Ahhh…ginger. I get warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. As a Vata, I live for it. I drink it, eat it, chew it and externally apply it. It’s one of those rock star herbs with many medicinal bonuses…and it tastes oh so good.
Ginger is mostly well known for its digestive benefits. It stimulates the release of salivary enzymes and gets things “moving” on the digestive front. It is also one of the few medicinal substances in Ayurveda that works on all three of the gastrointestinal phases: digestion, absorption and elimination. Take an ounce before a meal and kick start your digestive flow.
Digestion–emotional & physical–is a HUGE part of living with Ayurvedic awareness, but ginger provides many other health benefits that you can creatively incorporate into your wellbeing routine:
- Sluggish digestion? Indulge in a ginger apéritif before meals–fresh gingerroot with equal parts water, lemon juice and honey.
- Feeling the onset of a cold? Open it up and clear your nasal passage congestion by chewing on a fresh piece of ginger.
- Cold hands and feet? Introduce a little heat into your system by drinking ginger tea or chewing on fresh piece of gingerroot or candied ginger. This will help stimulate circulation.
- Sore muscles or joint pain? Try adding a few teaspoons of ginger powder to bath water, throw on some comforting tunes and take a nice long soak. Or try adding ginger juice to a carrier oil and massage into your sore muscles. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and creates a mild local warming effect/sensation.
- Tension or migraine headaches? Make a ginger paste, find a quiet spot and apply directly to the head or temples. Take a healing ginger time out.
- Menstrual discomfort? Internally, you can sip on warm/hot ginger tea, chew on it and/or add a ginger all spice to your meal preparation. Externally, you can create an herbal oil fusion (as mentioned above) and gently massage onto your lower abdomen for a warming, soothing effect.
- Feeling nauseous just thinking about your upcoming travels? Take some fresh slices on your next motion adventure and see for your experiential self.
If you’re a PITTA and are currently experiencing a pitta imbalance…gingerly proceed. The ginger heat may irritate and aggravate your already heightened temperatures. Introduce it in small doses and use your awareness to gauge how you’re feeling–emotionally and physically. If the spice is too zesty…counterbalance the pungent zing with licorice root or honey. If you’re stepping on toes, burning the village or feeling the heat physically (ex: rashes, heartburn)…put the ginger down and gracefully walk away! There are plenty of other ways to soothe Pitta.
VATAS have a tendency to be cold and KAPHAS cool…so go for the ginger gold.
Be well. Live free. Love hard. Rock on.
Interested in learning more about how to balance your mind-body personality? Connect with me!
Please always respect the gift of nature’s herbs and experiment responsibly. If you are under the care of a physician, pregnant or nursing, be sure to connect with your health care professional before diving into the infinite realm of herbal discovery.