Last winter I took a course by Rosalee de la Foret on using herbs during cold and flu season. (Excellent course btw!) Rosalee discussed many different herbs - too many for me to try all at once, so I focused on using a few of those herbs. By doing so, I've come to deeper understanding of how these herbs work. One of them (and now, one of my favorites) is Ginger.
As a kid, I remember my mother giving us ginger ale to settle an upset stomach. She may not have understood why it worked, but it did. In fact, ginger can do a lot to bring homeostasis to the entire digestive system - including reducing nausea, bloating, gas, and constipation. This blog is the first in a series on Ginger and will focus on its digestive benefits.
When I finished the Herbal Cold Care course, I started experimenting with ginger. At first, I made teas with both fresh and dried ginger and a few other herbs. Then I tried adding ginger to my coffee in the morning. It wasn't until I had been doing this for a few months that I realized my acid reflux and other digestive issues (bloating and cramping after meals) had disappeared completely. I didn't really think too much about it until May when I had to stop using it because I was going into surgery. After that first surgery, the weather was getting too hot for me to want to use ginger (which is warming). By the end of the summer, my acid reflux started acting up again so I began adding ginger in my coffee once more. It worked - my digestive issues calmed right back down.
Fresh ginger is a warming herb (dried is downright hot). That means it will warm you up and get stagnant fluids moving. If you are cold natured, this herb will help warm you. If your digestive system is stagnant - i.e. you have reflux, bloating, gas, constipation, your stomach feels heavy after you eat, - ginger can help clear the stagnation and relieve all of those symptoms. It can also help with reducing nausea.
Fresh Ginger Root can be found in the produce aisle in your grocery store! If you prefer a hotter (spicier) flavor, dried ginger is also widely available.