I always have dry ginger at home, dry ginger is called Sukku in Tamil and Sonth in Hindi. Like fresh ginger, dry ginger also has amazing health benefits and medicinal uses. It is a common belief that dry ginger is mainly used for indigestion but it is also used for treating arthritic pain, dandruff, cold, headache, improving appetite and for aiding weight loss.
What Is Dry Ginger?
Dry ginger is our regular ginger which has been dried. To make dry ginger, ginger is harvested in full maturity and then soaked in water after which the outer coating is scrapped off. Then it is sun dried to remove the moisture content completely. My family and I use it extensively in home remedies, dry ginger has been used in home remedies for centuries.
Dried ginger is also a good source of vitamins and minerals and it has been proven to be an effective antioxidant. Though dry ginger is the dried form of the regular ginger, it has more stronger flavor than regular ginger. Each type of ginger have their unique uses in home remedies and we never interchange them in remedies. Dry ginger stores well and I always sun dry it well before storing.
Dry Ginger Vs Fresh Ginger Chemical Composition:
Gingerols are are the major constituents of fresh ginger but they are found slightly reduced in dry ginger. Shogaols, the major gingerol dehydration product is found in large amounts compared to fresh ginger.
Dry Ginger Medicinal Uses:
Dry ginger has anti inflammatory, anti cancer, anti nausea, antioxidant, anti bacterial and gastro protective properties. It also helps lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. Here in our village, we use it for treating wide variety of problems from indigestion (ginger tea), arthritic pain (ginger poultice), dandruff (ginger hair oil) and for treating periods pain, chest congestion and cold.
Where To Get Dry Ginger?
We get dry ginger in all the departmental stores here in Tamil Nadu as it is widely used for making ginger milk (ginger milk is served as an after dinner drink in most marriages) but you can also easily order it online or you can also try in herb shops in your place.
Dry Ginger Side Effects:
Dry ginger general agrees with everyone but be mindful of the amount you are consuming as too much can lead to heartburn and burning sensation in the stomach. I would also suggest not using it if you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or ulcer.
6 Top Ways To Use Dry Ginger For Hair, Skin & Health:
1. Dry Ginger For Sinus & Arthritis:
My paternal grandfather always used to apply this paste on his forehead whenever he had a headache. We call the paste “Sukku Pathu” in Tamil. Dry ginger is rubbed on a sandal wood stone (sandhanakal) which is nothing but a large round smooth stone along with little boiled milk.
If you don’t have a sandalwood stone, you can rub it on any smooth stone. Make sure that the stone is smooth or it will be difficult to collect the paste from the stone. When you apply this paste on the forehead, it stings for some time. But then after some time the stinging vanishes and the paste dries into a thick coat on the forehead.
It feels very good if you have a headache and it is especially helpful for headache due to cold. As this paste stings initially when applied, don’t apply this paste for children. This same paste can be applied for arthritis too and it gives good relief
2. Dry Ginger For Hair :
It is a tradition for Indian women to have oil bath on Fridays and then visit a Temple. Traditionally sesame oil is heated with spices like dry ginger, pepper corns, cumin seeds and garlic pods and then when the oil comes to lukewarm temperature, the oil is massaged well into the scalp.
The oil should be lukewarm and should be massaged well into the scalp. One feels really refreshed and relaxed after a hot oil massage. I think in this fast paced life, we should try to include these kind of age old traditions to keep us relaxed. Because we add spices like dry ginger, this oil can be safely used even in winter, you can find the method here.
3. For Weight Loss:
Dry ginger coffee is especially useful in keeping our digestion in peak order and it helps in proper assimilation of food aiding in healthy weight loss. It is also very delicious and nutritious especially since it is made with jaggery.
To make it, coriander seeds and dry ginger are pounded together and boiled along with water and palm candy till it reduces in quantity. It is as simple as that, please don’t use milk in this recipe, it will curdle.
Ginger and coriander seeds in this coffee aids in digestion and palm jaggery is rich in iron. We also make a home made coffee powder with dry ginger. It is made with spices like dry ginger, peppercorns, cardamom pods. It is also very effective in treating Indigestion.
4. For Digestion:
Dry ginger ground in butter milk is an effective home remedy for flatulence and proper functioning of digestive system. Good and effective digestion is one of the key to healthy weight loss.
For the remedy, grind dry ginger with a day old butter milk (butter milk which is a bit sour) and crystal salt to a fine paste. Thin it down with fresh buttermilk. The mixture should be thin.
If you are not able to grind it finely, strain the mixture. This remedy can be safely given to children but reduce the quantity of dry ginger for them. Drink this once and you will feel better in no time. This is not bitter at all, only a bit spicy to drink.
5. For Cold:
Dry ginger also can be used in foot baths. This foot bath clears chest congestion and even relieves head aches. To make the foot bath, first make the ginger infusion by mixing dry ginger powder with hot water and set aside. Take mustard seeds and pound them in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder.
Sprinkle the ground mustard powder in a tub that you are going to soak your feet in. Add warm water to it and then add the ginger infusion to it and mix well. Check the temperature of the water before soaking your feet.
Make sure that the water is in lukewarm temperature. If the person has cold or chest congestion, it is best to cover them with warm towels while using the foot bath.
6. Dry Ginger For Babies:
Dry ginger milk actually aids in digestion and is a good remedy for loss of appetite in children. To make it, boil milk with pounded dry ginger and palm candy, strain and serve. Give this milk to young kids who keep repeating that they are not hungry, they usually get their appetite very soon. Nowadays they serve dry ginger milk as a dessert in most of the marriages I visit.
Drinking dry ginger milk is an acquired taste but once you start liking it, you will be hooked just like me. Some people make this by adding dry ginger powder and sugar to milk. But I prefer adding fresh dry ginger to whole milk after pounding it in a mortar and pestle along with little sugar.
If you boil it for a long time after adding dry ginger the milk will curdle and also make sure to keep the flame on medium low. The amount of dry ginger you should add depends on the age of the person because this milk is quite spicy. For young children, a small piece will do. If you like palm candy add it instead of sugar, it goes very well with this milk. It is very comforting to drink this milk on cold winter days.