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, will be 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, as yet untitled 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


  • Pearly everlasting is one of my favorite medicinal wildflowers to forage for during summer.  It ticks so many therapeutic actions boxes and is just an all around useful botanical.
It grows abundantly in the coastal mountain range a few miles from my home so it gives me great excuse to abandon my home and work responsibilities and get outside, far away from modern distractions.
All new post on the blog extolling the many virtues of this wonderful plant!
Tap link in bio for link to post.
#pearlyeverlasting #anaphalis #anaphalismargaritacea #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #medicinalherbs #wildflower
  • This summer has been an absolute flurry of activity.  A veritable whirlwind.  A non stop GO. 
My intended lazy, restful summer has been anything but. 
I’ve been so busy that I kinda forgot about my second book.  After the final edits were made, the photos taken - I just bid it farewell, and settled into “life after book.”
Well, life after bookS because I wrote this book immediately after finishing The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. 
When the UPS truck started down our long gravel road I paused for moment wondering what I had ordered.  And then it occurred to me — The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen is HERE!
Now, she doesn’t officially publish until October 29th and I am still a few weeks out from promotion, but I can’t help myself - it’s just so exciting to have this book in print.
This book turns a thoughtful eye towards the food we eat and rethinks our daily meals and special treats so that we are maximizing the benefits of those foods!  I will show you how to use flavor to inform better eating decisions to cook your way to better health!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #author #cookbook #everydayfoods #foodismedicine #foodenergetics #eatingforhealth
  • Last weekend, I spent a really wonderful day hiking and foraging with my husband and the youngest of our kids.  One of the many highlights was the red huckleberries that were in full splendor in the coastal mountains.
Naturally, we foraged.
So, naturally, I wrote you all a new post.
Learn to identify red huckleberries and make a fabulous syrup with your harvest!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe and post.
#redhuckleberry #pnw #pacificnorthwest #huckleberry #vacciniumparvifolium #wildfood #wildfoodlove #foragedfood #foraging #forager #foraged #wildfood
  • Today marks the first day of August - a month of warmth and sunshine throughout much of the northern hemisphere.  August 1st also mark the ancient feast day and celebration of Lammas.
In reverence to old world tradition, I have create a humble loaf of sourdough bread, braided and studded with calendula petals and sunflower seeds.
It is a delicious and enchanting way to celebrate the abundance of the season and the grain harvest.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#lammas #bread #sourdough #baking #traditionalfoods #baker #baking #homemade #herbs
  • My property is full of plums -- beautiful old trees and young feral saplings.  I cannot wait to get a few batches of this yummy plum butter going this summer.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#plums #plumbutter #recipe #foodpreservation #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading
  • I confessed my love of Lady's Mantle the other day and shared a monograph extolling the virtues of this very virtuous plant.
Perhaps one of my favorite uses for lady's mantle is in the landscape.  She is a simple stunner.  Elegant in every way!
Tap link in bio for link to post on how to grow lady's mantle with this new post!
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #herbgarden garden #gardening #gardener #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinegarden
  • We went for a hike in the coastal range yesterday.  Some much needed change of scenery and a chance to stretch our muscles and relax our minds.  Our seven year old chattered incessantly and adorably about the fairy world that was hiding under every fern and fallen log, while big brother ran ahead reminding me that I am a little out of condition, ahem... 😑
There were many highlights of this journey through the cool and damp woods, but this specimen stopped me in my tracks. An Indian Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), maybe a bit past her prime (I can relate), but still such a remarkable example of nature.  A parasitic plant, ghost pipe grows in only certain conditions and is fairly rare.  Due to her rarity, we just observed the plant and talked about it’s uses and habitat - I had no intention of harvest.  Instead, this is a plant that teaches me restraint and  appreciation.  Look but no touch.  I hope it taught my kids a lesson, to observe mama being so excited about something but making no move to call it my own. 
Sometimes the best plant medicine isn’t ever consumed, just absorbed.
#indianghostpipe #ghostpipe #monotropa #monotropauniflora #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #pnw #pacificnorthwest #oregon
  • Confession:
I have a plant crush.  On Lady's Mantle.
Alchemilla mollis.
She even sounds lovely...
Folks, she is simple beauty, and moreover she is one of the most incredibly useful herbs in the home apothecary.
Tap link in bio for link to my new herbal monograph.
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #alchemillavulgaris #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs
  • 🍑 Is it peach season in your neck of the woods? 🍑
We are just coming up on it in the Pacific NW and I am DEFINITELY making a batch (or two or three) of this delicious peach butter with vanilla!
Give it a try!
Tap link in bio then click on this photo for link.
#peach #peaches #peachbutter #fruitbutter #jam #foodpreservation #foodpreserving #homestead #homesteader #homesteading

Follow @nittygrittymama