Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Digestive Support with Ginger !

Used for centuries, ginger is a rhizome which has become popular around the world.  In ancient China and Rome, ginger was a favoured spice for cooking and healing.  Ginger then arrived in Europe around the 9th century and became so popular that it is said to have been used like salt, and pepper, and even sprinkled on beer - which is the origin of "ginger ale"!

With its unique flavour that suits sweet & salty, ginger has made its way into cuisine in various forms - gingerbread cookies (Europe), ginger in coffee (Yemen), ginger with fish (Myanmar), ginger beer (Jamaica), chai tea (India) and much more. In addition to ginger's striking taste, the medicinal benefits of ginger have been known in traditional medicine and recognized by modern day research. Ginger can provide relief for morning sickness and nausea, relieve inflammation and arthritis, improve circulation and support various other health concerns when used properly.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, ginger can support digestion by rekindling "agni" - the digestive fire.  "Agni" is one of the most important principles in Ayurveda and relates to how we not only digest food, but how we digest experiences, emotions and sensory input.  Ginger helps increase "agni" in the stomach which helps stimulate saliva, gastric juices and enzymes, bile to enhance breakdown of ingested food.  It can also support movement of food past the stomach into the intestinal tract, reducing bloating and digestive discomfort.

Ginger has sweet and pungent tastes and has heating qualities.  It has a sweet post-digestive effect and has an affinity to the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems. Ginger is tridoshic, meaning it is suitable for each of the 3 doshas - vata, pitta, kapha.  How and when ginger should be taken for each individual depends on their agni, the season, and the state of their doshas.  Agni tends to be weaker in Vata and Kapha constitutions, and in Pitta constitutions, agni has a tendency to be aggravated leading to heartburn and other pitta conditions. Ginger is generally safe to use, however intake must be monitored in certain constitutions if taken in excess.


This recipe is very simple to make, and can be an effective way to incorporate ginger in your diet to support agni:
  • 2" organic ginger (fresh) - peeled, sliced finely in strips
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt or himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • Olive oil to cover all the ginger pieces
  • Other spices can be added based on your ayurvedic constitution - turmeric, hingvastak, cumin, maple syrup
Mix the ingredients together in a small glass jar, and store at room temperature. You can chew on a ginger piece before meals. Best to make small amounts of the pickle for the week and eat fresh. 

If you would like to learn more about Ayurvedic spices, their medicinal benefits as well as their culinary uses, join us for a seminar on Saturday, Nov 21st at 3pm or on Tuesday Nov 24th at 6:30pm. Details can be found: Ayurvedic workshops

To learn more about how ginger can be used medicinally specifically for your constitution, you can book a naturopathic & ayurvedic consultation with Dr. Leena Athparia, ND.K = good for all Ayurvedic dosha typ


  1. Ayurveda is oldest formula to fight against disease. Since ancient times Ayurvedic Medicine is being used most of saint had been used herbs for disease. Now in new generation people are using Ayurvedic Medicines really it is so effective and so beneficial for our health.