Not long before holiday break we had a lovely day playing with ginger and doing one of the kids' favorite activities, foot soaks! This is a great way to spend a cold winter day especially if little ones are passing any sort of cold around as it stimulates the immune system and helps kids relax.
Ginger Tea Tasting
To start off our exploration of ginger we had a tea tasting. Ginger tea is warming to the core while stimulating digestion and the immune system.
To make ginger tea simply chop up a bit of fresh ginger and simmer in water for 15 to 20 minutes, strain and sweeten with honey if you would like. The amount of ginger you use will depend on your taste and how much tea you are making. When making this tea for kids, I use about a nice fat inch of ginger for every 3 to 4 cups of water. When I make this tea for myself I use 2 to 3 times that amount of ginger because I like it spicy! As usual most of the kids loved the tea while some didn't like it at all, but hey, at least they gave the tea a try!
Ginger Is Not A Root
Did you know? Ginger is a rhizome, not a root. A rhizome is an underground stem which grows horizontally sending leaves up through the soil and roots down into the earth... just a bit of botany for you. I brought in a big beautiful ginger rhizome to show the kids. We talked about how it grows underground and is harvested for us to use.
Held up so everyone could see, I asked the kids what color they thought the ginger would be on the inside?
and wisely, "Brown!"
Well, of course, next we cut it open and checked it out. Inside ginger is yellowish (often times yellow herbs indicate an affinity for the digestive system) and it smells oh so good. Passing around the cut ginger gave the kids a chance to enjoy the delicious smell.
We used our cut up ginger to make syrup for the kids to take home and share with their families. Making syrups is easy and fun! Plus most kids will eagerly take syrups when they may not be so excited about teas or tinctures.
- about 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh ginger, chopped
- orange peel from one organic orange, optional
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of honey
Simmer the ginger and orange peel in 4 cups of water. Cook at a low boil for about a ½ hour or until the liquid reduces by one-half. Now you have a strong decoction. Strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer. Return the liquid to the pot and add the honey, it should melt with the heat of your ginger decoction. If not, heat very gently until the honey just melts so as to preserve the natural enzymes in the honey. Then bottle, label (include the date) and refrigerate your new syrup. It will keep in the refrigerator for about three months. Ginger syrup is great for stomach aches, headaches and as a winter warmer. Mix with hot water for a quick cup of tea, sparkling water for a healthy gingerale or simply take by the spoonful. Yummy...
Warming Foot Soaks
Finally we got to our favorite part of the day, foot soaks!
Here is a full description on doing Foot Soaks With Kids. Having done this many times over the years, I have figured out a few tricks to making it all run smoothly. The kids love it and I love seeing them really experience something so nourishing and relaxing, it is like magic!
Our Ginger Day foot soaks consisted of ground ginger, epsom salts and orange essential oil. The kids giggled with the addition of each new ingredient but especially with the salt, it tickles! After they finished soaking we used a rose chamomile infused olive oil as a foot rub.
The perfect end to a perfect morning!