One of our yoga teachers Adam Elabd is very knowledgable on herbal remedies and has been kind enough to pass on some of his knowledge to be shared with all our lovely followers.
There are many situations in which we can avoid using synthetic pharmaceuticals by turning to our plant friends. Here Adam takes a look at the uses of ginger, including using it to make a tincture.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a great friend to all with motion sickness or nausea. A bit of ginger tea, tincture, or even a candy that is made with real ginger can help dispel nausea of all sorts. It can also be quite helpful with menstrual cramps. As with all strong herbs, if you are pregnant, it is not advisable to use higher doses than you are used. If you often struggle with nausea, try making yourself a ginger tincture (see below for process). Ginger is also a warming circulation tonic, so it’s great to have close by during the winter months.
Making Tinctures: Tinctures, or alcohol extracts, are very easy to make and allow you to preserve the medicinal qualities of a plant in a compact and long-lasting way.
To make a ginger tincture, peel some fresh ginger. (Tip: try scraping the skin off of the ginger with the edge of a spoon; this is a very easy way to peel it without fussing about and wasting a lot of the flesh.) Then chop it up as finely as you can. Pack a jar to the top with the ginger, then cover with alcohol. Use the highest-proof alcohol as you can find. Most vodkas and tequilas are between 35 and 40 percent alcohol, which will work perfectly fine. But if you can find something stronger, (Bacardi 151 is 75.5% alcohol) you will extract more of the plant’s active ingredients. Close the jar tightly and leave it closed for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, remove the solid, then store the liquid in a clean glass bottle, preferably one with a dropper to make administering it easy.
The strength of your tincture will vary depending on the strength of the alcohol and ginger that you used. Start with 30 to 40 drops (a quarter-teaspoon) mixed into a half cup of water and see how strong the effects are. You can do this with any herb, but it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research first about individual plants, so go ahead and do some reading and some experimenting!