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GINGER (Ginger Root)

I have read many books and articles over the years on Chinese medicine, holistic and alternative healing, and home remedies. Ginger has shown up in several of the readings, for various reasons. My two favorites are for coughing and sore throat, and for digestion. 

Ginger root is the world's greatest cough drop. I have been using this healing tip for years. To prepare, simply cut away the bark from the outside of the root, and cut the remaining root into small, cough-drop-sized pieces. One of these will go a long way. Be cautious the first time you try a ginger cough drop - the taste is very strong, and has a spicy flavor. For mild relief, suck the ginger for a light dose of the juice, and for more intensity, bite slightly into the root to squeeze more of the juice out. This is very effective if you feel you are about to cough. I have left one of these ginger cough drops in my mouth at night to alleviate post-nasal drip and that annoying wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night cough. When you have a cold, you need sleep, and this technique can help. The best thing about all of this is ginger is very cheap. A dollar's worth of ginger should get you through just about any cold. Don't waste the root because of mold - this virtually always forms on the bark, and can be cut away. It is not that unusual for mold to form on the ginger.

Ginger also acts as a digestive aid. It can cut through excess mucous from a cold's effects, and help settle an upset stomach. When I have used up my ginger cough drops, I usually try to chew them up and swallow the rest, which helps the digestion. There is a ginger tea that helps with this, with colds, and with coughing (though not as effective as the cough drop version). To make ginger tea, simply prepare the root the same way - by cutting away the bark. Cut the ginger into chunks, and put in a saucepan with a good quantity of filtered or spring water. Slowly cook the brew until about three quarters of the water is gone. This will produce a very spicy tea, which will aid the digestion and even help tonify the immune system.

Ginger is an excellent cooking spice, and goes great in stir frys and sauces. I hope you add ginger to your life, and to your cheap, do-it-yourself medicine kit.

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p. 66, 81, 167
Acupressure's Potent Points
Michael Reed Gach
Bantam 1990
ISBN 0-553-34970-8

p. 54, 70
Body Wisdom
Jennifer Harper
Thorsons 1997
ISBN 0 7225 3368 3

Author can be contacted at (include SAE:)
PO Box 150 
GU23 6XS

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