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Ginger is a noted herb with warming properties when the mercury plunges

In wintertime, add freshly grated gingerroot to almost every food and tea to naturally heat up your body inside out.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Do you still feel chilly even after bundling in your warmest coat? There are a few simple herbal foods which you can include in your daily diet to keep warm in winter. These healthy hearty herbs, such as ginger is great for warming you up from inside out. Try to include in your cooking and preparing tea.

Ginger has been recognised for its apparent ability to warm the body by increasing blood circulation. Although it may be taken in its dried form herbalists recommend adding fresh gingerroot to the foods so as to chase away winter chills most effectively. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and contains natural antioxidants. Consuming it enhances the flow of blood to all body parts and stimulates heat that makes it a great remedy for cold hands and feet, and to prevent circulatory disorders.

Try pepping yourself up with a hot cup of ginger tea a few times a day as a way to defrost. It will imbue you with a warmth that extends from the head right down to your toes. At the same time, it will increase your energy lifting the spirits and enhance your immunity. To make a cup of ginger tea, simply grate half inch piece of ginger in one cup of water and give a boil on high flame, then simmer for ten minutes. Strain and sip hot. It is the best remedy when you are feeling somewhat lethargic with the seemingly endless cold. In India’s Ayurvedic medicines the pungent and warming properties of ginger have long been used to enhance heat in the body.

Besides its warming properties, ginger is highly popular as medicine to various ailments including:

· Ginger enhances digestion and absorption of nutrients by encouraging secretion of digestive enzymes. It settles the stomach and soothes indigestion.

· It detoxifies the body by moving stagnation of undigested food and subsequent accumulation of toxins. Accompanied by its antioxidant properties, it boosts immunity and vitality too.

· Consumption of ginger relieves stomach pain and relaxes the gut by relieving colic and spasm and helps to stop gripping caused by diarrhoea and dysentery.

· Ginger helps relieve nausea, whether caused by anxiety, overeating, stomach bug, pregnancy or travel sickness, especially water travel.

· It is a powerful cure for a hangover. Chew a little piece of ginger to settle the stomach and dispel heavy-headed and lethargic feeling that occurs in the morning due to the night before. Ginger also sweetens your breath.

· The volatile oils in ginger are highly antiseptic and thus dispel a whole variety of bacterial and viral infections. It is ginger’s warming and stimulating properties that make it such a valuable herbal medicine.

· It helps ward off the ills of winter, such as coughs, colds, sore throat, chest infections and flu.

· It can relieve a toothache.

· Eating ginger regularly can strengthen your heart. It thins the blood and inhibits clotting. It also lowers harmful cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure.

· With its combination of detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can be very helpful in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.

· Consumption of ginger can combat weak eyes.

· Insomnia can also get treated with regular consumption of ginger.

· Ginger helps provide radiant and lustrous skin.

· It can prevent and cure many kidney problems.

· Gingerroot has beneficial effects on delayed and scanty periods as well as period pain during menstruation.

In winter, ginger baths are also very soothing and warming. They relax your muscles and relieve cold and flu. For a ginger bath, simmer eight ounces of ginger in half a gallon of water for half an hour on low flame. Then strain it in your bucket or bathtub and have a hot water bath.

Ginger is a time-tested natural warming remedy. So, no more burning hole in your pocket this winter by turning on heaters. Try this cost-cutting tip to warm up naturally inside-out. Also knowing you are doing your bit for the environment by saving energy can leave you with a warm power-driven feeling.

Adding fresh ginger regularly to your cooking and drinking ginger tea may serve just as well and be more suited to your busy schedules to ward off winter chills and ills.