Posted by Molly Kay Stoltz

Ginger is a familiar herb. Its golden root and slightly spicy taste has appeared in cuisine throughout the world, from China to the Caribbean. Its yellow flowers can also be found surrounding people’s homes in sub-tropical climates. Ginger is accessible in most grocery stores, and is incredibly easy to add to your diet.

Ginger is fantastic for a few reasons. It is considered a primary herb for boosting the reproductive, respiratory, and digestive systems because it helps improve circulation, making its effects felt throughout the body. Ginger can also be used over long periods of time with no known side effects (as long as it is used in moderation!). 

For example, ginger is great for poor digestion. Adding ginger to stir-fries, soups, and even desserts is a great way to bring circulation to the digestive system. Consider keeping a small piece of fresh ginger in your fridge and add it to your next stir fry.

Ginger is also recommended for nausea and motion sickness. If you suffer from this on a regular basis, keep a small bag of crystallized ginger or natural ginger candy to chew on when nausea hits. You can even chew on a piece for cases of mild indigestion and stomach upset. Why not, it’s delicious!

Ginger tea can be a great remedy for a cold, the flu, or congestion. Ginger heats up the body, helping to bring on a sweat which can help the body fight bad bacteria or other microbes. Simply boil a cup of water and add some fresh grated ginger,  freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a bit of honey or maple syrup. This can also help soothe earaches in small children.

For women, ginger is super important for reproductive health. Ginger can help to relieve cramps and nausea and brings circulation to the pelvic area. Pour 1/4 cup of hot water over some fresh or powdered ginger to make a paste and wrap it in a soft cloth. Place the poultice between the pelvic bones, cover it with a towel, and relax for a half hour.

Oh, and my favorite way to use ginger? Ginger liqueur. Try this recipe for a fun way to warm up during the winter. Drink a small glass on its own or mix it into cocktails!

Ginger Liqueur

¼ cup grated ginger
750ml vodka (usually one bottle)
1/3 cup filtered water
½ cup white sugar

1) Grate the ginger and place it in a ½ gallon glass container. Add the vodka to the container.   Let the container sit in a cool, dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, strain out the grated ginger. This can be done by using a cotton coffee filter placed in a funnel that is placed over a bottle.

2) After two weeks has passed, whisk together the water and sugar in a medium sauce pan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

3) Add the sugar water to the ½ gallon glass container, close the lid tightly and give it a shake.  Keep in a cool, dark place for at least two more weeks. The longer you let it sit, the smoother it gets. Store the bottle in the freezer.