In any Chinese kitchen, you’re likely to find fresh ginger. It’s used for flavoring, and it’s popular not just because it makes food tasty, but also because it boosts energy levels. Many claim to feel far livelier in the morning if they’ve eaten fresh ginger or drunk ginger tea.
Ginger has warming properties. A drink of ginger tea or a meal featuring fresh ginger can warm the hands, feet, and limbs – a sign of improved blood circulation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches the reason people catch a cold is that there is an excess of cold qi in their body, which consuming ginger helps to dispel. There’s a saying in China: Ginger in the kitchen keeps the doctor away.
TCM practitioners have long been aware of the benefits of ginger. The 16th-century herbalist and physician Li Shizhen, writing in his famous “Compendium of Materia Medica,” was full of praise for the medicinal properties of ginger.
He wrote, “It can be used as vegetable, as a spice, as a fruit and medicine.”