For the 10 years prior to studying Ayurveda, I didn't feel consistent hunger. Along with my naturally high vata (air & space), I also lived a very erratic lifestyle which only added to my digestive troubles. Somehow I discovered that a small cup of tea made of grated ginger before meals would help me feel hungry enough to eat. Not ideal to rely on all the time but it worked and it was all that I knew at the time. Years later, it was enlightening to be able to spend a lot of time studying the properties of ginger.
There is a funny thing with ginger. In Ayurveda, fresh and dry ginger have some different medicinal properties due to the drying process. It’s quite remarkable. Fresh ginger is actually considered to be more drying for the body and dry ginger is said to be more unctuous. I've listed some of the common and best uses for each type of ginger below. Some of these can be interchanged with each other but you will have overall better effect by following the breakdown on this list.
13 Health Benefits of Ginger:
Ginger should be used sparingly in summer, early fall and for anyone with vitiated pitta.
Abhyanga is the Sanskrit term for the ancient Ayurvedic practice of full body oil massage. It is just one part of the morning Ayurvedic routine known as dinacharya that is recommended for all healthy individuals, kids included. The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it makes perfect sense that it would be used as another tool for better health. Sesame seed oil is the oil that is the most effective for the majority of people and seasons although other oils are used as well. For me, abhyanga is one of the most important practices that I do daily and it sets the tone for my entire day. Along with the benefits that I mention below, taking 20 minutes to check in with every part of my body shows where I need to focus on or be extra gentle with as the day goes on.
Five Benefits of Abhyanga:
When To Do Abhyanga
It should be done on an empty stomach, ideally after you have eliminated your bowels in the morning, or before you eat dinner in the evening. It is especially important to do during the hot, dry months of summer and the cold winter season. Try to oil yourself daily, or at least three times per week.
Never apply oil when you have active indigestion, fever, diarrhea, colds, coughs, flu, etc. Do NOT do Abhyanga when menstruating. Avoid abhyanga when it is raining or extremely cloudy outside. If you have oily wounds or rashes then avoid those areas or don't do it at all.