Some medicinal uses of ginger

Ginger tea has been used since about 2000 BC for medicinal purposes. It is supposed to ease indigestion, nausea and headache. My ex-wife's mother prescribed it for stomach ailments and period pain, and I have a friend who swore by it as a prophylactic against motion sickness. On the rare occasions when I have had a hangover, a cup or two of this has set me on my feet again.

In each case, the recipe was the same - two to four teaspoonfuls of freshly ground or minced ginger (never dried) and a pint of boiling water and honey to taste. Left to infuse for ten to twenty minutes, strained and sipped, a cup of this is enough to take the edge of the nausea.

It is wise not to take too much, however, as two of ginger's components, gingerol and zingerone (which impart the 'hotness') have an irritant effect. Certainly, anyone suffering with gastric ulcer is advised not to drink too much, or make it too strong. In addition, pregnant women and anyone with gall bladder problems are warned against excessive use.