I use fresh ginger root in my home made cough syrup, and cold and flu remedy (I take this whenever someone I've been close to gets the flu or it's in our family). Recipes for these are below. I also will put ginger in with some hot tea (usually peppermint or chamomile) when my stomach is upset, or if I'm going to be traveling winding roads.
Garlic Ginger Cough Syrup
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
Â¼ cup lemon juice
Â¼ cup water
Â¼ cup honey
2-3 cloves garlic diced
Dash cayenne pepper
Put all ingredients into a small jar, mix well and refrigerate. May be used immediately. After 2-3 days, you may strain the ingredients and keep the liquid only. Should keep for several months in refrigerator.
Cold and Flu vinegar
3 TBSP each:
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix well and put in jar (do not use metal lid which will react with vinegar). Mix daily for 2 weeks. After two weeks, strain out solids (may wish to use cheesecloth so that they can be squeezed) and add 1/3 cup honey and mix well and refrigerate. Should keep for several months in refrigerator.
Give 1 tsp every hour or two when cold or flu hits.
My mother used to keep a bucket of sand under the sink where she buried the ginger roots to keep them. It wasn't damp, but it wasn't completely dry either. If the roots started to sprout, she'd let them grow into 6"-8" green shoots, then break them off, dip the gingerroot end in miso, and eat it as a beer munchie!
TO STORE FRESH GINGER:
Keep in a screw-top jar covered with spirits or sherry. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
TO PRESERVE GINGER:
Choose young, ripe, firm and non-stringy ginger. Skin the ginger roots, and cut into suitable sized pieces. Cover with cold water for 75 minutes, drain and cover with fresh water, the purer the better. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
For each kilogram of ginger, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup cold water, and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, then add half a teaspoon of cream of tartar. Bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the ginger pieces and slowly boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to stand for 24 hours.
Drain off the syrup and add 1 cup sugar to it and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil and pour over the ginger. Stand another 24 hours. Repeat this process next day, adding a further cup of sugar and this time allow to stand for 2 days. Strain and spread ginger on a flat baking sheet. Dry very carefully in an open oven at 120Â°C
Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between each layer. Any leftover syrup can be used as a dessert sauce, or for making toffee with a little butter and a teaspoon of vinegar, or bottled and sterilised for re-use later.
And yes, plant some to grow:
Make sure the ginger root you wish to propagate from has not been treated to prevent sprouting. Pieces of root may be placed in a shallow large (about 40 litre capacity) container of potting soil or sand. Ginger prefers a soil with a pH of 6.0-8.0. Make sure the âeyesâ are in an upright position when planting. Bury only around 2cm deep. Keep in a warm, sunny position. Water well and keep it moist, but not wet. It will take at least a month to sprout and the root may be harvested after 5-6 months. After they sprout and form a good root system, they may be transplanted to the garden and spaced 30cm apart. In warmer regions, ginger should be grown in light shade, but in cooler areas it should be grown in full sun. It should be given plenty of water. When grown in containers, they should be moved into a cool storage area before frost. Let the tops of the plants dry and turn yellow after which they are trimmed off. They should be watered every month just to keep the roots from drying out. When spring arrives, they can be moved to a sunny, sheltered place to start top growth. In hotter areas, it is best grown in partial shade. More than one plant should be grown so you can have starter roots for the next year's plants. Ginger will not stand the cold, and if over-watered the root will rot. Ginger will seldom flower if grown indoors or in a pot.
NOTE: Even in my subtropical garden, ginger is the last plant to sprout in spring - a very late starter, often waiting till summer to get going - it dies down in autumn/winter, which is when I harvest and replant it. So if you're in a cooler climate, you must keep it warm. It is, after all, a tropical plant.
Roots may be dug with a spading fork just before frost, or when the pot is full, or the leaves begin to die down. If grown in a pot, the plant should be 8-12 months old before harvesting. To harvest from containers, dump out the roots or feel for them with your hands. Cut off leaf stalks and remove the root, keep as much as required and plant the rest. Store them at room temperature. Ginger roots may be grated or sliced for fresh use, or crystallised. They may also be dried and ground. Keep fresh root refrigerated; wrap loosely in paper towel, then plastic. Will keep several months.
Medicinal Uses: Crystallised ginger suppresses nausea, especially travel sickness. The tea eases indigestion and flatulence, promotes circulation, eases migraines and reduces fevers, colic, diarrhoea and alcoholic gastritis. A steam inhalation treats colds, hayfever, laryngitis and lung infections. One drop of the essential oil in massage blend relieves muscular pain, rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago and fatigue. In small doses, it is useful in treating morning sickness of pregnancy. May improve libido. A drop or two of ginger oil (made by steeping equal amounts of grated ginger and olive oil) helps to relieve an ear ache, and the oil applied to the scalp helps relieve dandruff. Helps reduce serum cholesterol levels, reduces tendency towards blood clots. Ginger has long been used in eastern Africa for killing intestinal parasites.
Usual Dosage: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger. Add a pinch of cayenne peper, and lemon juice and honey to taste. Steep for 10 minutes. Take 1-2 cups in small amounts throughout the day. Tincture: Take 2-4 drops every 4-6 hours. As an appetite stimulant, combine equal parts of ginger and rock salt. Take just before meals. Fresh ginger root can be chewed in any treatment. For nausea, take about 250mg every 2-3 hours, for a total of 1g per day. For spasms, pain and cramps, cut several slices of the fresh root and place them in a pan of boiling water. Saturate a flannel cloth with the tea and apply it topically as warm as the body will bear. This is an ideal treatment for stiff neck and shoulders.
Other Uses: Ginger tea can be used as a garden pesticide spray.
Warning; If suffering from gallstones, or if pregnant or nursing, consult a health care professional before taking large amounts of ginger. Daily consumption of ginger root may interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as tetracycline derivatives, oral anticholinergics, phenothiazines, digoxin, isoniazid, pheytoin, warfarin, lincomycin, digitalis, nalidixic acid, sulfonamides, and phenothiozines or other psychoactive agents which are poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Ginger may mask the toxicity caused by aminoglycoside antibiotics such as neomycin. It may inhibit urinary excretion of alkaline drugs, such as amphetamines or quinidine.
Thanks for the advice about growing ginger Culpeper. Do you know how it would do in a pot?
The reason I ask is we bought some ginger root for the first time. I didn't know it needed to be refrigerated and left it on the counter. This was a couple of weeks ago. Now there are spots that look like green new growth. Can I put it in a pot? I don't have a place here for a garden.
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