Pain touches everyone in some way; and when this happens, all of us reach for something that we believe will help us. The older I get, the more I find that every ounce of pain is here to teach me something. When I learn the lesson, the pain will vanish and I will have gained wisdom I otherwise would have missed. One of the things I have learned from pain is how to find natural remedies that can not only help make the pain subside, but heal the body.
Ginger is one of the things I reach for when I’m in pain or a family member is in pain. I reach for this food-like medicine regularly, and I’m quite serious when I say this. I use it for many things and use it in many ways. Here are the things we use it for.
Digestion and stomach distress: My daughter Holli came to me the other night. She said her stomach was hurting and she said thought she ate too much cheese dip and chips at a Mexican restaurant and was suffering the consequence. I told her to get some ginger soda and to drink as much as she could, and a half hour later she said she was all better. Ginger has been proven to improve digestion and it has also been proven to be very effective at reducing inflammation.1 Ginger and its metabolites appear to accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, and this is one of the reasons we can observe ginger exerting many of its effects in digestion and nausea. Ginger may aid digestion by increasing muscle tone around the intestines and reducing inflammation. This will help the food to move down through the digestive tract with greater ease and efficiency.
Menstrual cramps: Ginger has also been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain from menstrual cramps in women.2 I have used it often for this reason and it’s one of the greatest blessings to have something so natural work so well. The cause of menstrual cramps is thought to be due to an increased production of prostaglandins in the endometrium (lining of the uterus). The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can lead to a reduction in prostaglandins without the unhealthy aspects of taking drugs. I have used all the methods below to help me with this. I also found having ginger regularly before menses starts will often eliminate the possibility of cramps altogether.
Motion sickness or vertigo: I have personally used ginger for vertigo when I had an inner ear virus. An inner ear virus causes inflammation in your ear and it can result in a disruption of messages being sent from the ear to the brain. Then you feel dizzy because your brain draws the conclusion that your head is moving when in fact it is still. I remember the day the room was spinning in circles and every time I tried to stand up I would start throwing up. I had to lay in one position to keep the room from spinning. After my husband got me ginger, the nausea and spinning stopped and I felt brand new. Ginger helps with other types of motion sickness as well3 and I found it works best in some sort of fermented drink or fresh ginger root shot.
Ginger for seasonal allergies and asthma: I am allergic to pollen and I work hard to keep this at bay with cultured foods and eating non-inflammatory foods, especially during hay fever season, but if ever I have a flare up I do a ginger shot! I learned this from the juice master Jason Vale who claimed he got rid of his severe hay fever with ginger shots. I tried it and it worked for me too! We spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer on our boat. Our boat is always covered in pollen and it can be hard on me if I spend the weekend there when there is a layer of pollen everywhere. Ginger shots and cultured foods are a Godsend. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger work with your immune system to reduce a histamine response. A 2008 study published in International Immunopharmacology suggests that ginger can modulate the immune response to inflammation associated with allergic asthma as well.4 They added ginger compounds to isoproterenol, a type of asthma medication. Because ginger enhances bronchodilation and is anti-inflammatory, it helps to open the airways of those who suffer from asthma.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of numerous ailments such as colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and more. However you use it, make it a part of your life. It’s such a blessing to me and my family. When you find foods that can heal, I celebrate and tell everyone I can!
Six Ways To Use And Enjoy Your Ginger!
Make A Ginger Bug
This is what many call ginger beer or ginger soda. It's made with its own special culture called a ginger bug, and let me tell you — it's crazy delicious! People love this drink and we've seen it sold in restaurants and stores, but it's always better to make it yourself. Often the ones in the stores aren't authentic and aren't made with actual ginger root. This is a fermented drink, too. This drink is not only so good for you, but fun to make. You'll need to make a ginger bug first, and then you can make gallons of ginger soda.
Kefir Soda Using Kefir Whey!
You will need to make kefir whey to make this recipe. But don't worry it takes very little time! Just make sure that you are using it fresh within the first day or two.
Find the recipe here: kefir cheese and whey
Once you have your whey, you will only need some juice and some water and you are ready to make this delicious apple ginger kefir whey soda.
Ginger Soda Made With A Powder Starter
This is just two ingredients. You simply juice one apple and one inch of ginger root. No fermenting on this recipe, just straight juice. An Apple Ginger Shot is what I use when my immune system needs a boost while pollen is everywhere. It's also great at any time! It's a little spicy and has a kick to it. I love it!
*Note: For most of these recipes you will need brew-safe bottles. You can also use beer bottles or old recycled kombucha bottles. If you wish to make these in 16-ounce bottles, you can simply cut the recipe in half or make two bottles instead of one big bottle.
- Grontved A, Brask T, Kambskard J, Hentzer E. Ginger root against seasickness: a controlled trial on the open sea. Acta Otolaryngol. 1988;105:45-49.
- Ahui, ML, et al. Ginger prevents Th2-mediated immune responses in a mouse model of airway inflammation. International Immunopharmacology. 2008; 8(12): 1626-32.