Superfood: Growing ginger in your garden

growing ginger in your own garden

Ginger (botanical: Zingiber officinale) is an indispensable ingredient in healthy cuisine. But all the healing ginger teas and exotically spicy curries with health benefits come at a price: before the tuber arrives in the shop, it has usually traveled around half the globe. To avoid long transport routes and the associated costs, growing ginger and to propagate the ginger root yourself is easy. This article shows you how to.

Growing organic ginger at home

Your entire initial investment in growing ginger is an organic ginger root. Use an organically grown tuber to avoid starting your ginger plantation with an inferior product of dubious origin. Colloquially one speaks of a root, but strictly speaking it is a rhizome.

With organic ginger you can be sure that the magic tuber is also full of essential oils that are responsible for the whole range of healing effects of ginger, but free of harmful pesticides.

Increasing the ginger itself and integrating it more often into the diet is particularly worthwhile for health reasons. It is particularly effective against digestive problems and numerous infections, helps with travel sickness and other nausea, has an analgesic effect, prevents colds and… is even a natural aphrodisiac, to name but a few of the numerous effects.

Ginger tubers have eyes similar to potatoes. With proper care, a new ginger plant can grow from each of these vegetation points.

Growing ginger in your home

This is how you start growing ginger:

  1. Place the root tuber in lukewarm water overnight as a germination aid.
    Fill two thirds of a flowerpot with soil with a high nutrient content. A preferably large, flat bowl is best, because the roots spread sideways rather than into the depth.
  2. Put the ginger root in the soil. Cover with about two centimetres of soil or even better humus and press down lightly.
  3. Moisten carefully with room warm water, preferably with a spray bottle.
  4. Cover the tropical plant with food foil to ensure sufficient humidity. However, do not suffocate, but leave a small opening for a certain amount of air exchange. A small construction of twigs or sticks provides the plant with a certain space with high humidity.
  5. Place in a bright, warm and draught-free place without direct sunlight. Moisten daily with the spray bottle. Not too much, however, so that the earth is not wet and begins to mold or to modern.
  6. Occasionally open or remove the film for a few minutes to ensure air exchange. This creates the best conditions for the ginger to sprout and to reach its first green tips.

Of course, in cold Central Europe you can’t expect your ginger plant to shoot up in no time, as it does in the tropics. But at the beginning of spring, when the sun gets stronger and provides more brightness again, is the best time to start growing ginger planting in your garden.

When the first shoot appears after a few weeks, it is time to repot the plant and place it in the sunniest place you can find in your home. Take care, however, to accustom the plant slowly and gradually to the direct sun so that the change of location does not overwhelm it.

As the above-ground part of the plant develops, the underground tuber gains strength and mass. After about eight to ten months of patience, the time has come. You can harvest your first home-grown regional ginger tubers! You can tell that the time of harvest has been reached when the leaves start to turn yellow.

Harvesting home grown ginger

Either you harvest the whole root or you cut off a large piece of the root and give the rest the chance of a new life next spring. During this vegetation break, the plant should be wintered in a dark, about ten degrees cool room without watering. A too warm location is less suitable because the pot and the remaining plant would dry out unnecessarily.

What you can use the healing ginger for, you will learn in this article! Did you know that you can use the same trick to grow turmeric?

Have you ever tried growing unusual plants yourself? Why don’t you tell us about your horticultural successes in your comments?

Healing root: Ginger makes many drugs superfluous

Using Ginger instead of medications

Have you ever wondered which natural product can be used against a number of diseases? It is the ginger, one of the most curative plants of all. Its many positive properties help detoxify the body and naturally improve health without therapy or surgery.

You can use ginger for the following ailments and problems, among others. For example, as ginger tea or ginger drink, in summer as cool ginger lemonade, or simply by adding a little ginger to your hot or cold dishes.

  1. Prevention with ginger.
    Ginger reduces the risk of hypertension, multiple sclerosis, stroke and heart disease toxins that enter the bloodstream, among other things, lead to hypertension. They are also associated with the development of multiple sclerosis, stroke and heart disease. The use of ginger improves blood circulation, which in turn largely flushes out the metabolic ballast.
  2. Ginger prevents gastritis, colic, stomach ulcers, diseases of the pancreas and diabetes.
    An accumulation of toxins in the body is also involved in the development of these diseases. This is where the slime-forming effect of ginger comes into play. It helps to cleanse the intestines, prevent the development of stomach ulcers and improve the general condition. Ginger can also help with heartburn.
  3. Ginger helps with weight loss
    Ginger is also suitable for weight loss treatments because it has a calming effect on the stomach, reduces stomach acid and stimulates the entire metabolism. Fat burning is also activated and excess body fat is more easily broken down.
  4. Ginger helps the joints and supports the fight against arthritis and osteoporosis salts, which are also toxic in excessive quantities and are deposited in our joints, cause arthritis and osteoporosis, which impair our locomotor system. Here, too, ginger is a magic remedy that helps us to „lubricate“ our joints.
  5. Ginger protects the muscles and prevents cramps
    If you do a lot of sport, ginger is just right for you, because it does not even let muscle fever arise after intensive training. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and soon brings relief. After sport you can put a linen bag with fresh, grated ginger in warm bath water. The bath should last 20 minutes. The heat generated opens the pores, relaxes muscles and simultaneously cleanses the respiratory tract and lungs while breathing. Ginger in the form of an infusion also acts as a light, natural pain reliever.
  6. Against nausea and travel sickness
    Ginger acts on the stomach and releases enzymes, thus preventing or at least alleviating many types of nausea. Studies have shown that ginger is just as effective as many drugs for nausea. If you are sensitive in the car, plane or ship, it helps you to chew a bit of the tuber and you will feel immediate relief.
  7. Against hangovers
    Just as ginger helps against nausea in travelers, the tuber can also help you to overcome a hangover. Put on a strong ginger tea or have some candied ginger. You can find more tips on how to get over the hangover here.
  8. Ginger is effective against inflammations of the oral mucosa Inflammatory areas of the gums, which everyone has now and then, can be treated effectively with its anti-inflammatory effect. Put a small slice of ginger under your lip, directly on the inflamed area and try to keep it there as long as possible. After a few hours replace with a new piece, after 12-24 hours the inflammation usually subsides, which otherwise takes several days.
  9. For faster healing of herpes blisters, unpleasant herpes blisters on the lips can also be treated with fresh ginger. Press a piece of ginger or simply a very thin slice on the affected area. This alleviates the strength of the outbreak and prevents inflammation of open areas. More tips on preventing and treating herpes can be found here.
  10. To cheer us up on cold days, ginger is one of the plants that gives us energy and cheers us up. Especially on cold and dark days an infusion with ginger slices warms and can give you the necessary kick to start the day full of zest for action.

Finally, a recipe for the use of ginger:

You can make ginger tea from a smaller tuber (10-20 g) or a teaspoon of ginger powder and 200 ml of boiling water. Let the tea steep for ten minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and a little lemon juice to taste. Drink half of it in the morning on an empty stomach, and the other half during the day between meals. This tea stimulates the metabolism, neutralizes toxins and improves digestion. It can be drunk daily.

Read more about the benefits of ginger tea and three ways to prepare it in this article. And – last but not least – ginger is also the plant that tastes like „ginger ale“ in beer, and ginger biscuits and speculoos are served on every colourful plate at Christmas anyway. This „hot tuber“ is truly a very versatile plant.

In this article you will find instructions on how to propagate the ginger tuber in your own house almost free of charge!

Black Soap Shampoo: The special soap for sensitive skin

Using black soap as a shampoo alternative

If you haven’t had luck with other shampoo alternatives or if you just didn’t find the right one for your special hair type, then try black soap!

This purely vegetable natural soap is particularly suitable for gently cleansing „difficult“ hair and giving it a silky shine. In addition, the soap counteracts inflammation and soothes irritations of the scalp, making it an ideal base for self-made shampoo.

Black soap, whose colour comes from the contained natural plant ash, is available in drugstores, organic shops or online.

Recipe for the shampoo alternative

You can make this shampoo alternative from only two ingredients and water:

  • 100 ml black soap (finely grated on the grater)
  • 50 ml sodium bicarbonate
  • 200 ml water

The sodium bicarbonate in this recipe ensures gentle degreasing of hair and scalp and complements the cleansing, caring effect of black soap particularly well.

A measuring cup is best suited for measuring the quantities in the correct ratio. You can also use a cup or a similar container as the basic size and measure two parts of soap, one part of sodium bicarbonate and four parts of water. The mixing vessel should hold approximately double the volume.

This is the way to do it:

  • Grate black soap with a kitchen grater to fine flakes.
  • Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Add soap and mix with a whisk until the flakes have dissolved.
  • Allow to cool to body temperature.
  • Add the baking soda and stir thoroughly again. Leave to rest for at least one hour.
  • To remove any undissolved soap and soda residues, filter the mixture through a cloth or a nut milk bag and pour it into a used shampoo bottle, for example.
  • For a particularly homogeneous result, the mixture can be mixed with a blender before filling.

The mixture is more liquid than conventional shampoo, but can be similarly dosed when washing hair and also forms some foam. It is advisable to shake them up briefly before each use.

The shelf life is limited by the high water content, therefore the production of larger stocks is not recommended. It is best to store the finished shampoo in the refrigerator and use it up within two weeks. You could increase the shelf life by adding additives, but the production is so simple that I prefer to make new shampoo if necessary.

Tip: To find the right care for your hair, you can experiment with the formula: If the scalp and hair tips are prone to dryness, it may be helpful to reduce the amount of sodium bicarbonate. Stubborn hair becomes smoother after washing with a rinse of apple cider vinegar.

Black soap, what is it?

Black soap, also called Dudu-Osun or Ose Dudu, originally comes from West Africa, especially Ghana and Nigeria. It is usually obtained from the ashes of banana peels, palm leaves or cocoa beans and produced with palm oil, coconut oil or shea butter and water. Soaps without palm oil are also available.

Depending on the recipe and manufacturer, other caring substances such as herbs or essential oils are added to the black soap.

The soap has a low excess fat content and thus helps to regulate excessive sebum production of the (head) skin. A gentle peeling effect and the antimicrobial effect also contribute to a better skin appearance in skin problems such as pimples, acne, dandruff or neurodermatitis.

Which shampoo alternative works best for you? We are looking forward to your comment!

Daisy tincture with sodium bicarbonate – without alcohol

fresh flowers for a fresh daisy tincture without alcohol

Do you know the healing power of daisy? The small flowers contain many vitamins and minerals and have an anti-inflammatory and mucolytic effect. They can be used both internally and externally against colds and skin problems. A daisy tincture captures the active ingredients of the flowers and makes them last for months, so that you can also use them outside the flowering season.

However, tinctures are usually mixed with alcohol so that they cannot be used for children or sensitive skin. Tinctures based on sodium bicarbonate are more suitable in these cases. Baking soda dissolved in water can be used for the extraction of active plant substances, just like a brine. The household remedy sodium bicarbonate is also particularly inexpensive and may be available in your kitchen cupboard anyway.

Sodium tincture with daisies

Sodium bicarbonate is ideally suited as a gentle extractant for a basic tincture. The acid-balancing, antseptic properties of the substance were already used by the ancient Egyptians to treat small wounds as well as athlete’s foot, heartburn, colds and many other ailments.

A sodium tincture with the active ingredients of the daisy combines the healing properties of both components. It is very easy to prepare with the following ingredients:

  • 25 g sodium bicarbonate
  • 25 g daisy blossoms
  • 100 ml water

This is how the tincture is prepared:

  1. Carefully shake out the daisy to remove insects and foreign bodies. Pinch off the stems directly under the flower heads.
  2. Place the flowers together with the sodium bicarbonate in a 200 millilitre glass which can be closed, pour in water and stir well.
  3. Let it be extracted for about a week. Shake daily to accelerate the removal of the active ingredients and to prevent mould.
  4. Strain the finished tincture through a fine-meshed sieve, tea filter or nut milk bag and fill into a tincture or spray bottle, depending on use.

Note: As there is more sodium bicarbonate in the water than is necessary for a saturated solution, part of it settles on the ground. If the sodium bicarbonate dissolves completely during the extraction time, add a little more. At room temperature, the tincture can be kept for up to three months.

Daisy Tincture application and dosage

Daisy tincture can be used externally for small wounds, insect bites and skin impurities. Dab undiluted onto the affected area of the skin (for example with a homemade cosmetic pad) or spray on with a spray bottle and allow to dry.

One tablespoon of the tincture, diluted with a sip of water, can be used as mouthwash and for throat pain gargling. Then spit it out. Repeat the application if necessary.

As daisy tea, the plant also has a particularly beneficial effect on colds and flu-like infections.

Tip: The daisy is even popular as a healthy ingredient in the kitchen. For example, you can refine curd or jelly with its sweetish nutty taste.

Nettles (Urtica dioica) as medicinal plant

Nettles growing in the garden

Almost everyone knows the sharp stinging nettle, and there is hardly a person who does not become acquainted with nettles burning properties sooner or later.
This is why it is often avoided, although as an important medicinal plant it should have a place of honour in every garden.

However, it usually takes this place of honour itself, because it is very persistent and undemanding and grows almost everywhere you let it grow.

Nettle plant description

Almost everyone knows the stinging nettle. Everybody takes a closer look at the herb, which has caused such an unpleasant burning on the skin.

Nettle is native to Central Europe and is common almost everywhere.

It usually grows in groups and often on cultivated soil that is as nutritious as possible. Therefore, it is often a cultural follower and accompanies people to their villages and cities.

It grows up to one meter high and can be recognized by its opposite sawn leaves, which are covered with small stinging hairs. It is these stinging hairs that cause the nettle to burn, because on contact they break off and drain their stinging nettle poison onto the skin.

The flowers of the stinging nettle are quite inconspicuous. They are yellowish and hang in panicles from the upper leaf stalks.

Similar species

The small nettle (Urtica urens) is very similar to the large nettle and is also used similarly as a medicinal plant.

Organic nettles growing in the garden

Nettle fact sheet

Nettle healing effects

  • blood-purifying
  • hematopoietic
  • hemostatic
  • Stimulates the metabolism
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Rheumatism
  • Gout
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Dandruff
  • Spring fever
  • loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach weakness
  • Kidney weakness
  • Diabetes (supportive)
  • hypertension
  • Menstrual problems

Nettles collection time

Nettles can be collected from March to August. If you want to seed and grow nettles in your own garden, you can collect the seeds from existing nettle plants in early autumn.

Application

The nettle is an excellent metabolic plant. Especially as a spring cure it works wonders by rinsing out all the slag of winter from the body. They can be eaten as nettle tea, in salads, in soups and like spinach. Well seasoned and together with other herbs it tastes wonderful and gives fresh powers.

Nettle tea is a popular tea for purifying and stimulating the metabolism.

As a tincture, the nettle can be massaged into the scalp against hair loss.

It is also very good when dried in kidney-bubble tea blends. It also helps against rheumatism and gout because it removes toxins from the body.

Particularly courageous rheumatism patients can be beaten with the whole plant to take advantage of the irritating effect of nettle poison. This method should be used with caution, however, as overreactions to the stinging nettle poison may also occur.

The nettle seeds give strength and work well in conditions of exhaustion.

Nettle root can also be used as a medicinal herb.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) as a medicinal plant

Chamomile as a medicinal plant

Chamomile (camomile brit. englisch) is one of the most popular medicinal plants in Europe. Many grandmothers rightly use camomile for all kinds of complaints, because it can be used as a real jack of all trades.

Unfortunately, it is hardly to be found in the wild any more, because it loves the proximity of grain, but is fought there.

In return, however, they can be bought in any supermarket at least as tea bags.

The camomile is so well-known that probably everyone knows its typical scent.

Plant Description Chamomile

Originally camomile comes from Southern and Eastern Europe, but it has long been native to Central Europe. In many countries it is cultivated because its flowers are in great demand as herbal tea. France is a particularly important country for cultivation.
Chamomile is undemanding in terms of soil and nutrients. It likes to grow on fallow fields and along the roadside. In the garden they can be cultivated in a sunny place.

The annual plant grows to 10-50 years old and has a round, smooth, upright stem that branches out strongly.

The pinnate leaves are green-yellow.

The flowers are golden yellow tubular flowers with light white ray florets. They appear in warm areas already from the end of May, otherwise rather from June.

The receptacle arches strongly upwards, giving the camomile blossom its concise shape.

The camomile has a distinct fragrance.

Organic chamomile flowers opening in the morning sunlight

Chamomile fact sheet

The main applications of chamomile are:

Healing effects of chamomile:

  • antibacterial
  • drying out
  • soothing
  • blood-purifying
  • anti-inflammatory
  • diuretic
  • antispasmodic
  • analgesic
  • sudorific
  • toning

Chamomile areas of application

  • Digestive weakness
  • Itching
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Puffing
  • flatulence
  • Cystitis
  • Bladder weakness
  • Intestinal colic
  • Inflammation of the intestinal mucosa
  • Diarrhea
  • Eczema
  • Inflamed wounds
  • A cold
  • Erysipelas
  • Fever
  • Boils
  • Facial erysipelas
  • Gout
  • Flu
  • Ulcers
  • Shingles
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Sore throat
  • Lumbago
  • Skin impurities
  • Cough
  • Infected wounds
  • Sciatica
  • Itching
  • Headache
  • Lymph node swelling
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stomach mucosal inflammation
  • Tonsilitis
  • Menstrual problems
  • Bad breath
  • Oral mucosa
  • Sinusitis
  • Nerve pain
  • Nervousness
  • Neuralgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rheumatism
  • Sniffles
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Stress
  • Abdominal diseases
  • Constipation
  • White River
  • Wounds
  • Gum disease
  • Duodenal ulcer

Collection time for Chamomile

The best time to collect Chamomile in our are is from May to July. Chamomile has to be collected in sunshine.

Application Chamomile

The effects of chamomile are manifold. It has an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, soothing, drying out, distensive and wound-healing effect.
It can be used as tea or tincture.

Internally

Internally, the main field of application of camomile is usually the gastrointestinal tract. However, camomile can also be helpful for most other complaints.

Digestive problems

A chamomile tea relieves stomach pains of small children and adults. With a spoiled stomach, a small sip of chamomile tea can work wonders.
Camomile not only relieves cramps, but also has an antibacterial effect, which makes life difficult for any pathogens taken in with food.

Camomile tea also helps against diarrhoea, but also against constipation. Camomile tea can also be drunk in small sips against stomach ulcers.

Blow-out tea blend

This tea mixture helps against flatulence (meteorism).
This tea is also suitable for children because the herbs contained taste friendly. You can try it with all the typical mild stomach aches of children.

Aniseed and fennel have a strongly anti-expanding effect due to their essential oils. Camomile has an anticonvulsant, analgesic and antibacterial effect if bacteria are involved.

Ingredients:

20 gr camomile blossoms
40 gr anise fruits (= seeds)
40 gr fennel fruits (=seeds)

Instructions:
Brew a tea with a tablespoon of tea mixture per cup.
Let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes.
Filter the tea afterwards.
Drink the tea in small sips.

Urinary apparatus

Slight kidney weakness and bladder problems can be relieved by camomile.
Camomile relaxes the urinary organs, has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect and promotes urine production.

You should drink a cup of chamomile tea three times a day as long as the symptoms persist.

Metabolism

Due to its diuretic properties, camomile cleanses the blood and helps the body to excrete harmful substances (e.g. uric acid).
Camomile tea can thus alleviate the symptoms of rheumatic diseases and gout.

You should drink a cup of chamomile tea three times a day.

Nervous system

The camomile has a calming and relaxing effect.
This effect therefore helps with nervous complaints and insomnia.

Neuralgic pain such as sciatica or lumbago can also be relieved by camomile.

If necessary, brew a cup of chamomile tea and drink slowly in the quietest possible environment.

Respiratory disorders

Chamomile can help with almost all types of respiratory diseases.
This starts with a normal cold with a cold and sore throat and does not end with sinusitis or angina.

You should drink a cup of chamomile tea three times a day as long as the symptoms persist. You can also sweeten the tea with honey, especially if you have a cough.

Steam bath against sinusitis and impure skin

A camomile steam bath helps with sinusitis, congested nose, but also with impure skin and acne.

You brew a strong chamomile tea in a bowl.
Place the bowl on a table (do not forget the heat-resistant surface).
Then you sit in front of it and bend over it.
A large towel is spread over the head and bowl so that the steam can collect.
Breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes and walk as close to the hot water as you can stand (don’t touch, of course).
Then you dry yourself thoroughly.

Women’s complaints

Drunk internally as tea, camomile helps against menstrual cramps, menstruation that starts too late and too little milk production during breastfeeding (together with anise).

Camomile can be used as a sitting bath for vaginal inflammations, such as white blood flow. Sitting baths also help to relieve menstrual cramps and various types of abdominal inflammation.

Gurging and rinsing for mouth infections

In case of inflammation in the oral cavity or sore throat, you can gargle or rinse with camomile tea or diluted camomile tincture.
Even toothache can be temporarily relieved with camomile rinses. However, the dentist should be consulted for caries treatment.

External

Externally, this can contribute to wound healing in many ways.
When healing wounds with camomile, it must be noted that it has a highly drying effect which is not desired in all cases (e.g. with particularly dry skin).

Some allergy sufferers also have problems with camomile because it irritates the skin a little.

Otherwise it can be applied as tincture or ointment or as bath (e.g. sitz bath) or compress in tea form.