Ginger & Zingerone!

I love ginger: ginger bread, ginger cookies, really gingery ginger ale like Blenheim’s, The Ginger People’s Ginger Chews (a wonderfully chewy bite-size ginger & sweet candy), ginger tea. I use mint and ginger to flavor my water (I was never really a fan of lemon in water…unless you add sugar and turn it into lemonade. But that’s for another day!)

I had a stange ‘cold” experience this week. I had been in yoga and we were doing some simple inverted pose, and I had this feeling of sinus drainage…only from my lungs up towards my nose. This turned into a sore throat and some significant congestions and general malaise. But it got rid of the cough I had had since before Christmas!

SO among my arsenal of home remedies is ginger tea for colds and congestions.  Ginger is a rhizome, a swollen root.  Underground, it looks kind of like an iris bulb that grows along, and sends a flowery plant upwards. The plant’s real name is Zingiber officinale. Ginger is reputed to be useful medicinally. It soothes the digestive tract, helps some types of diarrhea, and may ease nausea such as motion sickness and pregnancy morning sickness – there is even a ginger lollipop called “preggie pops”! Ginger also eases sore throats and helps colds and congestion. Gingerol,  in raw ginger is converted by cooking into zingerone, the organic compound that gives ginger its pungent, spicy zing.

Ginger Tea: I like ginger, as I already mentioned, so I tend to make it too strong, and have to water it down, but it is purely a matter of taste. A  1″ piece of the root (about the size of the small piece in the photo, makes two nice mugs of tea. Peel the skin off (with a a knife) then slice across the root into thin coin shapes.  Pour boiling water over and let steep for 10 minutes or so. You can strain out the pieces of ginger while pouring into a mug. Add honey to taste (also helps sore throats). Sip, enjoy, and feel better!

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