Ginger grows in the garden or as a window sill plant and has a spicy, hot characteristic aroma of ginger powder. It is always available in root form in Oriental groceries and fruit stores.
Digestive Aid The fresh ginger, as well as a small amount of the powdered ginger, is stimulating to the digestive organs. While it may seem sharp to the tongue, it seems to quiet and tone the system.
Ginger tea can be used to help with nausea (you'll find that a lot of home spices can be used as an antinausea aid), and the hot tea also helps to relax and calm any internal spasms. In China it is used to overcome mushroom poisoning, and even to check dysentery.
When the body doesn't digest protein well, it often creates' too much acid. In extreme cases this is called gastritis, and this uncomfortable problem sometimes occurs after stress or tension. A slice of ginger root or a pinch of ginger powder can be added to tea to calm the body. This can even be helpful in gastritis due to excessive alcohol intake.
Menstrual Aid Hot ginger tea is useful in stimulating a delayed menstrual period, especially if it is due to a cold. Ginger tea can also help allay severe menstrual cramps.
Detoxifier I have found that ginger tea is a marvelous aid in preventing colds. I frequently use a combination of pepper mint, a pinch of ginger, and a pinch of clove powder, or two bruised cloves. Chamomile tea with grated ginger, honey, and lemon is particularly soothing for laryngitis or bronchitis. Ginger is one of the useful herbs during the winter, as it will help to keep the body warm and stimulated. You can certainly add it to any herbal drink during flu weather. However, remember that for flu prevention there is nothing like cayenne pepper or cinnamon bark or cinnamon oil tea.
Antipain-Circulation Aid Our family has been using grated ginger baths for years. A small amount (and remember, ginger, like cayenne, quickly brings the blood to the surface, and thus must be used in moderation, until the body learns to tolerate it) goes a long way. Ginger baths are great for circulation, and will decrease muscle soreness and muscle stiffness.
To create a tea, use a pinch to a tablespoon of the powder, or grate or slice the fresh root and simmer until there is a yellowish water. Add this tea to the bath. This bath is wonderfully warming and is just the item to use when you want to cut down on your fuel bills. Just jump right into bed after taking the bath, and you'll stay warm for hours afterward.
For pain, you can also soak cloths in ginger tea and apply them directly to the area of pain.
I make a home ginger ale and it is delicious and stimulating as well as nutritious. Wash and chop a mediumsized ginger root. Add a quart of water and simmer until the water is a strong, dark yellow color. Cool. Strain out the ginger, add honey to taste, and place in a large clean bottle. Add carbonated Perrier or similar type water. Cap or cork.