Ginger is one of my favourite herbs, especially during winter and the change of seasons. Fresh Ginger is what I use, as it is beneficial for all 3 doshas. Dried ginger can aggravate pitta, so it best to use it fresh. Ginger is a sattvic herb which means it is purifying and cleansing for the mind and body.
During the winter, especially where I live it is very rainy, damp and cold. A bone chilling cold because of the humidity in the air. A cup of ginger tea really makes a difference. It helps to push out the internal cold and prevent the external cold from invading in. It increases circulation, digestion and burns toxic Ama (undigested particles and toxins in the system).
Ginger is also excellent for the change of seasons when Vata is high or anytime you are feeling anxious and scared, while feeling cold and chilly. A cup of tea is nice or you can make a larger bowl of ginger tea and add it to a hot bath, (warm bath if you are pitta). It is great for detoxification and to help with anxiety. It is grounding but also helps with arthritic pain. A bath of ginger tea and baking soda is wonderful for arthritis symptoms.
Ginger is wonderful for stagnant kapha. During the winter we increase in kapha and can feel depressed, lethargic or just heavy. Ginger will get things moving, it will warm things up and also energize you. If you really need a boost of energy I have found Ginger and Siberian ginseng in a tea to be very activating. Avoid it in the afternoon because you will be full of energy.
Ginger poultices are also another method one can use to warm up different parts of the body and to release toxins. A ginger poultice applied over the womb is excellent for delayed menstruation, cold wombs or growths. Simply mash up ginger or shed it and apply it with a cheese cloth to the pelvic area. Cover with a plastic bag and then a towel so that it doesn’t go everywhere or if you like you can add a hot water bottle on top. It is comforting and will really warm things up. If you are having cramps from menstruation, ginger is effective. As cramping can be a sign of high Vata (see a practitioner to know). Take it as a tea or pelvic poultice.
Other uses: Colds, flus, indigestion, vomiting, nausea, belching, abdominal pain, laryngitis, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches, heart disease, constipation.
Avoid Ginger if you have inflammatory skin diseases, high fever, bleeding (as it thins blood), ulcers. Or high pitta.
Ginger has been a wonderful ally to me and I use it during every season except summer. I love cooking with it (ginger chicken is so tasty), drinking it as a tea and having baths with it.
Try it out and let me know how ginger helps you! 🙂
1-2 inch piece of ginger. Keep the skin on. Buy organic if possible. Chop in little pieces. Add to a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 25 minutes. ** If you make it too strong the ginger tea will have a laxative effect. If it’s too spicy for you, its too strong. Experiment to find what is the strength you like.
3 cups of Ginger Tea to a bath with 1/2 cup of baking soda for anxiety or joint pain.