Saturday, December 27, 2008


The Chinese use ginger rhizome as a spice and as a medicine. In cooking, the gignger is believed to remove the "gameyness" of meat and "fishiness" of fish and other reptiles like crocodile, snake and turtle meat. It gives a nice fragrant and a slight spicyness.

As a medicine, they are good in expelling wind and when you have a cold, a ginger tea will sooth you sore throat and stuffy nose. Also, it acts like a strepsil, and keeps you from coughing.

It is customery for a Chinese woman to go through a rite of passage of "Confinement" after she has given birth to a child. During this month, she eats a lot of ginger chicken, meat and fish. The ginger will have expell the wind that she had trough child birth. The older people will say, if you don't eat the ginger brew, you will get "wind Wet" disease aka arthritis and rheumatism when you grow old.

Ginger is a plant with underground rhizomes. My mum used to grow them, and after we have slaughtered a chicken, or a duck, we throw the feathers into the ginger bush. I guess it was Mum's own form of composting. We also dug up young tender rhizomes to make a pink ginger pickle to eat with the duck.

My sister Helen recommended that putting a lump of ginger will keep morning sickness at bay.

My own anecdote about ginger was when I was working in my summer job in a food packaging factory in Penrose. My girlfriend and I were packing ginger crystals. We were popping lumps of ginger into our mouth while avoiding being caught. We laughed that we were Lucille Ball and her girl friend working n a chocolate packing factory.

This is from Dr. Weil:

Ginger’s benefits are many and varied - it:
Alleviates nausea and motion sickness
Relieves congestion
Reduces inflammation
Reduces the risk of blood clots
Provides a pleasant “warming” sensation against winter chills.

A simple way to incorporate ginger into your diet is to make fresh ginger tea: add about one half teaspoon of grated ginger root to eight ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain, then add honey to taste (if desired). You can also eat candied or pickled ginger or honey-based ginger syrups

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