Ginger has many healing properties. One traditional remedy for the use of ginger is the ginger compress. The warming properties of ginger are harnessed in this technique in order to bring heat and improve circulation to various parts of the body. This remedy was used to treat symptoms in the body that are made worse with cold. For example at this time of year coldness invades many of the large joints in the body exacerbating conditions such as osteoarthritis in the knees, ankles, hips, hands, wrists, etc. It may also be used to warm a person constitutionally for kidney or lung conditions made worse by cold.
How to Prepare a Ginger Compress:
- Select ginger that is shiny and firm (preferably organic).
- Grate approximately a golf ball sized amount of ginger using a cheese grater
- Wrap it in a handkerchief or a piece of cheesecloth and tie it in a ball with string.
- Drop the ball in two quarts of boiling water and simmer for 10 mins.
- Squeeze the juice out of the ball into the water using a wooden spoon.
- Fold a medium sized cotton towel until it’s 4 inches wide and hold either end dipping the center into the hot ginger water.
- Ring excess water out into the pot, while the towel is still hot (as hot as you can stand) place on the region on the body that you want to warm (e.g. lower back for kidneys, upper back for lungs, wrap around knee or other large joints, etc)
- Cover with large cotton towel until the compress begins to cool.
- Repeat this process for a total heating time of 20 mins.
- Note: the water may be re-used for 24 hours (store in fridge) bring to a boil before use!
- Massage may also be applied through a hot towel when it’s cool enough to be comfortable.