"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Ginger (zingiber officinale)

Whenever I get a sore throat I drink gingerbeer - the sting of the ginger beer on the back of my throat soothes the pain - in fact most times it removes the pain altogether.

I am thrilled that I have finally been able to get some ginger to start sending out roots.

I have been trying for months - planting it just below the soil, planting it half into the soil, and, finally, thanks to James Wongs' Grow you own Drugs (isbn 978-1-60652-107-6), I have got it right.

James recommends choosing a budding rhizome (which looks like a little green or white horn) and suspending it over water using toothpicks until roots form.

It's not quick - it's taken about 6 - 7 weeks - but at least it's happening!

Once the roots are established he recommends planting it 10 - 20 cms (4 - 8) inches deep in potting compost.

It should be kept warm and moist in a lightly shaded area.  The ginger rhizomes can be harvested when they are a year old.  All one has to do is dig down into the soil and break off a piece of the rhizome - leaving the rest in the ground.  The ground is the best place to store ginger - if it's harvested all at once then the ginger will dry out before you've had a chance to use it all.  It can also be frozen (whole or grated) but I prefer it fresh - it has a far stronger taste.

Ginger is a very versatile spice - used in cooking - sweet and savoury dishes.

It is also brilliant an anti-nausea remedy - be it motion sickness, vertigo or morning sickness.  Just chew on a thin slice to relieve the feeling of nausea.

Ginger contains ginerols, which when dried or extracted become hotter and seem stronger to the taste.  It also has a soothing efect on the digestive tract - quelling disgestive disorder.  It is perfect to have as a tea on a winters afternoon - it warms the body beautifully.

It is also apparently good as an anti-inflammatory for joint pain.

A little ginger shoot appearing on the large piece which is sending roots down into the water
I love adding it to chicken dishes - whether they are stir fries, roasts or even soup.


  1. I adore your blog :o))) I didn't know Ginger was an anti-inflammatory...I'm going to put it to use. I have some kind of joint problem (arthritis/gout/fibromyalgia) combination in my whole body that has wreaked havoc on my life since 1999. Maybe Ginger will help...thank you!

  2. Many thanks Ezra for your very kind words :-)

    I was beginning to think that nobody found what I have to share interesting...

    I have other remedies for arthritis from James Wongs' book which I can let you have - if you're interested?

  3. Hello lovely,
    thanks for the tips on growing ginger. I might have a go at growing some. We buy a stack of organic ginger for my little miss who was diagnosed with juvenille arthritis. Love your blog.

  4. Hi Deb

    Welcome and thanks for visiting my blog.

    Apparently ginger is easy to grow once it starts sending out roots and leaves...

    I keep you posted :-)


  5. I like ginger.Thank you for your interesting post!

  6. Hi Steffi

    Welcome, thanks for visiting and for your kind words. I love ginger too :-)


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