What?! Now that sounds odd! Over Thanksgiving my sister-in-law and I were visiting and she shared with me a remedy she had found and used with good success when her son had the flu back in September. We’ve all heard of drinking ginger tea for nausea or to relieve cold and flu symptoms, but soaking in it? I immediately started looking at information on the internet and found several articles talking about this very subject. I decided a little personal experimentation would be in order since I had never heard of or done this. Quite a bit different than sharing a tip about soaking your veggies and fruits in apple cider vinegar without having actually done it!
Before I share the results, let me give you a few reasons why ginger should be part of our regular diet. Ginger can calm nausea and motion sickness, it can relieve gas and bloating, can stop diarrhea, can calm menstrual cramps and relieve headaches, it has anti-inflammatory properties (think reaching for ginger instead of an over the counter anti-inflammatory), can stabilize high or low blood pressure, can lower cholesterol, can soothe cold, flu and respiratory infection symptoms, has anti-cancer properties and can freshen your breath. Ginger also has anti-mucus properties, is a natural decongestant and opens pores. When it is used as a soak it is a sauna alternative.
My favorite way to ingest ginger is to grate a couple of tablespoons of frozen ginger and add to simmering water. I then add a teaspoon of a tea mix from the Bulk Herb Store called Dr. Cinnamon. I simmer those in a pan in hot water for about 20 minutes. Strain, add raw, local honey and enjoy! Simply simmering 2 T fresh ginger in 2 cups of hot water for 15 minutes and then steeping for 10 additional minutes will work if you don’t have the Dr. Cinnamon. Add honey to taste.
By keeping your ginger root in the freezer, using it is quite easy and it won’t go bad nearly as quickly. Just take a hand grater and then grate the frozen ginger. I don’t even try to take the peel off. I’m always amazed at how quick and easy this method is.
Now, back to the ginger bath. All of the articles mentioned how much sweating would occur with this soak. This is good because sweating is one of the ways our bodies gets rid of toxins. I have to say they were all on target! I couldn’t believe how much sweat poured off me, esp. from my head! All of my mascara was under my eyes instead of on my eyelashes! (You will not be seeing a picture of that!) Because of the sweat it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during and after to replenish and also to help move the toxins out. (You may with to consider using a faucet end water filter to avoid soaking in chlorinated water.) This soak can be used 2 – 3 times per week, just not daily.
Before I give the specifics of this recipe note: Please DO NOT try the ginger soak if you are pregnant, have a heart or liver condition, or high blood pressure.
- 4 T – 1 c ginger powder (I used 1/2 cup) or
- 1/2 C up to 1/2 pound fresh ginger chopped and simmered about 30 min. Strain and use the liquid)
- 1 C Epsom Salts
- 1/2 C baking soda
- Essential oils such as lavender, Melaleuca, lemon, eucalyptus, etc. (I only use Young Living brand)
- Fill tub about 1/2 full with hot water.
- Add essential oils to Epsom salts, stir, and pour into water.
- Add ginger and baking soda.
- Stir water.
- Continue filling tub with hot water. Check to make sure water temperature will not burn you.
- Soak up to neck for 20 – 40 minutes. For the first time soak 20 minutes. Towel off.
- Carefully get out of tub.
- Put on robe. After 30 minutes shower off. Sweating can continue for 1 – 2 hours after soaking.
- If you think the ginger powder might clog the drain, use the fresh ginger method.