The internal and external use of ginger has been an ancient remedy in India and China for thousands of years, but it’s only in the last 30 years that it’s use has been studied in the West, primarily as a result of positive experiences in European anthroposophical hospitals. Ginger has a warming, relaxing effect, enlivening the metabolic forces of the body and enabling the release of mental, emotional and physical tension. The ginger compress has been found effective for treating conditions such as bronchial lung problems, arthritis and anxiety, while the ginger footbath can relieve sinusitis, headache, flu-like symptoms and musculoskeletal tension.
While the ginger compress requires a degree of expertise, the ginger footbath is a simple addition to care for common debilitating conditions. Here’s how to do it:
- Use a deep basin (plastic is fine), large enough to fit both feet. Fill with warm water and two teaspoons of ground ginger. Mix the ginger with the hand, using a rhythmic swirling movement for about a minute.
- Sit in a relaxed position for the footbath, covered in a warm, soft blanket/sheet that’s large enough to wrap around the shoulders and reach to the floor.
- Place both feet in the footbath for 10 minutes, as long as the “bath” is experienced as warm and pleasant. Then, dry the feet well and put on warm socks.
- If possible, rest a further 15 minutes in a comfortable chair or lying down.
Thanks to Tessa Therkleson, Ph.D., RN in Lilipoh.org