Ginger helps you digest all that you eat. The tuber has been used since times immemorial in India as a part of daily food in curries, chutneys and teas. Raw ginger is crushed, pounded or sliced, and cooked with other ingredients to dish out a fantastic meal.
In Ayurveda, ginger is known as ‘an entire medicine chest in itself’. An ayurvedic verse explains that fresh ginger should be eaten just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion. A good way to do this, is to dip two or three thin slices in a little salt and lemon juice, and to have them before a main meal.
Make a terrific Keralite tamarind-ginger chutney (known as 'puli-inji') and have it with rotis, paranthas, dosas or even dal-chawal. Here’s how: soak tamarind ('puli' or imlee) in water, extract its juice and boil in a pan. Now add turmeric powder, mashed green chillies, ginger, jaggery (gud) and salt. Allow the mixture to boil and simmer. It will take some time to thicken. After it thickens, lower the flame and stir well.
In another pan, splutter mustard seeds and saute curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the thick chutney and mix well. Turn off the gas. Now, add fenugreek powder (methi powder) and asafoetida powder (hing powder) to the preparation. Stir well, and your digestive chutney is ready to be enjoyed!
Ginger increases digestive power and the appetite, improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues, and clears the microcirculatory channels of the body.
Traditional Chinese medicine also advocates the use of ginger as a tonic for the digestive system for its ability to relax the smooth muscles that line the gastrointestinal tract. It is also recommended for curing excessive bloating, gas production, and/or constipation.
The few cases in which Ayurveda says ginger must not be eaten are: hyperacidity, hemorrhage or menstruation, vertigo and chronic skin disease.