Well, it finally hit. The yucky sickness that has been going around. But fortunately it only lasted a few days, and I was the only one to get it. Why? I chalk it up to lots of herbal tea, and GINGER!
If you have been following the blog, you know that I am a huge fan of ginger and all the benefits. Ginger is an amazing digestive aid, it reduces pain and inflammation, and it inhibits the rhinovirus and bacteria that can cause the common cold and other viruses. Ginger, especially when fermented, is filled with energy building enzymes that can help ward off illness. Because I had just fermented 2 gallons of yummy Ginger Beer, I had been drinking it like crazy when I first felt the signs of getting sick. I believe that having all that good stuff from ginger in my system kept the illness from being as bad as I have seen in others.
Not only is Ginger Beer good for what ails you, it is also a very historic drink. This fermented beverage is noted as being popular in England as early as 1618. It was traditionally consumed with breakfast and provided the user with an excellent source of nutrients including the B vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes. While they may not have known the exact benefits of the drink in those days, today we know that a body in an enzyme deficient state is a prime target for heart disease, cancer, obesity and other degenerative problems. Drinks like Ginger Beer may help to increase our enzymes, therefore leading to a healthier body.
Ginger is somewhat of an acquired taste. I have plenty of friends and family who turn their noses up at the thought of it. If you can learn to enjoy the taste, you will certainly reap the rewards offered from this important herb.
Homemade Ginger Beer from One Ash Farm Recipes
To make genuine Ginger Beer, you will need to start with a "bug" (different from that kind that I caught!)*
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons white sugar
Place all of the above in a jar, cover and shake well (this should fill about 1/3 of your jar). Leave undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours.
Feed this culture daily for 7 days with 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground ginger. On the 7th day you should see bubbles that look like carbonation.
If not, the ginger bug has not formed and you will need to start again.
3 cups organic cane sugar
30 cups water, divided
Juice of 4 lemons, or equivalent
Bring to a boil 10 cups of water in a very large pot. Add the organic cane sugar and continue to boil until dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and remaining water, mixing well. Drain the liquid from the Ginger Bug and add it to the beer mixture, mixing well (you can retain 1/2 of the sediment, add 1/2 cup of water and begin the bug process again).
Pour the Ginger Beer into jars (I use my stand-by 1/2 gallon mason jars), cover tightly, and leave undisturbed for 21 days.
*I am not a doctor or a nutritional professional. This information is based solely on my own personal research and experience.