The story of ginger goes back to more than 5000 years when ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius discovered its healing powers and it was regarded as a symbol of wealth and fertility by the Romans. By the 13th century, it was dried and shipped to various countries to increase its shelf life. It is believed that a pound of ginger, in those days, was equal to the price of a whole sheep! Undoubtedly, ginger is one of the most powerful spices in the world and has been highly prized for its medicinal and therapeutic qualities. Back in India, you will find ginger in every kitchen and as part of every regional cuisine. From being a pungent spice to an aromatic garnish and also integral to some cultural traditions, the ginger root boasts of a wide variety of uses. Besides its culinary use, every part of this versatile herb has potent powers. In fact, in Ayurveda, it has been regarded as the healing spice that can prevent motion or air sickness, improve digestion and reduce joint pain. The spicy ginger juice packs a great nutritional punch and can also serve as a valuable natural medicine.How to extract ginger juiceThere are two easy ways to make ginger juice at home. In the first method, you can use a simple grater to grate fresh ginger using the smallest holes. Place a bowl below the grater to collect the grated ginger. Next, put all of the grated ginger in a cheesecloth, wrap it properly and now squeeze it over an empty glass or bowl to collect all the juice. You can use the dry grated ginger later for cooking purposes or brew some with your evening tea.
In the other method, you can use a juicer or a mixer to extract ginger juice. Add small ginger pieces along with some water and blend. Take out the ginger pieces and place them in a cheesecloth. Squeeze out the juice and its ready for use. Since the juice contains the entire essence of ginger, it can be a bit pungent or spicy. You can add it to your detox juices to give it an extra kick or even to your cup of tea along with honey which is great to balance the pungency.(Also read: How to Buy and Store Ginger)
Fresh ginger juice will only last you for a day or perhaps two because it is alkaline in nature and alkaline foods tend to have shorter shelf lives. However, an interesting way to preserve it during summers is to freeze it in an ice tray and them as dunk the zingy cubes in your juice or iced tea whenever needed.
Here are some amazing benefits of ginger juice and how to use it as a natural cure for some of the most common health problems.
1. Improves digestionGinger juice contains certain volatile oils that can help awaken your taste buds and get the juices flowing. It purifies the mouth and stimulates the production of saliva which aids the digestion process. Having a combination of ginger juice, salt and lime before or after a meal makes it easier to digest your food.
Ginger juice certain volatile oils that can help awaken your taste buds 2. Relieves congestion and cold Ginger juice has amazing antibacterial properties. Consuming ginger juice with dried pepper can help eliminate mucous and congestion in the lungs. To cure cold, mix equal quantities of ginger juice and honey and drink it warm at least two to three times in a day. Drinking plain ginger juice can also help in clearing a sore throat.(Also Read: 5 Magical Home Remedies for Cold)
Ginger juice has amazing antibacterial properties3. Pain reliever The fresh juice of ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is known to act is a pain reliever. A very effective remedy for back pain is to mix a spoonful of ginger juice with some olive oil and massage it over your skin. Leave it overnight and you will feel relieved the next morning. It can also help in curing a toothache or a pulsating migraine headache. For a toothache, it is best to keep a small piece of ginger between you cheek and tooth and let the natural juices do the work. For migraine, drink two tablespoons of ginger juice with honey. You can even rub some ginger juice on your stomach to get relieve from a sinus headache.(Also Read: 6 Natural Pain Killers for Toothache, Stomach Cramps and More)
The fresh juice of ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties4. Controls high blood pressureIn his book, ‘The Healing Herbs,’ renowned health writer Michael Castleman explains that certain chemical compounds in ginger can help in reducing hypertension or high blood pressure. It prevents blood clots from being formed in your arteries and blood vessels and thus, controls blood pressure. According to Castleman, the chemical compounds in ginger can also help lower overall blood cholesterol levels as well as low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) which can cause heart disease. It is recommended to have a tablespoon of fresh ginger juice twice a day but you must consult your health expert before doing so.
(Also Read: Top 10 Natural Foods to Control High Blood Pressure)
It prevents blood clots from being formed in your arteries 5. Removes bad breathGinger water may do wonders for bad breath too and save you from embarrassing situations. The Vitamin C in ginger juice helps in killing the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Mix a spoonful of ginger juice with some lime in warm water and gargle for few minutes.
Ginger improves blood circulation to the rootsBesides the health benefits of ginger juice mentioned above, you can even use it as a marinade for meat or for flavouring sauces and curries.