Traditional Uses of Ginger

by Candace Liu

Candace Liu, LAc, B. Med

By Candace Liu, LAc, B. Med

Ginger is a regularly used spice in the kitchen but it is also an important herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Nutrition therapy is an important component of TCM and ginger is commonly used in formulas or kitchen recipes. The nutritional content of ginger includes dietary fiber, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium.

The many uses of ginger include:

  • Reduces nausea especially due to morning sickness or motion sickness
  • Induces sweat during a head cold
  • Stops cough and decreases clear sputum
  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Increases appetite
  • Promotes the secretion of digestive juices
  • Detoxifies

Fun fact: Fresh ginger counteracts seafood poisoning, which is why it is always served with sushi.

Due to the warming nature of ginger it is best to avoid if you regularly experience constipation, sore throat, yellow and sticky phlegm or feel hot.

Here are a couple home recipes to add to your self-care regimen.

Brown Sugar Ginger Tea

Ingredients: Brown sugar, Fresh Ginger, water

Practice:

  1. Cut thin slices of ginger. The amount depends on how much you enjoy the spicy flavor of ginger
  2. Put the slices of ginger in water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes
  3. Add a pinch brown sugar, continue boiling for 3-5 minutes

Contraindications: Don’t drink before you go to bed. Eating or drinking sweets before bed may lead to excessive sugar reserves in the body which can cause diabetes, obesity or tooth decay.

Note: The best time to drink the brown sugar ginger tea is in the morning. Morning is the time that Yang begins to rise in the body. This tea can have the effect of strengthening digestion and strengthening Yang.

Honey Ginger Tea

Ingredients: Honey 1 spoon, Ginger 10g, water

Practice:

  1. Grind ginger into a paste
  2. Put ginger paste into a cup
  3. Add warm water
  4. Add a spoonful of honey and mix

Functions:

  1. Increases the body’s antioxidant levels
  2. Improves skin circulation
  3. Promotes digestion
  4. Aids the immune system and prevent colds

Contraindications: This tea can promote digestion so it is not good to drink before sleep.

Sources:

Kastner, MD, LAc, Joerg. Chinese Nutrition Therapy. Thieme. 2009.

Yifang, Zhang. Your Guide to Health with Foods & Herbs. Better Link Press. 2012.

Published on June 7th, 2018

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