As the winter months are upon us, so the energy of most of our plant life has travelled down into the roots to gather its resources ready for the burst of new life in Spring.
“sweet winter earth, nourish our roots”
In Sensory Herbalism we connect root energy to winter. Roots are generally high in polysaccharides (long chain sugars which act as energy for the plant) giving them sweetness, and nutty nourishment; great medicine for the winter.
One of our most commonly found roots (although we usually have to forage for this one from the local health food shop or grocers) and its technically a rhizome, the hot spicy Ginger.
We love the Ginger and one of our favourite treats is to consume this pungent rhizome in powdered form heated up in milk.
Offering a wonderful period cramp relief remedy, helping to ease tension and cramps away. Providing a warm comfort in a cup, creamy milk coupled with the warming sweetness of the ginger.
This readily available spicy root is a staple in our homes in the winter months. And as well as creating a sense of warmth that’s not available in the outdoors this time of year, its packed full of medicinal value too. Ginger is renowned for easing digestion; an action termed carminative helping to promote the release of gas and relaxed the musculature of the digestive tract. As a warming circulatory and anti-inflammatory agent, ginger has been wonderful in any mix for folk with pelvic congestion causing menstrual issues and for arthritic joint complaints.
The chopped or sliced root makes a glorious decoction too, simmered in water and then drunk with a spoon full of honey and a slice of lemon…yum
The many health related issues that Ginger supports are usually related to stagnation or lack of movement, and with the warming, relaxing, anti-inflammatory qualities of ginger it is easy to see how it will encourage blood flow and inertia throughout the body. This spicy rhizome has a wealth of protective properties and is a great herb to have as part of a winter diet, the many benefits will be experienced.
Here is a recipe for Ginger cordial, it can be drunk as a squash-type drink, with warm water or added to hot chocolate and deserts as a syrup.
- 4 inch fresh ginger root, grated
- 1 ½ pints water
- 1 lb organic soft brown sugar
Other things you will need: A muslin bag, a grater, pan, measuring jug, kitchen scales, an empty, sterilised glass bottle (with a lid)
- Place the water and grated ginger into a pan, bring the water to the boil and leave on a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes, this depends on how strong and gingery you want your syrup.
- Strain through a muslin or jelly bag
- Measure the volume of what is essentially a strong ginger tea and then measure out a lb of sugar to a pint of liquid.
- Place the tea and the sugar in a clean pan
- Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then leave slightly bubbling for 5 minutes to give it a syrupy quality.
- Pour into a clean sterilised bottle
This can be served with a slice of fresh lime to add a sophisticated air….if desired (who doesn’t desire a sophisticated air now and then!)