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Originally Published on A Green Beauty

In need of a spicy pick-me up this winter? Try incorporating more ginger into your diet. Ginger is one of the most well-known and universally used medicinal herbs. Like that zesty friend who always kick-starts the party, Ginger has been our indispensible culinary companion for thousands of years. Cultivation of ginger root can be traced back to some of the earliest Chinese and Indian medical texts ever written and, to this day, it is still one of the most prescribed herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ginger is unparalled in its ability to combat colds, ease upset stomachs, and reduce bloating. This fiery root can be used for nausea, morning and motion sickness, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Due to its warming and stimulating nature, ginger increases circulation, helping to heat cold hands and feet and enhance brain activity. Ginger compresses can also alleviate the pain of menstrual cramps and other general muscle aches.

Feeling like you’re coming down with a bug? Add some fresh ginger to your next meal to rekindle the fire of your immune system.  Looking for something more potent? Knock back a Lemon-Ginger shot or take a hearty swig of some Cold-Kicker Fire Cider (recipes below). Ginger is also an excellent detoxifier. Purifying and powerful, Ginger can help flush long-held toxins from our body’s system. Interested in embarking on a cleanse this winter? Try brewing up some Ginger Detox Tea and sipping throughout the day. Ginger’s aromatic oils have the ability to enliven our bodies and minds. Eat some fresh ginger every day to awaken from that wintertime slump and slumber, and keep yourself healthy, happy and whole in the New Year.

Lemon-Ginger Shot

Ingredients:

Juice of 1 Lemon

2-3” Chunk of Ginger

Blend in a juicer. Pour into your favorite shot glass. Sip slowly or knock it back in one go for the ultimate experience of reinvigoration.

Cold-Kicker Fire Cider

Experiencing the first signs of a cold? Take a swill of some homemade fire cider and feel your symptoms melt away…

Mix:

1 quart apple cider vinegar

½ cup fresh ginger root, chopped

½ cup fresh horseradish root, chopped

½ cup onion, chopped

1/8- ¼ cup fresh garlic, chopped

1 tsp cayenne

Optional: honey

Cover ingredients with apple cider vinegar and allow your mixture to sit for at least 2 weeks before straining and imbibing.

Fire cider is also delicious to use in salad dressings or on cooked greens. When you are done with your first infusion, keep the original herbal mixture and continue to add more ingredients and vinegar for a continual supply of fire cider. Experiment with other medicinal herbs or roots in your cider to find your own perfect elixir.

Ginger Detox Drink

Ingredients:

1 oz chopped ginger

8 oz water

Juice of ½-1 lemon

Honey or maple syrup to taste.

Directions: Add ginger to water and bring to a boil. Let root boil in water for at least 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep for and additional 10-20 minutes. Strain and add: lemon juice and honey or maple syrup to taste.

Optional: ½ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp cayenne and a pinch of black pepper

Enjoy!

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