Category Archives: Herb Spotlight

Ginger – Packs a Mean Punch…

Ginger – Packs a Mean Punch…

…that is, if you want to get rid of your cold, flu and/or nausea quick! Long-used in Indian and Asian cooking, the medicinal benefits of ginger far outweigh its delightful flavor.

The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract.¹ Recent studies are giving credence to what healers have known for milleniums—ginger is a great digestive aid.

In addition, it’s great for motion sickness, fighting inflammation and reducing cholesterol levels. (Ask your doctor before adding ginger to your diet if you are taking blood thinners as it does have anti-clotting properties.) And last but not least, a study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25 percent.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, ginger is considered pungent or heating, yet it has an alkaline effect on the body, which supports its anti-inflammatory reputation.² This makes it a good herb for Pittas, as well as Vatas and Kaphas, although dried ginger is not recommended for Pittas unless they have a Kapha imbalance such as a cold or nausea. Ginger is highly recommended for the elderly, as it will warm them, support their digestion and fight inflammation at the same time.

Ginger can reduce excess Kapha and stimulate circulation, making it the best medicine for colds and flus. Warm temperatures are important to keep both Kapha and Vata balanced, particularly during the changing Spring and Fall seasons.

Here are several ginger recipes and concoctions you can try yourself. If you’re not a fan of ginger or would simply like more options for a variety of cold symptoms, purchase my e-book, Cold Prevention: Stopping Flu Season Before It Begins.


Do not combine with aspirin or other anti-coagulants or blood thinners. 

Ginger Tea:  Drink a cup of ginger tea several times a day. Boil a few thin slices of fresh ginger or use 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger per cup.

Ginger Juice for Nausea and Excess Mucous: Wash off 1/2 pound of ginger and chop it into pieces to fit through the juicer. Juice and store in an airtight glass jar. One half pound of ginger should make about 1/2 cup of juice.  Mix 1 tsp of this juice in 1/2 cup of warm water.  Drink this every 3-4 hours during illness, or as much as needed.

Pineapple Ginger Shots (2X a day): Juice 1 cup of pineapple with 2 inches of fresh ginger and drink. If you don’t have a juicer, blend in the blender, strain and drink.

Tulsi, Turmeric and Ginger Tea: Drink this tea at the first sign of sickness, 1-3 times daily. Once sick, drink a warm cup of this tea every 3-4 hours or as much as needed.  Use the honey sparingly, as viruses and bacteria thrive off of sugar.  So a small amount of honey is beneficial for colds and viruses while too much will be harmful. Click here for full recipe.

Ginger-Baking Soda Bath for flu, body aches, chills and fever: Fill the tub with moderately hot water.  While filling, add 1/3 cup of ginger powder and 1/3 cup of baking soda and mix until fully dissolved.  Relax in this ginger bath for at least 15 minutes or until you break a sweat.  ***If there are respiratory issues, add eucalyptus, peppermint and sweet orange essential oils (optional).  If there is fever and flu, add tulsi, sweet orange and rosemary essential oils (optional).






The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at

The Truth About Salt

The Truth About Salt

It’s been very cold in my condo the past week, and I’ve noticed my intense craving for salt and salty food. From an Ayurvedic perspective, this makes perfect sense. After all, we are now in the Vata season, which lasts from fall through early winter. Yes, even here in Southern California where we’re experiencing a dreadful… Continue Reading

Build Winter Immunity With Chyavanprash

Build Winter Immunity With Chyavanprash

Chyavanprash—It’s a mouthful I know, but one well worth swallowing, particularly if you tend to suffer repeated colds and flues throughout the winter. Chyavanprash (also spelled chyawanprash) is a traditional Ayurvedic tonic that contains 15-40 different medicinal Ayurvedic herbs (depending on the formula) along with honey, ghee, and raw sugar. This dark, rich, jam-like substance is sweet,… Continue Reading

Cleanse the Blood With Manjishta

Cleanse the Blood With Manjishta

Manjishta (or Manjishtha) is a perennial climber, native to India. This traditional Ayurvedic herb, also known as Indian Madder or Manjith, acts primarily as a blood cleanser and purifier. It contains a class of constituents known as quinones; the quinone rubiadin demonstrates antioxidant activity that protects against damaging free radicals. It has also demonstrated the ability to… Continue Reading

The Sugar Destroyer

The Sugar Destroyer

  Gymnema Sylvestre is a climbing plant found in the tropical forests of India and Asia. Its leaves have been used as a natural Ayurvedic treatment for diabetes and arthritis since the sixth century B.C., and it has earned significant recent interest as a multi-supportive therapy for weight management. Today, gymnema is used for diabetes,… Continue Reading