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Ginger, a Winter Companion

Ginger, Zingiberis Officianalis, is one of the most used herbs in Chinese Medicine In addition to being an herbal substance, ginger is a food that is used often to flavor dishes or is made into tea. It is well known that ginger-ale can calm a stomach ache- and this is with only a small amount of real ginger! Ginger works to warm and calm the Stomach, directing what is known as "rebellious Qi" back downward. Rebellious Qi describes a condition where there is nausea, discomfort and potentially vomiting or belching. Ginger is very soothing to the stomach and can relax spasmodic pain. It is safe for use during pregnancy and can be used for morning sickness. It is said that ginger 'resolves toxicity'- it is an antidote for certain poisons and is especially helpful in cases of food & seafood poisoning with nausea and vomiting. Ginger also helps to transform and disperse phlegm in the Lungs and the Stomach, making it an excellent remedy for not only stomach-ache but coughs and colds. Ginger further helps us fight colds and flu by helping the Wei or Defense Qi remain strong and on the surface of the body where it belongs. Wei Qi is incredibly important; it is the body's first line of defense against an illness. If the body's Wei qi does its job properly, the pathogen is unable to even enter the body. Ginger's spicy and warm flavors help it to mobilize and strengthen this defense qi, which can in the winter be naturally weakened due to cold weather. If you do catch a cold, Ginger will help ensure that your defense Qi is strong and where it belongs- at the body's surface! Adding a dash of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon to a warm cup of ginger tea is a great remedy for a cold. Ginger is readily available fresh, juiced, dried, in teabags, and as various hard candies and chews. It can be much more potent in it's dried form, taking on more hot characteristics. This form of ginger can help with some cases of severe abdominal pain and excessive menstrual bleeding. For cooking Ginger can be added to soups and stews, as a seasoning in salad dressings or as a spice in your morning oatmeal.

More reading on ginger and digestion


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