Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

1/28/09

Why I Want to Study Herbs and My First Herbal Remedy

Why do I want to study herbs?
  • To become closer to nature and the natural world
  • To gain knowledge of the natural resources within my habitat
  • To have a more intimate relationship with plants
  • To learn how plants can benefit us and how we can form a mutualistic relationship with them
This list is subject to change as I learn more, but this is what I'm starting with.

This weekend I made my first herbal remedy. I made a nice cup of ginger tea and used some honey as a sweetener. I prepared the tea to help ease some abdominal cramping I was experiencing, it seemed to work really well. To make the tea, I took a piece of ginger root, about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide, that I had bought from the local co-op, Great Basin Food Community Co-op, I peeled it and cut it up into long thin slices. I brought about 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan, I then added the ginger slices to the boiling water, reduced the heat and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes, finally I added honey to taste. The flavor turned out really nice, it had the spiciness associated with ginger, however, it was very smooth and not as harsh as the commercial ginger teas I have tried in the past. My boyfriend Dan even liked the taste and he usually does not like the flavor of ginger tea.

Here is some of what I learned about ginger.

Ginger*: Zingiber officinale - Energetics: warm - hot, dry, pungent

Ginger has been cultivated in Jamaica for quite some time. Its origin is uncertain, however, it is thought to be native to Asia growing in India and China. It can be easily grown as a house plant and can be sprouted from a rhizome purchased from your local grocery. Ginger is a classic remedy for colds, flu, fevers, nausea, menstrual cramps, motion sickness and hangovers. It is a mild stimulant which promotes circulation.

*Since I am new to herbology, I welcome corrections and/or additions to the material above.

Resources:

Wardwell, J.A. (1998) The Herbal Home Remedy Book: Simple Recipes For Tinctures, Teas, Salves, Tonics, and Syrups. Massachusetts: Storey Publishing.

Kowalchik, C. & Hylton, W.H. (Eds.) (1998) Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Wild Rose College of Natural Healing (1999) Ginger. Retrieved January 24, 2009, from http://www.wrc.net/wrcnet_content/herbalresources/materiamedica/materiamedica.aspx?mmid=13

2 comments:

danwinnemucca said...

Cool! But what's a rhizome? I know I'm a dummy, what would I do without you? I much preferred your fresh ginger tea to the bagged kind, although there is just something about ginger tea that I don't love, I wish I did, because it seems really good for you!

Renee said...

a Rhizome is similar to a root, but it's more like an underground stem that produces roots and shoots. In Ginger it is the part that is most often used in cooking. The picture on the blog is the rhizome of a ginger plant. :^)