Stephen Fulder, author of Ginger: The Ultimate Home Remedy,calls ginger both a spice and a medicinal food. In other words, you can eat because it adds a great kick to your dish, or you can eat to treat an ailment or maintain health.

First, a bit about Stephen Fulder, PhD. He has also written The Book of Ginseng: And Other Chinese Herbs for Vitalityand Garlic: Nature’s Original Remedy,and he divides his time between the Galil (in Northern Israel) and Oxford, England. He has been involved in research on medicinal plants and alternative medical systems for over twenty years.

Here’s what he has to say about using ginger to treat the common cold:

In the early stages, drink ginger tea with lemon and cloves or take ginger tablets. Vitamin C has been proven very helpful in nipping viral diseases, including colds, in the bud and greatly reducing their severity. Eat very lightly or not at all, and if you do eat, stay away from oils, fats, and dairy products, all of which increase mucus and congestion. Once a cold is established, your focus should switch to clearing out the mucus and congestion and warming the inside of the body. Inhale sage tea or mentholated balm (a little balm in a bowl with steaming water). You can also put a tiny amount of balm [note from me: he is not clear about kind of balm] on the nostril entrances to help clear the congestion…Garlic and onions with honey is another helpful mixture. Continue taking ginger throughout your cold to keep up the sweating and the inner warmth. Other herbs useful for colds are lemon balm and catnip.

He also discusses using ginger for fevers, rheumatic problems or menstrual problems. If you want to ginger up your food, he has a bunch of recipes in the back, after discussing ginger’s chemistry, history and folklore. Ginger pickles (ingredients are only ginger and cider vinegar!) sound easy; maybe I’ll give that one a try.

Any good ideas of your own about how to serve ginger? Ginger tea, by the way, is easy to make and delicious.

 More on Ginger (Intro to Ayurvedic Medicine)

9 thoughts on “Ginger

  • Ilana-Davita, you can try putting it in your hot coffee, and see if you like the effect. The garlic-ginger combo is really if you are treating an ailment; you probably won’t “like” it.

  • Hi Leora,

    Thanks for the ginger info…. I use ginger regularly, and find that grating some fresh ginger and then squeezing the juice from the grated pulp gives a bit of spice to pumpkin soup, stirfries, baked goods, etc, without being overly strong.

  • Ginger is probably one of the more “hotter” foods I use and found you need to be careful with it not to overwhelm, just enough to give the food bite. If you want less of a ginger impact, then ginger juice (grate ginger and squeeze out the juice) has a lighter touch than using fresh ginger. Also, call me a food snob, but I haven’t touched dried ginger for years – doesn’t make sense to me when I could use fresh so easily.

    When I add it to foods (especially miso soups in the winter) I take a very small sliver and chop it up fine. I order pickled ginger on the net – not sure if I’m allowed to give links – I use it often when I want to add a pick-me-up to a dish. I did that last week in a potluck when I made stuffed zuchinni (inspired by you!!), found a recipe calling for capers, which I felt would be too salty, so I added the pickled ginger instead. The host of the potluck was dressed up very warm, saying how cold he was (I was quite comfortable) but after the meal he made a comment how warmed up he felt because of the food!!!! (to be honest, someone else who made the tofu said she also used ginger in her dish). btw, I stuffed my zucchini (the dark green kind) with tempeh, and the other usuals, sauteed onions, roasted nuts, soy sauce).

  • I love ginger! One of our favorite restaurants locally makes both hot and cold ginger tea, but I’ve never made it myself. No idea it was so easy.

  • Thanks for your interesting addition to my Tovei Ha’ir post just now. What is “punched concrete”?! It might be just the term I need to describe something in a photo. I love new words.
    Thanks for the ginger advice too. My nose is reacting to the changing of seasons, maybe like your aunt’s. Here you can get a package of little frozen ginger cubes. I go now to pop one in the hot water with some lemon.

  • Dina, glad you like my ginger post. I’ll answer “punched concrete” on your site (just a term I made up for ugly buildings). Hope you feel better soon.

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