Ginger is immensely beneficial to women across the childbearing spectrum—from pre-conception to pregnancy, through the postpartum period and into motherhood. This strong and spicy root, used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, is often thought of in relation to relieving nausea and aiding digestion, but we can also think of ginger as one of the key ways to create warmth in the body, which stimulates and circulates the blood flow.
Notice when you next get your period the quality and texture of the blood flow after eating ginger. You might notice that the blood is thinner and runs out quicker. In fact, menstruation is one of the most potent indicators of how our body is doing. Periods are wonderfully full of signs! When you wear a pad, you get to see the blood, you get to know it. If there are blood clots, it can be an indicator that the body needs more water or broth, or you are drinking too many cold drinks and stagnating the blood flow. Many of us habitually disassociate with our blood flow, and for ease, put a tampon in and try to ignore it. But menstruating is like reading tea leaves— its one of the gifts that our female body gives us to know ourselves more.
As ginger perpetuates and stimulates the blood, it similarly initiates the flow of breastmilk. We don’t need that much ginger: a few slices brewed into a hot or warm cup of tea with some lemon, or a knob into a room-temperature smoothie will produce the heat we need inside to generate the blood flow. Ginger is also wonderful in combination with black vinegar, which not only is great for producing heat and circulation, but is an antiseptic— try simmering a pot of black vinegar on the stove top when someone in the house is sick to cleanse the air. More to come on healing vinegars in the next post.