Lemon Ginger Soother
Ginger reminds me how each plant holds infinite healing potential. This rhizome has been used as medicine for thousands of years, and by many different healing traditions, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic Medicine. I always have a knuckle of fresh ginger around, because it does a little bit of everything.
Ginger is a wonderful remedy for vata and kapha constitutions and conditions, folks that are running cold and damp. This includes stagnation in the body, such as menstrual cramps. Ginger can be made into a strong tea (like this one) or into a compress to apply topically for the treatment of period pains. Some say it's as effective as ibuprofen. The good thing is you don't have to choose, take both if you need to!
If you have a fever, you can use ginger tea to help you sweat-it-out (a.k.a. diaphoretic in herbalism), add some yarrow flowers for extra umph. And if you're bloated or suffering from indigestion and stomach spasms, that's right, ginger tea will do the trick. This is the plant you point to when someone asks, "do herbs really work?!"
This strong ginger tea recipe is actually what we herbalists like to call a decoction. Basically, it's what we do to barks, hearty berries, and roots to extract their medicine. All you need is water, a small pot, and about ten minutes to spare.
Thinly slice one thumb of fresh ginger and place it in a small pot with two cups of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil, then drop it immediately down to a simmer. Allow the ginger to simmer for ten minutes, then strain into a tea cup. Add the juice of half a lemon per cup, and a spoonful of honey to taste.