Whenever ginger and Pinoy health remedies are mentioned in the same breath, it’s often assumed that one is referring to salabat, the hot, spicy brew used to relieve sore throats. But did you know that ginger can also be used to soothe muscle pains and arthritis?
How? You make an ointment out of it.
The gingerol in ginger (try saying that really fast three times) relieves pain by acting on the vanilloid receptors, which are located on the sensory nerve endings. The inflammation of the latter is often what causes pain. If you reduce the inflammation, you lessen the pain too, and that’s precisely what ginger does, hence the relief that follows the brief burning sensation once the ointment is applied.
The following recipe also includes garlic and red chili extracts. Their anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties contribute to ginger’s natural potency, lending this ointment an extra kick:
Spicy Ginger Ointment
½ cup minced garlic
½ cup minced ginger
½ cup minced bird’s eye chili peppers (siling labuyo)
1 ½ cups olive oil or virgin coconut oil
¼ cup beeswax pellets (optional)
In a ceramic pot, mix together the garlic, ginger, and chili peppers.
Remove from heat and strain over a fine sieve or a piece of cheesecloth into a clean glass bottle. At this point, you can either let the mixture cool and use it as a massage oil, or you can proceed to the next step for a more solid-looking ointment.
Pour the oil over the mixture.
Place the pot over a stove on low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Lower the heat and keep it simmering, then place a clean glass or ceramic bowl on top of the pot. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the boiling water.)
Add the beeswax pellets and the ginger-infused oil in, stirring gently until the wax has melted and the mixture has a smooth consistency.
Pour into jars or tins, and allow to cool and harden.
Between your fingers for a few seconds. Massage onto sore, aching joints or muscles using circular To use, take a dab of the ointment with your fingers. Warm up the ointment by rubbing it strokes.
If you suffer from chronic pain, massage the ointment in once a day for about a week or two for best results.
Oh, and just to make sure you don’t inadvertently hurt the more delicate parts of your body, don’t apply the ointment anywhere near your face, especially your nostrils. (That stuff can burn, mate.) Don’t put it on any open wounds or broken skin either, and resist the urge to eat it.