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Hobo Stripper Materia Medica: Ginger

September 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Ginger is one of my favorite herbs. It has so many uses, and it’s so gentle, and so warm. It’s one of the two herbs that I don’t wildcraft myself (Lavender is the other one and I’ll do it soon).

Ginger is anti-inflammatory. You can use it in a tea or infusion for arthritic pain, ovarian cyst pain, and any other kind of inflammation pain.

To make Ginger tea, chop up a bit of the root and put a few pieces in some boiling water until it’s tea. I do Ginger infusions, which are intense but really good. I pour hot hot water over a bunch of Ginger in a jar and leave it to infuse for at least four hours with a lid over it. Then I add honey and shake and it’s yummy and intense. You can also mix the Ginger tea half and half with red wine. Be careful though, it’s incredibly intoxicating.

Ginger is also a circulatory stimulant, which is part of it’s warmness. It helps your blood go faster and it also get’s blood out to your fingers and toes and warms them up. Having frostbit my fingers, toes, ears, and nipples a few too many times, I use Ginger this way a lot, especially in the winter. When I was sleeping in my van at 20 below I was drinking a half gallon of Ginger infusion every day and I wasn’t cold. But it’s not just the tea that works this way. You can make ginger oil to rub on your cold feet and it feels and smells sooo good.

Another part of it’s warmness is that it’s diaphoretic, meaning it raises your temperature and opens your pores so that you sweat a lot. My experience is that you need to use a lot of Ginger tea (like a gallon a day) to achieve much sweat in a healthy person, but just a cup of tea can have a huge affect for someone who’s sick.

To make Ginger oil chop up a lot of Ginger and put it in a crockpot or SmartMug. You want to keep it as close to one hundred degrees as possible for three days. If it gets too hot it burns and smells yucky. I hear that candle wax thingies are ideal for this, but SmartMugs work great, too. You can set the temperature to one hundred degrees and go on a road trip (because if you’re going to use the SmartMug for days at a time it should be when you’re driving a lot to keep your battery charged). It won’t hurt it if you unplug it overnight, either.

Ginger is an anti-spasmodic which makes it great for all kinds of muscle cramps. It’s what I used to give Bro for diarrhea, before he got wise to the ginger chunks mixed in with the dog food and learned to eat around them. You can use the tea or infusion for menstrual cramps, or you can rub the oil on your tummy, which feels so divine.

Ginger is an anti-nausea too: you can drink the tea or nibble on a piece of the fresh root for car or boat sickness. I hear it’s great for morning sickness and the flu, too, tho I haven’t had the chance to use it for either.

Ginger is an emmenogogue too, meaning that it stimulates bleeding. So if you already have really heavy moontimes you might not want to use it when you’re bleeding or right before, but if you have issues with “stuck blood” it’ll help get things flowing.

Also, it’s good for farts. 😀

(Many thanks to Darcy, who once holed up in the van with me during a snow storm and helped me make a list of all these properties of Ginger.)

Tags: Wild Food

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Molly // Sep 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    One of the Chinese ladies I used to work with also taught me that for arthritis, you can chop up some ginger really really fine, lay it on a strip of cloth, continue to mash it, fold up the ginger inside the cloth and tie it around the afflicted joint and leave it on overnight. I’ve used this quite a bit and it helps a lot.

  • 2 shamana flora // Sep 8, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    isn’t ginger wonderful!! so versatile…you can also use fresh or powdered ginger as a chest plaster to deal with deep lung congestion. just put the root on a thin cloth, laid on top of the chest. I wouldnt reccomend straight ginger right ont he skin of the chest, too hot and might burn. but then cover the cloth, ginger, with plastic or a blanket or towel, and then a hot water bottle….ahhhhh….
    that should move the stuck lung junk! I’ve had it done to me when i had a lung infection…it was quite warming! I didn’t really have lung junk though, it was just hot inflammation, and I’m not sure it was all that beneficial in that circumstance. Think for cold stuck mucus with little circulation….
    yay ginger!

  • 3 wyatt // Sep 8, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    well thats informative and all i ever do is cook with it ? seems like i do a lot of things right without really knowing all the benefits i just like to cook and eat well but i suppose your body knows what makes it happy. ill have to try the tea tho im a coffee drinker by nature. we have an old female dog here actually 2 one is 10 and in great shape ( teddy) partly i think because she is half wolf and. part blue healer the other one (missy) is 13 was abandoned at an early age and abused has had knee surgery i wonder if the ginger would work for her what would you think tara?

  • 4 HoboStripper // Sep 9, 2007 at 5:38 am

    Ooh, cloth. I never thought of that, and I’ve burned myself putting the ginger straight on my skin. Woops.

    Wyatt, I don’t know. Does she have arthritis from the knee surgery? I would worry that too much circulatory stimulating might not be good for an older dog. Tho, on the other hand, some might be good for her, just depending on what her general constitution is like.

  • 5 wyatt // Sep 9, 2007 at 7:46 am

    yea srthritis it is somedays shes really good and others she reall sore but shes happy and a good attitude she takes phenobarbitol for seizures but like i said the vet said shes real healthy otherwise. they are afraid to operate on the knee cause of the anistetic having to put her so far down with the seizures is a lil risky. we just keep her happy and treat her good and hope she has a few more good years or improves to be able to have the surgery but i doubt that.

  • 6 HoboStripper // Sep 10, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Wyatt, it would help with her arthritis but it might be counterindicated for the seizures, I’m not sure.

  • 7 5 best holistic dog cure // Sep 13, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    […] first thing to reach for is ginger. Ginger is a powerful antispasmodic that will stop the stomach spasms in their tracks. One or two slices of […]

  • 8 Cathy Favreau // Dec 27, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah… didn’t miss the boat.

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