Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about GINGER!

ginger-1432262_1920.jpg

Ginger is a spice native to southeastern Asia, a region whose cuisines frequently feature this aromatic and distinctly tasting herb. The flesh of ginger can be yellow, white or red in color and it is covered with a brownish skin. Ginger has been mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern literature, and has been admired for its culinary as well as medicinal properties.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Ginger has been considered at being effective in alleviating symptoms of various health conditions as well as in preventing others.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols (responsible for ginger’s distinctive flavor) which are believed to help reduce pain and improve mobility for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (when consumed regularly).

Gastrointestinal Relief: Some studies indicate that ginger is  effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.

Immune Boosting: Ginger is not only thought to be heat-causing but to also promote sweating, which is helpful when you are battling a fever. Sweating not only facilitates detoxification but, according to recent research, also fights off infections.

Safe and Effective Relief of Morning Sickness: Ginger  has been demonstrated to be very useful in reducing the symptoms of morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), even in its most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum,  which can require hospitalization. BONUS: Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, ginger is natural and safe.

Protection against Colorectal Cancer: Gingerols are believed to inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells

Promotes Death of Ovarian Cancer Cells: Gingerols are thought to kill ovarian cancer cells.

MEDICINAL USES

Relieve Cold Symptoms & Soothe Aches/ Relieve Chills – Soak your feet in a Ginger-Mustard bath (Directions below) or drink a glass of Ginger Tea (Recipe below).

Clean and Disinfect Cuts & Scrapes – Dab the area with a thin slice of fresh ginger before bandaging.

Relieve Fatigue – Soak your feet in a Ginger-Mustard bath (Directions Below).

Treat Diarrhea – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Congestion – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Constipation – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Cramps – Drink a glass of ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Ear Aches – Drink a glass of ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Flatulence – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Headaches – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Heartburn – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Hot Flashes – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Indigestion – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Morning Sickness – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Motion Sickness – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Relieve Aches in Muscles – Rub muscles with a homemade Ginger massage oil (Directions below).

Relieve Nausea – Drink a glass of Ginger tea (Recipe below).

Reduce the Appearance of Scars – Rub a sliver of Ginger on the area, two times a day until it fades.

Relieve Stress – Soak in a warm bath with ginger bath salts. To make the bath salts, mix together 3 teaspoons grated ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ cup Epsom salt in a small container than add to your bathwater.

Relieve Dry Mouth – Chew on a piece of fresh ginger.

OTHER USES

Treat and Soothe Acne – Rub the area with a thin slice of fresh ginger and/or apply ginger juice to the affected

Lighten Age Spots – Rub a little fresh ginger on the affected area daily.

Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite – Massage the affected area with homemade Ginger Massage oil (Directions below). 

Moisturize Hair – Apply Ginger tea after shampooing; allow tea to cool before using.

To Stimulate Hair Growth – Massage your scalp with a mixture of  1 tablespoon finely grated ginger and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Allow the mixture to remain on hair for 30
minutes before shampooing.

To Strengthen Hair – After shampooing, rinse hair with ginger tea (allow to cool before using).

Revitalize Skin – Wash with a body scrub made from 2 teaspoons grated ginger, ¼ cup olive oi, ½ cup sugar and lemon zest.

Even Out Skin Tone – Drink a glass of ginger tea daily (recipe below).

Minimize Wrinkles – Drink a glass of ginger tea daily (recipe below).

RECIPES

Ginger Mustard Bath: Add 2 Tsps of freshly ground ginger and 1 Tbsp of mustard powder to warm water.

Ginger Lemonade: Simply combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.

Ginger Orange Sweet Potatoes: Add ginger and orange juice to puréed sweet potatoes.

Ginger Infused Salad Dressing: Combine ginger, soy sauce, garlic and olive oil to taste.

Ginger Apple Pie: Add grated ginger to your favorite recipe for baked apple pie.

Ginger Tea: Peel ginger, cut 4-6 slices and boil in water for 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon and honey to taste.

Ginger Massage Oil: Place 1 cup olive oil in a small saucepan, add an inch of thinly sliced, fresh ginger, than add 10 dried rosebuds; heat on low for 30 minutes.

Ginger Martini: Soak ginger slices in vodka and then garnish martini with vodka infused ginger slices.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Fresh ginger is preferable to dried ginger as it contains higher levels of gingerol.
  • When purchasing fresh ginger, make sure it is firm and free of mould.
  • Ginger is generally available in two forms, either young or mature. Mature ginger has a tough skin and requires peeling while young ginger does not need to be peeled.
  • Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months.
  • Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Alternatively, you can store it in the refrigerator where it will enjoy a shelf life of about one year (To store ginger for an even longer period of time, you can peel it and cover it with vodka prior to storing). 
  •  The taste that ginger imparts to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. When ginger is added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavor while added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste.
  • You can easily peel ginger by tilting a spoon to its side and scraping down the root.
  • Add extra pizzaz to your rice side dishes by sprinkling grated ginger, sesame seeds and seaweed on top.
  • Spice up sautéed vegetables by adding freshly minced ginger.

How to KICKSTART your Morning Routines!

Image

I recently came across a great e-mail that provided some tips on how to kickstart your day with a simple set of rules for creating productive morning routines, so I thought I would share!

Plan the first 60 minutes of your day the night before so you set yourself up for success in advance.

-Eat breakfast within an hour of getting up.

-Use the first 20 minutes of your day to exercise so you jump start your brain’s chemistry.

-While you’re exercising, listen to something inspirational and of value (the influences that you expose your mind to at the beginning of your day set the mental tone for the rest of the day).

-Hydrate. You’ve been sleeping all night. Drink lots of water to get yourself fired up.

-Review your Big 5. This takes just a few minutes, but list your five main goals for the year on a mirror with a dry erase marker. Look at it every morning to renew your focus.

-Do your affirmations. Perhaps in the shower, recite words like “excellence” and “focus” and “mastery”. Also repeat one line statements to prepare yourself for a world-class day ahead.

-Get into nature. As much as possible, get out into nature every morning. The fresh air as well as the environment has a superb effect on your creativity, productivity and sense of happiness.

-No news. Start your day in what I call “a tight bubble of total focus”. Avoid the news, complainers and toxic situations. The first 3 hours of your day have the least distractions…and are GOLDEN. You know that the way you begin your day drives how you live it so start it strong!!

Review: Attitude Floor Surfaces Tiles & Wood Cleaner

floor_en

So I decided to pick up an environmentally-friendly floor cleaner this weekend after having a discussion with one of my friends and thereafter realizing my dog is unfortunately licking chemicals and carcinogenic ingredients not to mention that these same toxins are probably permetating through my skin when I walk around barefoot ! There were various brands available but I decided to go with Attitude since I have seen this product carried in various supermarkets, health food stores, etc…

The product flaunts the following features:

  • Free of carcinogen ingredients and by products (IARC group 1 & 2)
  • Free of 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, tested by independent laboratory
  • Certified eco-friendly by EcoLogo, the most recognized certification in North America
  • CO2 neutral: no contribution to climate change
  • Vegetable-based and biodegradable (OECD 301)
  • Fragrance derived from natural ingredients, hypoallergenic, respect IFRA (International Fragrance Association) standards
  • Fragrance without CMR (Carcinogens, Mutagens or toxic for Reproduction) compounds
  • Not tested on animal
  • Vegan product
  • Septic tank safe
  • Made in Canada

As far as ingredients are concerned, this is the list the manufacturer provides:

  • Water
  • Caprylyl glucoside
  • Myristyl glucoside
  • Sodium gluconate
  • Sodium Iminodisuccinate
  • Fragrance

This product worked extremely well on my wood floors and left no residue or streak marks behind! The smell was earthy and I quite enjoyed it. Furthermore, a little bit goes a long way! The only problem was that this product did not do anything for my marble floors or for the trim I have at the threshold of my doors (material unknown?). I would definitely recommend this product and will be re-purchasing again, but perhaps I will need to purchase another cleaner for my stone floors. All in all, a great product considering it is chemical-free!

 

Natural Remedies

Although the last few days in Toronto have felt like summer has decided to return, Fall is here and the next few days will confirm that as temperatures drop! We all know too well that temperature shifts often cause many to fall under the weather, so although I will soon post a blog on how to enhance our Immune Systems’ ability to ward off disease, for now I will share 3 homemade recipes for cough & cold season courtesy of Mama Earth Organics!

sorethroat tea

Winter Sore Throat “Tea”

Upon the first signs of a sore throat, in a jar combine lemon slices, organic honey and sliced ginger. Close jar and store in the fridge; it will form into a “jelly”.

To serve: Spoon jelly into a mug and pour boiling water over.

honey cinnamon

Honey & Cinnamon Cold Remedy

Did you know that a teaspoon of honey and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon can usually knock out a cold within a day or two? Most effective when taken upon the first sign of a sniffle as it usually diminishes the intensity of Cold symptoms within a few hours. Take twice a day for 3 days for best results. Both honey and cinnamon are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, in addition to having properties which combat bladder/kidney infections, reduce sugar levels, blood pressure and act as a pain reliever for arthritis! Not bad for a remedy that costs a few cents and takes less than a minute to prepare, huh?

honey vinegar

Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar Cough Syrup

Honey and vinegar are two of the principle ingredients in homemade cough syrup. This strong-tasting syrup helps calm persistent coughs that accompany chest colds and infections. Besides the soothing properties of honey and vinegar, this syrup also contains ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory. Mix 2 tbsp. of hot water, 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. of honey, 1/4 tsp. of ground cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger. Take 1 tsp. of the homemade cough syrup every two to three hours.