Friday, December 17, 2010

Ginger Tea

The weather has been turning really cold so I thought I'll share a beverage drink for cold weather. Ginger tea is one of my favourite drinks because I'm really scared of the cold. It keeps me really warm for a long time after drinking it. I also take it when I'm having bad menstrual cramps. According to TCM, it's the "cold" in the womb that causes the menses to be less smooth and painful.  Ginger tea helps to ease the pain since it dispels all the "cold" from the body. Trust me, it's super effective for cramps.

It’s the very fiery characteristic of the ginger root that gives it much of its medicinal properties, both in its dried as well as raw form. The dried ginger root is a thermogenic, expectorant, laxative, appetizer, stimulant, as well as an effective cure for stomach disorders. Hence, the dried ginger root is ground and used to cure a whole range of ailments like coughs, colds, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammations of the joints, flatulence, motion sickness, colic, cholera, asthma, headaches, and even anorexia. Raw ginger is also a thermogenic, and is also an anti-flatulent, digestive, appetizer, and a laxative.

Ginger is also used extensively in aromatherapy. An essential oil is extracted from steam distilling the unpeeled, dried and ground ginger root. Ginger oil is used by combining it with the oils of cedar wood, sandalwood, and patchouli, which renders a spicy and woody scent to the mix.

The active ingredients in ginger oil are oleoresin and terpenes, which are responsible for its lymph cleansing, antiseptic, mild constipation relief, and circulation-stimulating qualities. According to research, it has been shown that ginger reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and blood, thereby lowering blood cholesterol. It has also been found that ginger blocks the effects of prostaglandin, which is a substance that is responsible for the inflammation of the blood vessels inside the brain, which is what causes migraine.

Ginger’s property of being a digestive aid is largely due to the shogoals and gingerols that it contains. These help to neutralize the acids in the stomach, stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, and tone the digestive tract’s muscles.

Ginger tea has been used as a remedy against flu and colds for centuries, both in India and China, as well as other countries in the east. According to Chinese culture, its powerful yang energy is what warms the lungs and stomach. Ginger tea has been used in China for 2,500 years to treat sore throat, nasal congestion, and sinus pain.

It's very easy to make ginger tea.

Homemade Ginger Tea: All you need is a piece of ginger and some water. Peel the skin off and cut into several ginger slices. Put it in a pot of water and start boiling for about 15 minutes. Then pour it out and serve. You can add honey or some lemon juice to make it taste better. If it's not 'spicy' enough for you, you can add more ginger to your liking.

Ready-Made Ginger Tea: If you don't have the time to make ginger tea, you can consider ginger marmalade instead.

I've tried this Korean Daedong Ginger Marmalade and you can make ginger tea out of it. It's made from raw ginger so you get real ginger bits in it too. All you have to do is just to get a scoop (or two) out of it and add to hot water. Then stir well. Some might prefer the taste of it compared to homemade ginger tea. For me, I don't really like it. But my Mum does.

Alternatively, you can find Instant Ginger Tea in sachets or tea bags form. I can't really find a picture of the brand I'm taking. I've been taking instant Ginger Tea in sachets for years and it works well for me. Until recently I've gotten around to make homemade Ginger Tea that I realise the real stuff is so strong and even more effective.

Generally, I'll recommend taking just one cup of it to keep warm. You can drink more later when it feels cold later. I don't recommend drinking lots at one shot. It can make you over heaty and you'll start to feel feverish.

I hope this entry helps.

Stay warm. :)

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