In Herbal Medicine
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
Ginger is also regarded as an excellent carminative (promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract).
What to Buy
Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried form of the spice since it is not only superior in flavor but contains higher levels of gingerol as well as ginger’s active protease (it’s anti-inflammatory compound).
How to Grow
Ginger is fairly easy to grow, just buy a good firm rhizome piece from the grocery store and soak it overnight. Make sure it has some “eyes” as that’s where the plants are going to grow from. Plant your ginger in late winter/early spring. Ginger is a tropical plant so here in Western NC, I’d grow it in a pot to bring it in over the winter as ginger does not like it when the temp dips into the low 40s or colder. It likes it crowded, so stick about (3) 3”-4” rhizomes into a 14” pot.
Ginger Ale Recipe
Here is a simple recipe for ginger ale – refreshing and good for you, too!
- 1 cup fresh ginger sliced (no need to peel fresh ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- club soda
- fresh mint
Combine ginger, sugar and water into a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup and let cool.
In a glass with ice, pour over 1 part ginger syrup to 3 parts club soda. Add a fresh sprig of mint and enjoy!