Fresh ginger root or Sheng Jiang (in Pin Yin) is a great food and medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine fresh ginger is pungent and warm in nature. It is used to release the exterior (meaning it can help treat beginning stages of cold or flu), it warms the center to stop vomiting or nausea (because it is a warming herb that helps descend the Stomach Qi) and it is also used to reduce toxicity (that is why it is traditionally served with sushi; to prevent seafood poisoning).
Even in Western Herbalism we see that it is used for nausea and stomach upset and some companies even make it into yummy candies for all to enjoy. Well my 3 year old daughter does not really like those candies (too spicy for her) and they are kind of a choking hazard so I make ginger syrup for her when we travel. She is really affected by motion sickness in the car and sometimes in airplanes so I wanted to be sure to have some on hand for her. The last time I made ginger syrup I thought it was crazy sweet, but she still wasn’t the biggest fan (still too spicy). So while making it last time I had a brainstorm… add strawberries to the syrup. This was such a hit for her! It basically tastes like strawberry jam with a mild ginger kick at the end. I put the syrup into tincture bottles and let her self administer, good thing the dropper is so small because she just kept taking more and more. This was perfect for our trip to California, she was great on long car rides and on the airplane.
The recipe for ginger syrup that I made the first time was from Rosemary Gladstar’s Book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. Then for my own version I added strawberries and did not use as much sweetener as she recommends. By the way I super highly recommend any book by Rosemary Gladstar she is one of my favorite herbalist ever! And that book is super user friendly for anyone to be able to use.
Strawberry Ginger Syrup
- 3-5 strawberries (chopped)
- 1-2 inch size piece of fresh ginger root (chopped)
- Maple Syrup, Agave, Coconut Nectar or Honey
Start by chopping up the ginger and add to a pan that has enough water to cover the ginger and cook down by 1/2 and still have some liquid. You really don’t need much water it just helps to keep the mixture from burning and to extract more spice from the ginger.
Slowly bring this to a boil and just let it boil off 1/2 of the volume of liquid. Then strain out the ginger and strawberry bits. Pour the strained liquid into a small glass so you can note how much liquid you have. Then pour approximately the same amount of sweetener in. You can then pour the combined liquids back into the pan and heat up to really incorporate them.
I know these are all approximations, but to give you an idea of how much I ended up with… I filled 2-2oz. tincture bottles with the finished product. Plus a little extra for me to add some hot water to and have a delicious tea. Since this doesn’t have as much sugar make sure to keep refrigerated when possible and use up with in the week. If you omit the water and simmer the ginger in honey as Rosemary Gladstar recommends then you can keep this in the refrigerator for a couple weeks (if it lasts that long).