Goddess Glow | Gorgeous Ginger in Singapore
Ginger…just the name gives me that spicy kick and it’s almost as if I can sense its intriguing smell by saying it out loud! What would my Asian mother do without it in her fragrant kitchen and how to celebrate Christmas without ginger cookies? This spice has always been part of my life and a childhood memory is lying sick in bed and my mother making me ginger tea with lemon, honey and a whole lot of love, to battle that nasty cold. Years later she would serve the same brew to help ease my menstrual cramps.
In Ayurveda, ginger is the ‘chest of medicine’ thanks to its many health benefits and the name of this ancient herb (yes herb, but I totally agree. It does look like the toes of a creature from Lord of the Rings) comes from the Sanskrit word for “horn root.” It is actually not a root, but the rhizome (underground part of the stem) of the perennial zingiber plant and is closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal. For the past 2,000 years, ginger has played an important role in Asian medicine. The Chinese consider it a yang, or hot food, that balances the cooling ying food. Ginger is considered among the healthiest spices and is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that are beneficial for both body and brain.
Why is ginger good for me?
It has antihistamine properties and can be effective in treating allergies. A teaspoon of ginger juice and honey can relieve a cough and sore throat and one of the most applied ginger uses, is when treating various stomach issues such as food poisoning and also nausea. (Chinese sailors used ginger as an antidote to shellfish poisoning, thus explaining why it is found in so many seafood dishes) It provides relief from bloating and is a natural remedy for treating heartburn. It aids in digestion by improving your absorption of essential nutrients. The unique ginger fragrance and flavor come from its natural oils, of which gingerol is the most important. This oil is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal values. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, gingerols act as painkillers. Studies are now showing that gingerol can also be effective in relieving migraines. Originally cultivated in China, but now found all over the world, ginger could very well be one of the “superfoods” actually worthy of that term.
Spice up your beauty routine!
In addition to its medicinal properties, ginger can give you that gorgeous glow on the outside as well! It is often used in a number of skincare products, as it contains around 40 antioxidant compounds that protect against ageing. You can apply ginger juice topically to treat several skin issues. It will for instance relieve pain from burnt skin and improve the appearance of your skin by stimulating circulation. It can also help clear blemishes as it is a powerful antiseptic and cleansing agent. Prepare a nourishing and softening mask by mixing 2 grated gingers with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes. Apply on face and rinse with cool water after 30 minutes. You can also boil ginger paste in water and use as a facial toner. Just strain and store in fridge!
Cultivate your garden!
It is so easy to grow your own ginger (and it doesn’t hurt to get some soil under your well-manicured nails every now and then!) Just hit one of Singapore’s fabulous wet markets and pick a smooth, shiny looking root that has some buds beginning to form. Soak in some warm water overnight, plant the following day in a pot just beneath the soil and water well. After about three months you can harvest and enjoy your ginger! Little maintenance but high benefits! Store by wrapping it in a towel and place in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge or even freezer. Or why not pickle it in a bottle of yummy vinegar for about two to three weeks? This way it will keep up to a year in the fridge. And oh yes… if you want to zing up that Fancy Friday Martini- try letting it sit in vodka instead! Trust me. It’s gorgeous!