Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Digestive Herbs: Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

Digestive Herbs: Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

Devon No Comments

Ginger is a spicy, pungent herb that warms and soothes, ideal for motion sickness & nausea. These crystallized ginger candies make sweet medicine.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Energetics: hot; dry (dried herb), neutral (fresh herb)

Therapeutic Actions: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiemetic, carminative, expectorant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, stimulant

Ginger was one of those herbs and spices that always made me feel better, far before I understood the concept of herbal energetics.  You see, I am a colllllllllld person.  You know the type – fingertips like ice cubes, pale complexion, constantly telling everybody to bring a sweater because it could be chilly where you’re going.  Even during the heat of summer, stepping into an aggressively air conditioned building, I immediately feel sick and chilled.  I am cold.

All this to say:  Ginger is warming.  As such, it is inherently called for cold, often tense/crampy conditions.

Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

Ginger Medicinal Benefits

Any woman that has ever been pregnant has undoubtedly been told about the anti-nausea benefits of ginger.  While the safety of ginger use during early pregnancy is a subject of some debate, its stomach-settling benefits are really not.  This fleshy rhizome is go-to herb/spice for a variety of stomach complaints associated with coldness and cramping.  It is a powerful aid in instances of motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting.  It also has remarkable “deflating” effect on a gassy and bloated belly.  Ate too much heavy food and feel stuck – ginger.  Got hiccups – ginger.  General bellyache with the chills – ginger. Herbalist Matthew Wood even indicates its use for the chills and nausea associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, particularly that of benzodiazepines.

Ginger is also thought to have an affinity for the genito-urinary organs.  As a diffusive herb, it is often used in formulations to help direct the actions of other herbs to these organs.  It alone drank as a tea, or prepared as a warm compress, it can be enough to reduce menstrual cramping and a sense of pelvic congestion or fullness of the bladder sometimes associated with urinary tract infection.

Ginger is a good choice constitutionally for those with cold, sometimes clammy skin, chilblains, and pale complexion as it helps bring visceral heat to peripheral areas.  Similarly, this herb is an excellent choice for a fever accompanied by chills, cold sweats, and headache.  During recovery from acute or chronic illness, it can help one with a general feeling of debility and weakness.  When a cold, runny nose persists with a spasmodic cough, ginger can help to expel and dry out irritating mucous.  Applied topically, ginger is even said to help heal an abscess and remove warts.  Additionally, I find that ginger applied to sore and arthritic joints that worsen in cold, wet weather, is a remedy of great pain relief.

Ginger Identification & Growing Habitat

While the rhizome is easily found at most grocery stores, true ginger is not an herb that most of us can forage for.  This herb thrives in the dense, moist forests of tropical regions and is characterized by a long leaves and a spring flower.  I have heard that one can grow it in pots (bringing it inside to overwinter) here in the temperate north.  Here is a link to a great set of grow-your-own instructions from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

ginger illustration
Public domain illustration via By Franz Eugen Köhler – Köhlers Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen und kurz erläuterndem Texte[1], Public Domain,

Ginger Safety & Dosage

Ginger is considered safe as consumed as food, generally speaking.  Theoretically, those with bleeding disorders (poor clotting) and on anticoagulant therapies should avoid its use, however, the study I have seen cited used very large doses (12-14 grams) to demonstrate.  As I have alluded to previously, there is some debate about its use during pregnancy:  German Commission E states that it should not be used for morning sickness, while Traditional Chinese Medicine indicates that up to two grams daily is safe for use.  Tinctures in the amount of 1.5-5mls up to three times daily and a ginger tea are considered safe for regular use for otherwise healthy individuals.

FDA Disclosure

I am a trained herbalist with a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, I am not, however, a doctor. Posts in this blog are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before using any herbs, check for appropriate dosage, drug interactions, and contraindications. Information contained herein is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. Please consult your primary care physician regarding your specific health concerns.

Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

Crystallized Ginger Candy

Now for the fun stuff…  Herbalism doesn’t always have to be about teas, tinctures, and decoctions.  Sometimes you can have a little fun with it, in the form of medicinal candies.  While I would not promote a sugary treat as a means of achieving overall good health, a little now and then isn’t going to hurt (however, not appropriate for diabetics).

Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

I love this crystallized ginger for motion sickness, but also find it to be a yummy treat after a big dinner when I can’t shake a sweet tooth, but my very full tummy says dessert is a no-go.  So much better than store-bought, these homemade, jewel-like candies are pungent, spicy, and, somehow, less sweet than the alternative. Don’t  forget to save both the ginger decoction and syrup that are by-products of this creation.  The decoction makes a spicy tea for sipping, and I love using the syrup to flavor the second ferment for my homemade kombucha.

Warming Ginger & Crystallized Candies

Interested in learning more about common medicinal plants?  Check out my new book The Backyard Herbal Apothecary!

Homemade Crystallized Ginger Recipe

Warming Ginger Crystallized Candy

These delicious ginger candies are pungent, spicy, and the perfect thing to soothe an unsettled stomach.


  • .5 lb organic fresh ginger root
  • water to cover
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • more sugar for coating


  • Peel ginger root. Using a mandolin or a knife, cut into 1/8" slices.
  • Place ginger slices in a small saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, strain the ginger through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Return 1/4 cup of the ginger decoction and the ginger slices back to the saucepan. Add one cup sugar.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a boil.  Boil until the mixture reads 225 degrees (F) on a candy thermometer.  
  • Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve, reserving resulting syrup for other uses.  Place ginger slices on a drying rack in a single layer and dry for 18-24 hours.  
  • When ginger is mostly dry, but still slightly sticky, toss in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat.  Place in a serving bowl and keep dry.

Crystallized Ginger Candy

Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principles and practice of phytotherapy: modern herbal medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Wood, M. (2016). Earthwise herbal repertory: traditional western herbalism. North Atlantic Books.


Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links


  • 💕Still finding my footing after losing the best friend anybody could ever ask for.
My dear beloved grandmother passed from this world last Friday.  I had the great honor to be at her bedside, to feel the last hummingbird-like flutter of her pulse, to observe her final wishes as she flew from this world to the next - undoubtedly with the same compassion, dignity and boundless optimism that she blessed our world with.
This picture of hers, mine, and my youngest daughter’s hands was taken a couple weeks ago now... a treasure of time spent together before renal failure claimed her ability to speak, while she could still nibble on a cookie and enjoy her beloved black coffee.  After this picture, we entered the strange yet surprising dignified “hospice time.” For those of you who have taken part in the hospice care of a loved one - you know this indescribable separation of hospice time and “real time.” There is a fixed end point, yet nobody knows when it is - and so you live each moment, hoping that it is, in fact, not your last, while also wishing that your loved one would pass peacefully and painlessly from these earthly bounds.
I do not post this looking for an outpouring of sympathy - those that know me well know that I rather bristle at the attention.  I write this post to thank all of the dedicated hospice care workers and as a knowing hug to all those loved ones left behind who have felt the mixed emotions that this time of great grief.
Sending love out into the world tonight. 💕
#grief #hospice #hospicecare
  • During these early fall days when the first freeze is never far off, I scurry to put up the last bits of the garden. This fermented hot sauce two ways are a perfect pair of recipes for the last remaining peppers and the nasturtiums that are usually abundant at this time.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#hotsauce #peppers #nasturtiums #fermentation #lactofermentation #preservation #foodpreservation #edibleflowers
  • Now well into October, I am observing the ruby glow of hawthorn berries and rose hips.
Right now is this time to make this delicious mead.  It will ferment and age just perfectly for holiday toasts and herbal libations.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#mead #hawthorn #rosehips #homemead #meadmaking #makingmead #herbs #herbalist #herbalism #medicinalherbs #fermentation
  • I LOVE baking bread.  I love the tactile nature of kneading and forming the dough, and, most of all, I love the aroma that fills my home as loaves bake in the oven. 
Here is a savory sourdough recipe speckled with sauteed greens, garlic and smoked cheddar.  It is unbelievably good.  Baked in a dutch oven it develops a irresistible crust and the scent is to die for.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#breadbaking #bread #sourdough #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #baking #cookingfromscratch
  • It hardly feels real.
A year ago, I had just sent the manuscript for my first book off to the printer when my publisher offered me a contract on a second book.  It didn't seem such a crazy, far out, thing to do at the time -- this committing to write and photograph two entire books in one year.
It was.
Crazy and far out, for sure.
The last year has been a flurry of publishing activity, but I am so happy to announce that my second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is almost ready to make its debut! 
The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is dedicated to the concept of food as medicine, and is my guide to rethinking everyday foods and culinary herbs to cook our way to better health!
"Kitchen" officially publishes October 29th, but you can reserve your copy from me or any one of the major book sellers in the link below.  ANDDDD, as  thank you for pre-ordering, I would love to send you my Companion Guide to Culinary Herbs ebook as my gift to you!
Tap link in bio to head to my book page!

#author #newbook #book #naturalliving #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #healthyliving #foodenergetics #flavorprofiles #pagestreetpublishing #theherbalistshealingkitchen #kitchenapothecary
  • Pears and apples are the fruits of fall. 
One of my favorite flavors from my youth was my grandmother's spiced apple butter.  I've replicated that flavor and punched up the acidity with a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar (as opposed to lemon juice) -- giving this fruit butter an amazing depth of flavor.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#apples #pears #applebutter #pearbutter #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #homesteadlife #homesteadlifestyle
  • Absolutely amazing weekend with some even more amazing women that I am positively HONORED to call colleagues - and even more importantly friends.
A weekend spent about Salt Lake City, speaking at #gardencomm2019, touring @melonmonologues gardens and being led on a tour of her favorite mountain places, a walking tour of some gorgeous botanical gardens, and a sight see at the temple - cuz when in SLC...
So... @attainablesustainable @melonmonologues @the_happy_herban @tenthacrefarm @homestead_honey and  @brownthumbmama  you are AMAZING LADIES!
#utah #getoutside #garden #mountains #nature
  • With the weather finally cooling, it is great time to think about planting trees and shrubs in your landscape.  The long cool months ahead are great for establishing a healthy root system!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #holisticgardening #medicinegarden #herbgarden #medicinaltrees #medicinalshrubs
  • Sweet pickled figs are an amazingly delicious treat.  Believe me whenI tell you this. 
I crafted this recipe around my father's nostalgic recollections of his Scottish grandmother making the most of the bountiful fruits at her Southern Californian home.  While I never tasted Nana's pickled figs, my father thought this recipe did them great justice!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#figs #pickledfigs #foodpreservation #preservation #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading

Follow @nittygrittymama