–Find a local, Asian market (in Denver I go to Little Saigon on Federal and Alameda), and buy one or two roots of ginger–try to get 2 different kinds if it’s available: Galangal and Plai.
–Buy a small amount of white cotton or hemp fabric. You will need enough fabric to cut a piece that is 12” x 14”. You will also need a piece of string, a durable kind, like jute–you can get that at a fabric store or a craft store.
–Slice the root with a large knife on a cutting board.
–Place a bunch of the sliced, ginger root in the middle of the cloth.
–Take each corner of the cloth and gather the fabric in the middle. Squeeze around the compress to pack the ginger root tightly together. Twist the top of this fabric bundle and bind with string to make a handle.
–Voila! You now have a Ginger Root Compress. (Take note–these are fresh compresses, so they will last 2 -3 days. You will want to store it in your fridge between uses.)
–To activate the beneficial properties of the compress, you need to use steam heat. You can do this by either microwaving it or heating it in an electric rice cooker. For microwave use: slightly wet the compress with water, wrap it in a hand towel, lightly wet the hand towel, then place the whole thing in a microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, depending on strength of microwave. Be cautious when taking it out of the microwave. For electric rice cooker use: fill the basin with some water, place the veggie tray on top of the water basin, place the compress on that veggie tray, cover the tray with a hand towel so it’s completely covered, turn the rice cooker on, allow 10-15 minutes for it to steam.
–There are numerous ways to use the compress once you’ve heated it–you can use it for aromatherapy and you can place it on muscles and areas that are sore, painful, and strained. Stay tuned for the next post to get more specifics on how to use it.