"A glass of cognac can warm you up!" - A truth or a myth!

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They say when its cold outside or you've just come out of the shower in winter then a glass of cognac would be fantastic as it would warm you up. In many countries they even have cognac without water and others with warm water, giving it a medicinal effect...

How much of that is true and how much is it a myth then we have put down what we have found out about this fine drink. Oh by the way! Why ginger then we will also be discussing the healthy possible uses of ginger as a very good drink both as a cocktail or as a nice cup of tea.

History of Ginger!
Ginger or Zingiber Officinale 

Ginger or Zingiber Officinale (Scientific name) reaches back 5000 years when the Indian and ancient Chinese used the root as a medicine to cure all types of ailments. Ginger was cultivated not only in India and China but in many other countries. In the earlier days, huge exports from India to Rome were made as the Romans used it quite extensively in their meals but after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Arabs followed and took over the spice trade. Ginger then was quite an expensive commodity, and was used to make sweets.

Ginger comes from the same family as cardamom and turmeric. They all have a heating effect and are used very much in Asian Cuisines. It is used in raw or in a paste format to bring about flavor and enhance the taste of the dish.
 
I am sure you all must have heard of the famous 'Ginger Man!' who was invented by Queen Elizabeth I of England which became a very popular Christmas Treat. Now Ginger is easily available at different grocery stores for a few Dollars but long ago it would cost a fortune as it wasn't used so much until as late as the 11th Century in the western countries where it was used to enhance the taste of buttermilk drinks.
 
Photo Credits: Taken from the website - http://gardening.sheknows.com 
 

The Making of Ginger!
Its enhancing properties. 

Ginger is a root plant that has both medicinal and taste enhancing properties. It is used very extensively now a days in culinary dishes due to its warming effect. The plant originates from Southeast Asia with India being the largest producer of the spice due to its sub-tropical climate. The ginger plant its roots grow to a height of up-to 4 feet and have a bunch of flowers in the colors of pink white which is actually very beautiful. Many people in India grow Ginger in their pots at home and it really looks beautiful but Ginger is also commercially produced on a large scale as well with India having more then hundreds of cultivators growing the Ginger Plant for its essential oils.

Dry Ginger has more essential oils in it so its use is also determined when its been harvested. In this case then if it is to be used as fresh or for preservation then it is harvested when it is about 5 months old as the mass of roots are still soft and tender and not quite poignant. Then dried Ginger has a stronger aromatic essence and flavor which is why it is harvested at 8 or 9 months, at times possibly even more.

 
The use of machine diggers is now available to harvest Ginger but to preserve traditions then the plant is harvested majorly by hand, after which they are either sold fresh, dried or their oils extracted. In the case of dried Ginger powder then the mass of roots are boiled or scraped and then dried after which they are grounded to make the Ginger powder we now get in the stores or have in our kitchens.
 

 

The Health Benefits of Ginger!
Natural Medicinal Properties. 


Photo Credits: Taken from the website - http://gardening.sheknows.com

Ginger has been used centuries for medicinal purposes and as a key ingredient in culinary preparations. The "Ginger Root" which is the most important part or the stem of the plant is usually below the ground that holds the key to many medicinal facts. Now a days people use both the powdered form of Ginger, and dried Ginger but fresh Ginger would be more preferable, right after the Ginger has been harvested. Ginger can stay in the refrigerator for weeks without deterioration in its condition or can be blended into a paste as well with Garlic which also carries large amounts of medicinal properties and preserved for later use while cooking meals.

Below is a list of health benefits from the use of Ginger and is not exhaustive as more can be added to it:

  • 1 Reduces digestive ailments such as breaking down of proteins, fat in foods, and gas due to acidity,
  • 2 It helps in relieving nausea, morning sickness as well as motion sickness,
  • 3 It helps in reducing inflammation as a treatment to cure diseases such as arthritis or ulcerate colitis,
  • 4 It helps in reducing fever and common colds as the warming effect of the root helps in proper circulation of the blood, relaxation of the muscles around the blood vessels therby eradication formation of clots,
  • 5 It is a natural decongestant and antihistamine for the body,
  • 6 Ginger also helps in reducing the LDL Cholesterol levels as the spice reduces the amount of fat absorbed by the body,
  • 7 It helps in helps with patients suffering from diarrhea as it neutralizes the acids during the digestion process,
  • 8 It helps in inducing hunger if it is eaten right before lunch or dinner.

 

Dhaba Style Masala Tea!
Tea Styles Preparation Variants. 

Photo Credits: Taken from the website - http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3241/3116826025_92c2ac8071_z.jpg?zz=1

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Cloves
  • 3 to 4 cardomom pods
  • 1/2 inch piece Ginger
  • chopped and crushed
  • 1 small cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 2 Teaspoons - Tea leaves / Tea powder (Preferable)
  • Sugar (As per your taste)

Instructions

1. Masala Tea!

Pour 1 cup of water into a saucepan, and heat till it begins to boil. Next add, the crushed ginger, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks or powder and boil for a few more minutes till a strong odor of natural herbs rises. Then add the tea leaves or tea powder, milk, and on low heat boil for another minute or so. Switch of the heat and strain into a cup and enjoy this wonderful concoction of natural 'Dhaba' (Street side tea stall) tea!

2. Cardamom Tea!
 
Pour 1 cup of water into a saucepan, and heat till it begins to boil. Next add, the cardamom pods, and boil for a few more minutes till a strong odor of the cardamom rises. Then add the tea leaves or tea powder, milk, and on low heat boil for another minute or so. Switch of the heat and strain into a cup and enjoy the cardamom tea! 
 
3. Ginger Tea!
 
Pour 1 cup of water into a saucepan, and heat till it begins to boil. Next add, the crushed ginger, and boil for a few more minutes till a strong odor of the ginger rises. Then add the tea leaves or tea powder, milk, and on low heat boil for another minute or so. Switch of the heat and strain into a cup and enjoy the ginger tea!
 
Note: Milk can be put in when boiling or heated separately and added later into the poured tea. However, if at times the tea has become too strong or you by mistake made it strong then you can pour the milk in a cup 'first', and then add the tea over it which will make the tea light and pleasing in taste.
 
 
Ginger Tea or a glass of Cognac.
"The Choice is yours!"
 
 
Photo Credits: Taken from the website(s):   
 
 

Lets here it from you folks!
Public Opinion... 

Nothing like a glass of Brandy or Cognac as it truly can give you that real warm feeling (Psychological) or does it? But then you have a fantastic cup of HOT Ginger Tea! Add a bit of sugar and milk (Optional), and you have a fabulous concoction of natural heating elements. I guess we would want to hear what you would choose and why?

Write in the comments below or send us an email with your Opinion to otelbookers@gmail.com and the best opinion will be selected from the many and will be published on our BLOG and also receive a Gift Prize from the Country of Belarus!
 
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