SERVING SIZE: 1/8 inch
SPECIES: Zingiber officinale
How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
IntroductionA steaming hot mug of ginger tea on a damp day warms up your bones and burns away thick, heavy congestion. When the weather is soggy, you feel tired and groggy. You naturally crave sunlight and heat. Pungent and light, fresh ginger clears away the damp clouds of winter, invigorating your whole system as it lifts your mood and boosts enthusiasm. The perkiness of ginger bids you to say goodbye to dullness and depression.
Ginger, Sore Throats & CongestionGinger's heat & pungency is key to warming you up and liquefying mucus. On damp, rainy days you may feel heavy and sluggish. Even your skin feels clammy. The back of your throat may be swollen and irritated due to a thick coating of "reactive" mucus - mucus filled with dead bacteria. By stimulating your heart to beat faster and opening up blood vessels, ginger flushes damp, cold areas with warm, enlivening blood. It is particularly beneficial for clearing congestion in the upper respiratory tract, including the throat, nose and sinuses.
A simple cup of fresh ginger tea, made by boiling an inch of the root in two cups of water, does the trick. As it warms the head and your whole body, it brings a sense of lightness back to a heavy, congested head. A client explained how fresh ginger helped them relieve this stuffed up feeling, "My nasal passages opened up and my congestion cleared." Another shared, "Breathing was much easier. My mind had more clarity. My chest felt far less dense, like I had been doing breathing exercises to open up my thoracic cavity." You can also place grated ginger in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam to clear a stuffy nose.
Try this syrup for a sore throat: Mix together 1/2" grated fresh ginger root, 1/4 tsp dried turmeric, and 1/4 tsp black pepper with 1 tsp raw honey. Slowly lick over 15 minutes and repeat up to three times a day to clear throat congestion. Ginger is most effective in late winter. Its light, clear, and warm qualities combat a slushy and soggy time of year.
Restore WarmthThe mobile, revitalizing quality of fresh ginger allows it to support peripheral circulation, dispelling feelings of cold from extremities. Although many spices share ginger's warmth, they also make you sweat which leaves you vulnerable to catching a chill as the effects wear off. Ginger operates internally only (in antara marga), kindling heat & agni without making you sweat.
A client notes, "My hands and feet tend to be cool. With ginger, I did not sweat but felt warmer to my core." Another reports, "After eating fresh ginger, the center of my chest felt hot, as if I had a heating pad inside the back of my sternum."
On cold days, a hot ginger and baking soda bath is one of the best ways to warm your entire body, stimulate circulation, and rev up metabolism. To enjoy these benefits, simply mix 1/2c of ginger and 1/2c of baking soda into a hot bath.
Ginger & DigestionFresh ginger is considered to be one of the best digestives, and for this reason is among the most revered roots in Ayurveda. It is suitable for all body types (tridoshic) to stimulate digestive strength (agni). A few pieces of tummy warming ginger, salt, & lime appetizer before a meal stimulates appetite, and gets digestive juices flowing. "It was like my digestive system was getting a kickstart," a client noted.
Purifying & CleansingFresh ginger purifies the mouth, awakens the taste buds, and stimulates salivary secretions. You might just notice fresher breath and a sharper palate after having some. A client explained the effect it had in their mouth, "When I chewed on the fresh ginger, it gave my mouth a tingling, cleansing and hot sensation, like mouthwash almost. The peppery taste made me feel refreshed."
When food becomes stagnant in the gut, it starts to ferment and rot, leading to indigestion, gas, bloating, and the formation of digestive toxins (ama). Light, easy, and warming, fresh ginger stimulates digestion and metabolism, acting as a cleansing aid for detoxification. The volatile oils in ginger increase motility in the gastrointestinal tract, helping clear food stagnation and relieve constipation. One client notes, "My peristalsis increased with the ginger. My elimination sped up and the end result was I felt lighter."
Eating a slice of ginger can help relieve nausea in the stomach or burping due to stagnant food or excess mucus. One client who was feeling nauseous tried this trick with great results. "My gut was feeling heavy and a little nauseated, so I tried this appetizer," they shared. "It was like magic! Within 5-10 minutes, I felt much lighter and was able to eat with the family again."
Ginger & InflammationOne of the amazing qualities of fresh ginger is that it stimulates digestion without aggravating acidity. Despite the heat of this root, fresh ginger is actually anti-inflammatory. Only fresh ginger, due to the volatile oils, has this special anti-inflammatory quality. Dry ginger does not, due to evaporation of essential oils.
Even though fresh ginger tastes initially pungent on your tongue, it has a sweet post digestive effect (vipaka). In Ayurveda, the post digestive effect means the effect a substance has throughout your body, after you have digested it. The sweet post digestive effect of ginger moistens and nourishes tissues, and is anti-inflammatory.
Dry ginger is much hotter than fresh ginger, and can be aggravating to the digestive tract. It does not have the same soothing or nutritive effect of fresh ginger, but increases heat and dryness in the body. A fiery spice, those who are overheated or feel agitated by heat should steer clear of dry ginger and favor fresh. Those who need the extra heat, however, can benefit from dry ginger. It depends on the individual.
Other UsesMinced, chopped, grated or sliced, fresh ginger can be used in a variety of ways. It is well known for its pain relieving qualities, and its ability to settle an upset or nauseous stomach. It also acts as an antispasmodic, helping reduce tension, spasms, and cramping. A cup of the hot tea can relieve menstrual cramps due to its antispasmodic properties, and its sweet post digestive effect has a nourishing effect on the reproductive tissues. 1 tsp of fresh ginger mixed into 1 tbsp of castor oil is a home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. 1 tsp of fresh ginger mixed with 1 tsp of ghee is reputed to help osteoarthritis.
Fresh ginger is also a powerful antibacterial agent, and has been proven to kill the harmful bacteria salmonella under certain conditions. Ginger, therefore, can also be beneficial as a food preservative. Its warming effects can help encourage a low grade fever - improving immunity.
ContraindicationsFor some Pitta individuals the heat of ginger is too much. One client writes, "After a while the warmth in my stomach went to a sour feeling. My stomach kind of churned." Another notes, "My eyes felt dry, my face flushed, and the whites of my eyes became bloodshot." Fresh ginger is used widely in Asia to prevent nausea in pregnant women, although it is contraindicated for pregnancy in the USA.
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WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Foods that supplement your specific body type’s needs and digest easily create your menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is Ginger (Fresh) Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Bone & Joint:
ANTIARTHRITICHerbs that ease arthritic pain and promote joint health.
APPETIZERHerbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
ANTIEMETICHerbs that reduce nausea or stop vomiting.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestive.
SIALOGOGUEA sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a lesser degree. Astringents
SPLEEN-TONICAn herb that strengthens spleen function by improving strength of the blood. Spleen tonics Builds agni, brighten the person's appearances & firms up tissues.
STOMACHICAn herb that increases appetite or settles a nauseas or nervous stomach. These generally increase the digestive fire, therefore relieving symptoms of sluggish or difficult digestion.
Cleanse and Detox:
Energy Vitality Strength:
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
Heart & Circulation:
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
VASODILATORA vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
Lung and Sinus:
LUNG-TONICStrengthens the lungs. These herbs are helpful when recovering from either acute or chronic lung issues like bronchitis or pneumonia.
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
(Not you? Keep scrolling!)
Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for SpringGinger (Fresh) is recommended for Spring. Check out these other Spring foods here.
Comments & Impressions of 'Ginger (fresh)'Do you like 'ginger (fresh)'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'ginger (fresh)'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 4 reviews, 469 likes
Great article. Any recipes for home-made chai? Preferrably spicy. And should it be made with cow's milk (traditional) or can coconut or almond be used. I don't use soy as it is hard to digest especially heated. Thank you!!!
Hi, I use ginger and castor oil for Osteoarthritis. Should it be ginger and ghee? Is there a huge difference? Please clarify. Jaya
Ginger and castor oil is the traditional recipe. Castor oil is a purgative and very cleansing. Ghee is soothing and building. There is a large difference between the two. Castor oil has a quite strong effect and ghee is mild.
You may use fresh or dried ginger. Take 1-3 tsp of the castor oil, depending on your constitution. Castor oil has several contraindications. Please research before taking.
Hi, The recipe for Ginger and Castor oil/Ghee what is it for? I recently injuried my knee sking. I am looking for something to help with the inflammation. Thanks
Hi, does anyone know what to do for candida? I was told I might have it.
We happily use fresh ginger in stir fries, sauces, tea, and juices. Your recipe for dried ginger, cardamon and honey on fresh grapefruit is truly amazing! In Spring, we plant ginger tubers purchased from the grocery store in the green house and harvest them in autumn (fall). Such a warming versatile herb! Thank you!
You might check out our write up on candida:https://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/symptom/Candida-Yeast-Infection-Thrush/618
a traditional home remedy forThis information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Reproductive HealthAbortion (Past, Recent or Considering)
BonesAches & Pains - General, Hair loss, Hip pain, Joint pain, Joint pain in fingers, Morning joint pain, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Swollen joints
DigestionAcid Reflux, Bad breath, Discomfort in abdomen, Foul taste on tongue, Frequent Burping, Frequent Nausea, Gas, irregular digestion, H pylori infection, Hoarse Voice, Irregular/small appetite, Malabsorption, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Slow, heavy digestion, Smelly Gas, Strong food cravings, Tonsilectomy, Yellow teeth
Respiratory HealthAnimal/dander allergy, Ear pain/infection, Post nasal drip, Sinus Infection, Sinus pain around eyes, Sinus pain in cheeks, Sinus pain in forehead, Stuffed nose (can't breathe), Thin mucus
DietAnorexia, past or current, Bulimia, past or current, Sweet cravings
Blood and CirculationCandida / Yeast Infection / Thrush, Chronic Fungus infection, Diabetes (Adult Onset), Feet or Ankles Swelling, High Blood Sugar, Inflammation, Insulin Resistance, Irregular heartbeat, Low energy, Slow Heartbeat, Teeth marks on tongue edges, Tingling/Numbness, White tongue coating
Mind Stress SleepConfusion / Cloudy Mind, Difficulty concentrating, Difficulty waking up, Excessive sleep, Fatigue / tired, Overwhelmed by responsibilities, Sleep deep & long, trouble waking up, Sleep during the day, Tired in morning
PoopExplosive elimination, Sinking stool, Undigested food in stool
Weight LossFat back of arms, Fat on back, Fat on buttocks, Fat on thighs, Low metabolism
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.