how much ginger was in the GINGER ale. I’m sure you know that ingredients are listed from the main ingredients (most) on down.

This is what I found …

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Do you see any ginger listed? I don’t!

Basically, I would just be giving my kids carbonated water sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Needless to say, I put it back.

That’s when I decided to order this:

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So, now I have ginger essential oil on hand at all times in case one of us gets an upset stomach.

As most of you know, ginger is a root and it has amazing and magical benefits. Well, maybe not magical, but I wanted to use that word this morning so go I’m just going with it.

Anyway, some of the benefits of ginger (from LifeHack):

  1. Maintains Normal Blood Circulation. Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow.
  2. Remedies Motion Sickness and Morning Sickness. Ginger is a known effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness and morning sickness. Up to 75% of people suffering with these symptoms find relief.
  3. Improves absorption. Ginger improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body.
  4. Cold and Flu Prevention. Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that to treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day.
  5. Combats Stomach Discomfort. Ginger is ideal in assisting digestion, thereby improving food absorption and avoiding possible stomach ache. Ginger appears to reduce inflammation in a similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen.
  6. Reduce Pain Ginger contains some of the most potent anti-inflammatory fighting substances known and is a natural powerful painkiller.
  7. Fights Common Respiratory Problems. If you’re suffering from common respiratory issues such as a cough, ginger aids in expanding your lungs and loosening up phlegm because it is a natural expectorant that breaks down and removes mucus.. That way you can quickly recover from difficulty in breathing.
  8. Strengthens Immunity. Ginger helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.

Finding out all of this great stuff, made me want to make my own homemade ginger ale. After searching around, I found a recipe for making it and the ginger bug on Wellness Mama. Both of these recipes are from her site and she has a lot of great healthy living tips, so you might want to bookmark it.

Ginger Bug Recipe

1-2 fresh ginger roots
½ cup white sugar (important for starting the culture. Honey, stevia or other sweeteners will not work)
2 cups of water
Quart size mason jar

Instructions
Cut a piece of ginger root about 1.5 inches long to make 2-3 tablespoons of grated ginger. You can also finely chop instead of grating. There is some debate about if it is better to peel the root or not. My genera rule is that non-organic ginger gets peeled and organic just gets rinsed before grating.
Place the ginger in a quart size mason jar and add an equal amount of white sugar (2-3 tablespoons). Nourishing Traditions insists that white sugar is needed to create the bug and I’ve had the best success with this, but a local friend claims that unrefined sugar or sugar with 1 tsp of molasses added works better. Try what you have and adapt as needed.
Add 2 cups of filtered water to the mason jar. Make sure that the water has been filtered so that it does not contain chlorine which can affect the culturing process.
Stir with a non-metal spoon and lightly cover. I cover with a coffee filter and rubber band.
Each day for the next five days, stir the mixture at least once and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root and 1 tablespoon of sugar. (note: depending on temperature, it may take up to eight days of adding sugar and ginger to create the desired culture).
You can tell if culture is active if there are bubbles forming around the top of the mixture, it “fizzes” when stirred and it takes on a sweet and mildly yeasty smell. It will also become somewhat cloudy and opaque. If mold appears on the top, scrape it off if it can be removed. It this happens more than once, you will need to start again. If the mixture hasn’t taken on these characteristics by the 7-8th day, you need to discard it and start again.
Keep the culture away from other cultures like sauerkraut and kombucha or it can cross culture.
Once the ginger bug has cultured, it can be used to create fermented sodas and drinks at the ratio of ¼ cup ginger bug starter per quart of sweetened herbal mixtures (for ginger ale or root beer) or diluted fruit juice (for fruit flavored sodas).
Notes
To keep the bug alive and continue growing it, you will need to feed it regularly. Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar per day if kept at room temperature. You can also “rest” it in the fridge and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week. To reactivate it, remove and let it reach room temperature and begin feeding it again.

Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

A 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced. Adjust this to taste. I use 2 inches as I prefer a stronger ginger taste.
½ cup of organic sugar or rapadura sugar. if using plain sugar, add 1 tablespoon molasses for flavor and minerals.
½ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
½ tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
8 cups of filtered (chlorine free) water (Here is the water filter we use)
½ cup homemade ginger bug (or can use ¼ cup whey for a faster recipe though the flavor won’t be quite as good. Here is a tutorial for how to make whey)

Instructions

Make a “wort” for your ginger ale by placing 3 cups of the water, minced ginger root, sugar (and molasses if needed), and salt in a saucepan and bringing to a boil.
Simmer the mixture for about five minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to smell like ginger.
Remove from heat and add additional water. This should cool it but if not, allow to cool to room temperature before moving to the next step.
Add fresh lemon or lime juice and ginger bug (or whey).
Transfer to a 2 quart glass mason jar with a tight fitting (air-tight) lid. Stir well and put lid on.
Leave on the counter for 2-3 days until carbonated and transfer to the fridge where it will last indefinitely.
Watch this step carefully. Using whey will cause it to ferment more quickly and it will take less time. It should be bubble and should “hiss” like a soda when the lid is removed. This is very temperature dependent and the mixture may need to be burped or stirred during this fermentation time on the counter.
As with any traditional fermented drink, it is more of an art than a science as it depends on the strength of your culture, the temperature of your house and the sugar used. The final mixture should smell of ginger and slightly of yeast/fermentation and should be fizzy. Watch carefully that it doesn’t become too carbonated as this will cause too much pressure and may result in an exploding jar!
The mixture can be strained and transferred to Grolsch style bottles before putting in the fridge (we like these bottles).
Strain before drinking.
Enjoy!

While it’s fun to make your own homemade concoctions, I find it easier just to put a couple of drops of Ginger essential oil in some naturally fizzy water and sip it.

If you would like to learn more about essential oils, please visit my other site.

I would love to help you live a happier, healthier and more abundant life!

NOTE: Not all essential oils are the same. Please check the label for supplement information. If there is no supplement information, then it is not safe for internal use.

* Please note that the information contained on this website is my personal opinion, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice and treatment. If you have medical concerns, please consult with a physician or other qualified health professional. The information about the health topics is for informational purposes only.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I am a mom who looks for natural ways to support her family’s health through nutrition, exercise and alternative, holistic methods. Any statements made on my blog are my own and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else.

Statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure disease.

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