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More than a little warming...

It's a new year and I've promised myself to try and write more blogs, rather than gathering them in

my head as I have been doing. Not much good there if no one can read them ! I'm not a writer, reading has always been my passion , but i've had to do a lot of writing and research for my courses and i've found it's a good way to gain some clarity in my thinking and thought process...

So... I love ginger, it's a great digestive aid, good for nausea , motion sickness, especially sea sickness when travelling by boat....

I was talking to a women in our local market a couple of years ago and she referred to me as the

ginger and turmeric lady ! Well I guess there are worse things to be called , i think i was more

surprised at being called a lady... !

Anyway, used in pregnancy to combat morning sickness and nausea , ginger also has anti inflammatory properties and is very useful this time of year for chesty coughs and colds,

asthma and breathing difficulties, aiding in the breakdown and removal of mucus.

I've found it to be very effective with chest infections in the past and have managed to avoid

having to take anti-biotics and steriods, along with doing some gentle pranayama and yoga.

It's warming properties have long been used to promote energy and circulation in the body

and increase the body’s metabolic rate, great for those with poor circulation and who feel the cold .

Ginger also improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body. by

stimulating digestive enzymes , known as Agni in Ayurveda which is responsible for digestion

and metabolism

I put it in my porridge ( see blog Almonds, Dates and Saffron Ojas Combination.. ! ) i also add it to soups and stews and it's been a staple in my kitchen for a long time now.

I drink it most mornings made with fresh and aromatic Turmeric root with a slice of organic lemon.

I'm often seen carrying my trusty orange flask about the place, in my car and i always take it with me into my yoga classes and have even got some of my yoga students to do the same !

Commonly known as ginger, Zingiber officinale was named by English botanist William Roscoe in the early 1800s. With green stems that can grow to a metre high, the plant is valued for its rhizomes that can be consumed fresh or dried. Ginger has been used in Asian, Arabic and Indian cultures as a herbal medicine since ancient times. The healing property of ginger comes from the volatile oils, such as gingerols, that are responsible for its strong taste. The rhizomes from younger ginger plants are generally used for cooking because the older the plant is, the more essential oils are present and the stronger the flavour.

More recently I keep coming across more wonders of ginger in various posts, about it's benefits in treating cancer and being a ginger lover for many years now, I can wholeheartedly agree with some of it's potent healing atributes, having used it initially to help heal my own struggling ill health and poorly digestive system, which according to Ayurveda, is where our immune system resides.

I have been a long time beleiver that inflammation is at the root of many health issues including headaches, some cancers and depression and from an Ayurvedic perpsective, it's important that the body is kept in balance and the immune system is at peak efficiency so that infections and various inflammations seldom manifest into disease.

Already a fan of ginger, I didn't need much persuading of it's other atributes now investigated by modern science, so I was interested to read about new studies that reveals ginger containing a compound that could be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy in targeting the cancer stem cells at the root of cancer malignancy. It makes for interesting reading

and if you would like to read about it in more detail, you can click on this link:

Another herb that has frequently come to my attention is Sweet wormwood ( Artemisia ). also known as Mugwort. This herb is particularly good for women in that it has a special affinity for balancing apanavayu ( downward flowing energy of digestion and menstruation ) stregthening the uterus, regulating menses, relieving cramps and headaches.

Bitter and pungent, this herb is particularly useful for the liver but has also has been found, combined with iron, to be 1,200 times more effective in killing malignant cells than chemotherapy drugs.

Composing of the compounds limonene (anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antioxidant), B-pinene ( antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant) and another anti - inflammatory favourite - quercetin ( supports immune function and a good one for sinus issues). So again, more herbs that have ben found to be very helpful when dealing with cancer.

Click on the link for more information about this herb:

The use of herbs such as Bromelain and Turmeric, both are great anti - inflammatories ; with turmeric combine with a little black pepper . These herbs are already well known to

help reduce inflammation which can lead onto other diseases and malaise developing .

Turmeric is also a great wound healer, being anti - bacterial, anti- fungal, anti - tumour..the list go's on....maybe I shall write a seperate article for turmeric...

Other important good blood purifiers that I particularly like are manjistha, Neem, Barberry,

Nettle and Dandelion root. Most of these are bitter in taste, assist the liver and help to establish a pitta balance in the body ( reducing heat and inflammation )

I like the combination of Bromlein and Quercetin which work synergistically together, this link here talks about the dosage of these two particular herbs:

Aloe Vera, cooling and bitter, is a good one for supporting and improving liver function and helpful in detoxification, ulcers, burns, hepatitis, skin diseases, constipation, tumor, malignancy, edema, arthritis and general debility. And I can't finsh without mentioning one of my all time favourites , Triphala churna { a powder consisting of Haritaki, Amalaki

and Bibhitaki ) balancing for all three doshas, ( vata, pitta and kapha ) triphala assists in tonifying the digestive system and as a secondary action, cleanses the bowels .

Ideally to reduce inflammation, an alkaline or anti- Pitta diet is suggested in Ayurveda, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee, oily and spicy foods. Plenty of fresh green leaves

and salads, sprouts and juices from bitter leaves such as neem, kale, spinch and some astringents

such as pomegrante. However to use in moderation as too much bittar can increase the dryness

and vitiation of Vata.

On the whole a good program to follow is to :

  • Eat intelligently and mindfully, regular meals each day, perhaps fasting one day a week to give the digestive system a rest

  • Exercise, walk , cycle, yoga , dance ..anything that gets you moving, helping to clear the channels in the body

  • Drink a glass of hot water on rising each morning to flush the kidneys

  • Drinking hot ginger and lemon tea to stimulate your digestive enzymes ( agni )

  • Rest and relax - taking time out to settle the nervous system by practising meditation and Restorative Yoga can do wonders for your digestive system and over all well being

  • Avoid sugar - Sugar is your worst enemy. ! ( I could write whole article on this subject but it is known that amongst other things, large quantities of sugar will strengthen fungus and bad bacteria, eventually destroying your immune system, leading to diseases such as Candida, so on that note, another thing to remember is...

  • Probiotics .. replace good bacteria in your intestines with a good high potency acidophilus that conatins at least 20 billion Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum & Bifidobacterium lactis.


  • Ginger may interact with some prescription medications, and some herbalists advise not to

  • take more than four grams of ginger in a day, its always best to consult your own health / Ayurvedic practitioner as everyone is different.

  • Children under two are advised not to have ginger.

  • Avoid ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood thinners, including aspirin.

Thank you for reading..... :-)

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