Monday, January 23, 2006

Ginger POWER!

I buy a lot of fresh ginger. A LOT. Every morning I peel and chop ginger and steep it with my green tea. I swear by it for helping fend off colds and flus. Yesterday our 14-month old developed a nasty cold, the first in almost a year. I am still breastfeeding, so I drank much ginger tea yesterday to help my immunity and hopefully hers. I even added steeped ginger water to her sippy cup during the day. Why, you ask...?

Ginger has anti-viral compounds which are particularly effective at combating the viruses that cause colds. It is also a natural decongestant, if you have already been snagged by that cold bug.

Ginger has also been studied for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain-relieving, antiulcer, and antitumor properties. If that's not enough, ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, and can ease digestive troubles and nausea.

Buy some fresh ginger for cooking and for teas. It's cheap and stores well (can even be frozen). Then you can brew a cup of ginger tea if you are feel a cold coming. Or, drink it more often for its remarkable health benefits. Ginger, my friend!

21 comments:

Amy said...

Hi Dreena, Please forgive my ignorance about this, but is honey vegan? If so, it also has great anti-viral properties (especially if you get it from local beekeepers), and would be great in the ginger tea. If not, then please accept my apologies...

I used much, much ginger to ward off morning sickness. I didn't realize it had so many other great attributes!

Dreena said...

Hi Amy! No apologies needed - not a silly question at all. Honey is not technically vegan. Some vegetarians include it in their diet, and even some vegans (though by the pure definition of vegan they are then not technically vegan).

I have also read about honey's antiviral properties. Oh, and I too used ginger with my pregnancy nausea. I just wish it had helped even more, but that's because I had very bad nausea, esp with my second pregnancy... I did a number of things that normally help nausea, but it didn't do enough to rid the day-long sickness - uggh, glad I'm past that! :)

Amy said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Dreena!

Harmonia said...

Hi there! I just posted about an issue I have. Wondered what you thought.

Ginger...I have just been getting INTO it. Neat stuff! I think it goes hand in hand with Garlic, but that is just me.

Amy - I have just started using Agave Nectar as a Honey Substitute. I really like it. It's also approved for diabetics.

I must admit, I am still learning and aspiring in veganism and battle with the honey/beeswax thing but every lil bit helps...it makes a difference, ya know?

Amy said...

Dreena, I forgot to say I hope your little one feels much better soon!

Harmonia, thanks for the tip about Agave nectar. I hadn't heard of that, and I'll have to check it out!

Dreena said...

Thanks Amy... she had a much better night last night, though yesterday was pretty rough on her!

I use agave as well. It has a lovely, mellow flavor and is not much more expensive than honey, probably comparable. Also not as thick as honey, so easier to use in recipes, etc.

Harmonia, I agree, ginger and garlic are powerhouses for our health. Ginger I find much easier to get down than raw garlic, though! I love garlic sauteed, roasted, etc... but raw is a bit harsh for me! :)

Melissa said...

I think I use garlic in every meal I cook! I don't incorporate ginger as much, but I think I should start! I usually have a big mug of tea ( a mixture of mint green tea and mint). I wonder if ginger would work with it. Do you just cut up the ginger and put it in the water while the tea is steeping?

Dreena said...

Hi Melissa...
Yes, just chop it up (I trim off the peel as well, just because it's usually a bit dirty, and even though we wash the ginger first, I still like to take off the peel) and throw it in with your tea bag add the boiling water, and voila!

The finer you chop the ginger (and the more you use), the more heat your tea will have. You can feel the intensity of the ginger heat when you drink it.

I drank SO much again yesterday, and this morning. I have picked up my daughter's cold - but just a bit. It's amazing. When I used to get colds, I'd have a day or two of much sneezing, sore throat, trouble sleeping, etc. Now, I feel a touch of sore throat and a bit rundown, but I can feel that I am fighting this cold - and winning! Yay!

Harmonia said...

Ditto, Melissa! I could eat Garlic on cereal...but don't (teehee)

Mal said...

Keep the anti-cancer stuff coming. I'll push anything on my uncle to get him better (And he'll try it too, so no worries there). We need him!

SDGvegan said...

I too, love ginger and agave nectar. I really missed honey mustard dressings...but agave nectar/mustard dressing is even better :)

Dreena said...

Mal, it's good to see you back. I must tell you about a great resource for you and your uncle.

It is related to a post I did on Jan 3 for the Rooibos Detox Tea. The author of that Rooibos cookbook (Sally Errey) also has a cookbook called "Staying Alive! Cookbook for Cancer Free Living".

It is an excellent book with stories of people that have dealt with cancer, the top cancer-fighting foods, and recipes. Check it out on amazon or at her website:
http://www.stayingalivecookbook.com
I wish you the best...
Dreena

Isil S. said...

Hi Dreena,
How do you freeze ginger? I mean, do you peel and chop them?
Thanks in advance.

Melissa said...

Dumb question: Do you take the ginger out along with the tea bag, or do you just let the pieces float around while you're drinking?

Dreena said...

Hi Isil! You can freeze the ginger unpeeled in plastic bags, and just break the larger claws into smaller nubs if you like that you will then use in single portions. Then you can peel/chop/grate, etc as you like!

Hey Melissa... not at all a silly question. Personally, I just leave the ginger floating around a little at the bottom of my mug. It doesn't bother me. But, you could always put it in a large tea strainer, or remove it with a slotted spoon. That's more work, so if you're not fussy about it, let it hang out there! Also, I often chop my ginger in a way that it stays somewhat attached, almost scoring it both ways so that some pieces end up falling off but much stays attached and you can fan out that piece a little to separate the small cuts... do you get what I mean? That way more of the ginger is in one piece in your cup but still chopped to enhance the intensity. Wow, was that confusing? :)

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa said...

I think I get it...you're cutting it to increase the surface area, but leaving it all attached to the bottom big piece so you can get it out. Kind of like how I chop onions...or when I eat mangos...like this?
http://static.flickr.com/12/15021027_ad3c5b0a62.jpg

Dreena said...

Exactly, very much like keeping an onion attached at its root end, or scoring a mango... but you can do it much more roughly with the ginger. I mean, I chop it first thing in the morning, so I'm not exactly 'with it' and chopping with much finesse!

Isil S. said...

Dreena,
Thank you very much.

c squared said...

A tip that I heard for keeping ginger (although I freeze mine) is to keep it in sand.

Dreena said...

Wow, C Squared, I've never heard that one before! Kinda' bizarre!All those moms and dads can now go bury their extra ginger out in their kids' sandboxes! :)