Ginger is one of our favourite herbs, not only for cooking but also as a natural remedy for fevers, colds, chills and nausea. It stimulates circulation supporting immune system activity; “loosens” congestion; and promotes a “good” sweat (releasing “heat” in the Traditional Chinese Medicine paradigm). It is an exceptional remedy for stomach-aches and nausea whether from pregnancy or motion sickness; and is recognized as the most useful herbs for reduction of nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Getting children to take medicines can be a challenge. Ginger is great because it is one of the few medicines they actually enjoy, especially when paired with honey.
One of our favourite home remedies is ginger syrup. It’s not only a medicine, but can be used as a base for homemade ginger tea, or ginger ale in hot summer months.
This is how we make a simple ginger syrup:
Peel 2 fist-sized pieces of ginger root (to minimize waste, scrape the skin of the root using a spoon).
- Slice roots into 1 cm pieces.
- In a small saucepan, add ginger pieces to 4 cups of water.
- Bring mixture to boiling, then reduce to medium heat and leave uncovered, at a rolling boil until approximately half the liquid has boiled off (approximately 1 to 2 hours).
- Strain ginger root pieces from mixture (technically called a decoction).
- Stir in 1 cup of raw honey.
- Let syrup cool, then refrigerate.
- Ginger syrup can be stored for up to one month if refrigerated.
For homemade ginger ale:
add sparkling water to ginger syrup to taste (approximately 3 tablespoons syrup in a cup of water). Add ice cubes and garnish with lemon or lime slices.
For ginger tea:
Simply add approximately 3 tablespoons of ginger syrup to a cup of boiled water. Sprinkle with a pinch of freshly ground cinnamon or add a few cracked cardamom pods.
To make a digestive cordial:
Do not strain ginger slices from the decoction. Add honey as above, together with 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 10 or so cracked cardamom pods.
Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks and strain before use.
A digestive cordial can be had on it’s own (1 teaspoon at a time when having abdominal bloating or fullness), or as a sparkling drink or tea.
We hope this simple recipe inspires you to add this great medicinal food to your lifestyle!
Posted: 2014 August 27