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.
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