Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ginger Tincture and Why


Ginger root is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice.

Tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant that should have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% or 80-120 proof. Vodka is usually the alcohol of choice because it doesn't have flavor. (I would have to disagree with that! I'm not an alcohol drinker so when I do get a taste of it I find it very unappealing.)

*People with biliary disease or women that are pregnant are advised against using ginger tincture.*

So why ginger tincture?

First I want to tell you some of the medicinal uses of ginger.

  • nausea
  • cramping
  • sore throat
  • arthritis pain
  • common cold
  • aphrodisiac
  • cholesterol
  • digestion
  • fibromyalgia
  • gout
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • motion sickness
  • loosen and expel phlegm
  • reduce fevers by increasing perspiration
  • anti-inflammatory
That's quite a list of medical benefits!  Interested? Guess what? It is super easy to make and easy to use.

What you'll need:
  • Chunk of ginger root 1/2 cup per batch
  • large glass jar with lid (canning jar or recycled mayo jar etc.)
  • 1 cup vodka per batch
  • cheesecloth or fine sieve
  • Time

Peel the ginger and cut into chunks and place in food processor to chop finely. If you don't have a food processor just use a knife to make a fine dice. You can leave the ginger unpeeled but the skin might cause a bitter taste to the tincture. I opted to take the few minutes to peel it.

Put the chopped ginger in a clean sterile jar to prevent contamination.

Add 1 cup of vodka per 1/2 cup of ginger. I ended up with 2 cups ginger to 4 cups vodka. Whew!

Close jar and shake vigorously for 1 minute.

Label and date the jar. (I just used a sharpie.)

Place in a dark cabinet and shake for one minute each day for two weeks. (I set an alarm on my phone to remind me.)

After two weeks strain the tincture into a clean jar and cover. Tincture will last several years in a dark place. 
(Sorry, no pictures yet. I'll update when this batch is done.)

Now, what do you do with it?

When you have any of the above symptoms or as a daily supplement simple take 1 teaspoon to 1 cup hot water as needed. Add some honey or lemon or add to tea to make it more palatable. I do not like just ginger tea. Many do so the hot water mixture should be fine. You could always be brave and just take the teaspoon of tincture.

For those against alcohol. I am too, but it is the best to use for tinctures. You also might not know that you purchase alcohol in many of your everyday products, it is a very common ingredient. If you just can't get yourself to go buy the alcohol perhaps a friend can get it for you. This really is a great medicine to have and I don't want the fact that it's made with vodka to deter you from using it.



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