Friday, February 19, 2010

Ginger, It's Not Just For Nausea

I am rediscovering ginger. I hated it when I was a kid but I am slowly coming back to it. It's great for nausea. In these long trail run races that I do, some people get really bad stomach problems and nausea and one of the things that work is ginger. Thankfully I am one of those that has a pretty strong stomach. I'm starting to like it but I don't love it. This evening I found that flavored carbonated water mixed with lemon ginger juice is crazy good and that drink in turn reminded me of a childhood memory that seems so crazy now.

When I was a kid growing up in the Philippines there was a belief in our part of the country that if a fever lasts for more than 5 days a spirit has chosen to dwell in the person's body. The only way to get the said spirit out and end the fever is to call the local witch doctor and have them pray on you. I had these done regularly when I was a kid and I actually enjoyed them which doesn't explain my aversion to ginger... well my former aversion. Basically this person, usually an old woman, will pray on each of your hands and feet. She will have a thumb sized piece of ginger that's peeled and she makes the sign of the cross on each hand and foot with the ginger as she finished each prayer. Then she prays over your head and then blows away the offending spirit by blowing on the top of your head a couple of times - this was my favorite part. Afterwards you had to wear the piece of ginger, bobby pinned on your shirt, for a couple of days. I guess body invading spirits like ginger as much as vampires like garlic. Since I enjoyed these sessions I was always eager to have the procedure done whenever I had a fever. Of course it didn't really help when I turned out to have more serious ailments like the one time I actually had typhoid fever. No amount of prayer, ginger and hot breath on the top of my head helped that one. Typhoid fever... the cure was more painful than the illness.

So yeah kind of random I know. Last week a made a big pot of chicken and rice soup with lots of ginger but no ginger related flashbacks. Today I make a lemon ginger soda and bam, trip to memory lane.

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