Ginger is a good regulator and calms the digestive system down. It is a natural stimulant and a natural solution to soothe motion sickness and states of nausea.
Cultivated in sunny and tropical areas, mainly in Asia (India, China, Nepal) where Ayurvedic medicine respects it for its culinary and medicinal properties, ginger has lots of resources to help imbalanced organisms: digestive discomfort, discomfort when traveling (car, bus, boat), lack of energy, fatigue or immune weakness. Its vitamins (especially of the B group) and minerals (manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron) energize and fortify the body. It is a natural stimulant so not to be overused while detoxing. It has a “thermogenic” effect (which tends to produce heat).
In herbal medicine, it is its rhizome, the underground part of the plant, which is used, a concentrated in vitality. We know well the firm and yellow pulp with stripes that is to be found inside, which serves as a reserve for the plant with its beneficial properties and ensures its good vitality. One of its main active compounds, gingerol, is a natural antioxidant. With shogaol, they have anti-inflammatory and protective effects for the intestinal transit (accelerated digestion). They help to facilitate a number of metabolic processes by stimulating the pancreas, the secretion of bile and the activity of various digestive enzymes (improving the assimilation of nutrients in the body). Ginger helps to maintain the intestinal flora in good condition, to digest fats and to calm or relieve the digestive system (spasms, gastritis, ulcers, heartburn, stomach lift). I am used to consume fresh ginger in juice extraction or infusions. With capsules I could definitely feel a stimulating effect, smoother than caffeine, in the body. We always have to be careful with stimulants for they can hide what the body is trying to say.
Ginger acts as an anti-emetic (stopping vomiting), reducing stomach movements, preventing or limiting nausea: a soothing solution for pregnant women, people suffering from motion sickness or convalescents in postoperative states. It is said that it relieves pain (migraines, menstruation) through its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties help the body in front of allergies, fever and winter ailments (tonsillitis, coughing, respiratory troubles, nasal congestion) or flu-like conditions.
How do I take it?
I prefer ginger infused or extracted in juice. It can also be consumed daily in capsules, between 500 and 1500 mg. In comparison, 1-2 g of ginger powder is about 10 g of fresh ginger.
Lung preparation with ginger
While I was getting interested in the presence of deep layers of mucus within the body, I prepared an infusion to help the lungs expectorate the mucus for 2 weeks (it then began difficult to drink so I stopped). Garlic, onion, chili and ginger are the “lung sweepers”: chop 40 grams of ginger, 1 onion, 1 teaspoon of garlic and 2 small chilli peppers. Bring 250 ml of water to boil and add the ingredients at once, allowing the mixture to reduce to a thicker preparation. Drink 2 tablespoons each day.
Known for millennia, turmeric root, an orange-yellow tuberous rhizome, is cooked, parched, peeled before being crushed into gold powder.
An incredible ally for health
In addition to its minerals and vitamins, turmeric is especially valuable for its curcuminoids, yellow dyes used in pharmaceutical (E100) and which are likely to stain work surfaces and everything it gets in touch with. Its main active compound, curcumin, slows down oxidative stress and the inflammatory process and the proliferation of abnormal cells. It is therefore a valuable ally against modern day diseases (cancers, diabetes, autoimmune cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases). In India, turmeric is consumed every day in large quantities (up to 2 g per day). Its other protective actions are non-negligible: natural antibiotic effect, body purifier, hepatic regenerator, blood fluidizer, natural fat burner, stimulator of the secretion of bile. For the intestinal flora, it helps the eradication of intestinal parasites and increases the production of probiotics.
How do I take it?
For a while I had the habit to add ½ coffee spoon of turmeric to my extracted or pressed juices before I realize its low bioavailability in this form. Indeed, turmeric reveals its strength when it is well associated. Curcumin being fat soluble, it is important to mix it with a tiny bit of oil agent. Piperine of black pepper can incrementally potentiate (2000x) its body assimilation. A thick paste can be prepared: in a saucepan to be warmed up gently (½ cup turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, a cup of filtered water). The mixture can then be stored for about a month in the fridge in a glass container (to avoid stains). This paste is ready to be added to smoothies (with an oily agent). Turmerci can also be included in cosmetics (mask, in a mixture for the teeth with coconut oil and baking soda).
Organic moringa powder, the green gold
Still unknown in Western Europe, a very high mineral and vitamin source, the green powder of moringa is a real health asset in terms of nutritive and therapeutic aspects. It is an excellent natural medicine: detoxifying, antioxidant, pain reliever, anti-fatigue, cardiovascular health and muscle mass supporter, stimulator of the immune system, it also strenghtens the joints.
Moringa’s nickname is the miracle tree. This hardy tree which resists drought manages to thrive in harsh weather conditions. Native to the sub-Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, it is cultivated easily and cheaply as a medicinal plant. It is also found in South America and in the Caribbean or in tropical areas where its leaves are used to treat inflammation and wounds. For millennia, it has been proven to alleviate malnutrition. In the Philippines, its leaves, rich in iron, are frequently prescribed to treat anemia.
What is extraordinary is that each part of the tree (leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, seeds and roots) can be used. Its immature green pods, prepared similarly to green beans, are rich in vitamin C, fiber and protein. Eaten raw, they treat the liver and act as a wormer. Its seeds can be removed from mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. Its leaves are used as spinach leafs or they are being dried, thus preserving vitamins and minerals and then reduced to a powder that can be used as a condiment. Leaves are the most commonly consumed part. Rubbed against temples, they can relieve headaches.
Moringa helps the body to purify: it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Research has demonstrated its protective effect against food microorganisms (Salmonella, E. Coli, etc.) and contaminating fungi. It is particularly effective against cutaneous, urinary or digestive infections caused by various types of fungi and bacteria. In addition, it helps the wounds to heal and supports collagen production.
The high concentration of polyphenols in its leaves and flowers make it an excellent hepatoprotector (oxidation, toxicity, liver damage). The concentration of zinc in its seeds and the chlorogenic acid it contains help regulate the level of sugar in the blood. It can have a regulating influence also on the blood pressure, thanks to quercetin. In addition to quercetin, its seeds contain compounds with powerful antioxidant properties such as kaempferol, rutin and caffeoylquinic acids. Taken in a regular way, the leaf powder increases the levels of antioxidants in the blood. Moringa leaf extract can also be used as a food preservative.
A dental ally
If I came accross this green powder, it was first of all because I was interested in the health of my gums and in search for regenerative effect for my receding gums. The various antibacterial qualities of moringa are great for oral cleaning. It can also be used to treat oral inflammation, infections and abscesses.
How do I take it?
Moringa can be drunk as an infusion (moringa leaf tea), taken in capsules or used as a powder. I regularly add it to my favorite smoothies (mango-papaya for example), it gives them a particular touch of taste. In the form of dried leaves, it can be added to soups, as in Cambodia. A poultice can be bathed in an infusion of moringa for fungal or bacterial skin problems. Applied to any wound or burn, it has an anti-inflammatory, coagulating and anti-bacterial effect. For teeth, I mix its green powder with 1/3 of activated charcoal and 1/3 of turmeric powder and brush my teeth with the mixture. From now on, the very rich oil of its seeds is also used in the composition of cosmetics: it protects and beautifies hair and skin. Its content in vitamin A helps improve the health of the follicles and encourages hair growth.
I have a strong love for the contribution of the fungi reign. I love the way their chemistry mixes with ours. Shiitake is not only an excellent edible forest mushroom that embellishes salads but also a medicinal mushroom used for a long time for its stimulating and invigorating properties (nervous system, immunity, white blood cells) in the Japanese and Chinese traditions.
The name shiitake comes from “shii”, one of the tree species (close to the oak) on which it grows and the word “take” which means “mushroom growing on”). For a long time, it remained the prerogative of the Japanese emperors and their faithful servants the samurai. It is one of the supplements that I add to my smoothies alongside with ashwagandha from time to time for its effect on clarity. Rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including essential amino acids and powerful antioxidants and B vitamins (B2, B3, B6, B9), shiitake contains valuable antibacterial and antifungal compounds, essential for the survival of fungi in their natural environment. Thus it is a real shield against external aggressions (germs, micro-organisms, bacteria) and at the same time it rebalances the microbial flora (a probiotic action). It contains ergosterol, a precursor of vitamin D, which fights against fatigue and seasonal depression. In Japan and China, a sugar with antitumor properties called lentinan is given intravenously to cancer patients during their chemotherapy and to patients whose immune systems are weakened. By activating the macrophage immune cells, which are in charge of identifying and suppressing potentially cancerous cells, it amplifies the body’s immune responses. I appreciate the great mental clarity it brings, the beneficial effect on the skin, its little boost on the mood and its action on the vision that seems more sharp, more colorful.
How do I take it?
There are different ways to consume shiitake: 6 to 16 g per day of fresh mushrooms or dried (soak them 20-60 minutes), decoctions, drinkable ampoules or capsules (dried mushroom powder or extract). The advantage of the powder is to concentrate up to 20 times their beneficial power. Often grown in bulk with pesticides and fungicides, mostly in China, on sawdust blocks in environments where humidity, temperature, light and aeration are controlled, it is still found sometimes grown in a traditional way, as in Japan, on logs of natural wood. Organic certification may, however, be granted to productions on artificial logs.