Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Articles
Warm up on the Sunshine Coast this Autumn!
4 Benefits of Ginger and 6 Ways to Use Ginger
In Chinese herbal medicine, on of the most popular herbs is ginger or "Sheng Jiang". All herbs have a flavor, temperature and function in our bodies. This article will outline the characteristics of ginger, it's benefits in our bodies, some of the chemical constituents it has that creates a positive impact on our health, and ways in which you can incorporate it into your diet in order to benefit from its many healing qualities.
Ginger's flavor: Ginger is pungent in flavour.
Ginger's temperature: warm in nature, is has a warming affect in our bodies when ingested and also if it were to be used topically as well. Traditional Chinese medicine uses a slice of ginger on top of the naval with moxibustion, 'ginger moxa', is used as a method of warming the digestion from the outside to the inside for patients with diarrhea or abdominal pain.
4 Benefits of Ginger
1) Ginger aids our digestive process: ginger has protease and lipase enzymes, which are both catalytic substances used in the assistance of breaking down fats into smaller substances.
2) Ginger aids in the prevention of diseases caused by free radicals: ginger is high in anti-oxidants. Oxidation creates free radicals in the body, which can then cause diseases such as hardening of the arteries. "BHT", Butylated Hydroxytoluene is a food additive to prevent spoiling that is often found in our groceries. Ginger's anti-oxidant properties are natural and are known to help prevent the oxidation process that starts can trigger a path to unhealthy states and diseases.
3) Ginger may help stop vomiting: ginger is popularly used in Chinese herbology to stop vomiting. Used properly in conjunction with other herbs it can treat many types of vomiting caused by different triggers. How can ginger help stop vomiting? Ginger contains 'gingerols' as one if its main active components. Gingerols can aid in decreasing vomiting due to its ability to block the serotonin messenger that causes the vomiting.
4) Ginger can help prevent the rise of cholesterol levels in our bloodstream: ginger's anti-oxidant properties can help prevent thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) by preventing the rising of our cholesterol that decreases the amount of space our blood has to circulate through our bodies. Gingerols have the ability to stimulate the gall bladder and liver. These being the two main cholesterol clearing organs in our bodies is another method in which ginger can prevent the rise of cholesterol.
6 Ways to Use Ginger
1) Sip fresh ginger tea every night after your meal
2) Incorporate ginger into your stir-fry along with your garlic cloves
3) Grate ginger over your meat before sautéing, grilling or stir-frying
4) Use left over ginger tea from the night before in your morning smoothies or use matchstick ginger slices in your smoothies
5) Use a few slices of ginger on your water bottle alongside your lemon slice
6) Make a medicinal wine for the winter months. Use a high quality vodka or other spirit, and infuse it with cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass and any other warming herb that you love the taste of. During those cold days, have a good sip of the infusion and feel your body warm up and your circulation stimulated!
There are many articles out there on the benefits of one substance, in this case ginger. The importance here is the realization that incorporating these healing foods into our diet can prevent aging and the development of further illnesses. Slowly incorporating and improving our diets is the first step to prevention and feeling better. If you are confused by reading all about each food and it's benefits, try just one that you may like, start incorporating it into your diet, and move on to the next one that strikes your fancy!
Please follow up with your practitioner if you are unsure or are having questions about the information contained in this material.
The Ginger Book, Stephen Fulder
Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, Bensky