This month....

February 2019

The start of February accompanied by snow! Some sleet, some flurries & some settled but not for long in London. Or even long enough. It all depends on how you feel about snow.

Damp & icy it certainly has been, the sort of wind that gets inside your skin, the sort of cold that penetrates muscles & joints. So time for ideas for warming up!

Enter ginger. When thinking of warmth that gnarly old rhizome is one of the first things that comes to mind. Zingiber officinale, native to southern Asia, has been used as a remedy for thousands of years. Good for circulation, digestion, nausea, coughs & colds.


as a warming tea. 1 cm pieces of root ginger can be steeped in boiling water together with honey, lemon & turmeric to ease sore throats & help dispel the shivers. Can also be combined with green tea or slices of apple. Or used as a winter warmer in a smoothie.

as a spice. Powdered ginger can be used to add a kick of warmth to crumbles, cakes, hot punches, gravies & sauces. Who doesn't like spiced ginger cake? It is also said to be an aid in weight loss when drunk in a tea.

as an essential oil. Blends well with lemon & black pepper. Used in blends locally for aches & pains, rheumatism, arthritis & sprains. One of the active components, gingerol, has proved useful in treatments for diabetes & obesity.

as a poultice. Grate root ginger & apply as an anti inflammatory to small areas for sore joints & swelling.

in sweets. Stem ginger & its syrup can be used in baking & sweets for those with a sweet tooth.

as a room fragrance. Sweet & pungent, blends well with citrus oils such as lime or grapefruit. Also used in candles.

as a tincture. Good for chills, travel sickness & nausea. Mix a few drops with honey.

Ginger is generally considered to be safe, non toxic & non irritant. Follow the usual precautions, however, for children, the elderly, if you are pregnant, nursing or on prescription medicines.

Above all stay warm!

© Susan Mumford, 2019