Monday, November 15, 2010

Ginger -- In the Mood for Loooove...

Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire strut their stuff, accompanied by the late, great entertainer and pianist Liberace.  Ginger is definitely "In the Mood for Love."

You'd never guess to look at it that ginger (the root, not the dancer) has quite a past.  Dating back to ancient times, and spanning continents, this knobbly root has been reputed to increase lustful yearnings, stimulate libido, enhance erotic performance, and generate feelings of love, lust and attraction.   

Way back in 500BC, Confucius touted it.  Roman physician Pliny and Greek Doc Discorides (writing in the first century AD) determined that ginger had a positive effect on the male equipment.  Fast forward to 18th Century France.  Mme. DuBarry, favorite mistress of King Louis XV, was known to serve generous portions of ginger to her lovers.    The legend goes that this practice would drive her men to a state of complete and utter submission.  Her amorous power enabled Madame du Barry to rise into the French royal class--literally sleeping her way to the top, perhaps with the help of a spicy root. 

Men in the South Pacific Islands, Melanesians to be precise, use ginger to gain the attention and affection their objects of desire.    Portuguese slave traders fed ginger to their captives in the hope that they would reproduce and generate more profits.

But what of ginger today?  Well, I can personally attest to its efficacy on the other end of the love spectrum.  When the inevitable result occurs and morning sickness rears its ugly head, ginger is there for you again.  I sipped many a cup of ginger tea as I battled through first trimesters and it proved to be a relatively powerful weapon against nausea.  

Ginger tea for one (who is drinking for two)
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp honey
Mix all, let steep for 2 minutes.  Strain if desired.

The multi-talented ginger root is even reputed to ease the pain of arthritis. 
What can't it do?

Guess it can't play piano like the larger than life Liberace


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