Monthly Archives: July 2010

Zentraveler on the health benefits of ginger!

Ginger Root

I walked into an Asian store and looked at this amazing healthy fit man behind the counter. I asked him what was his health secret and he smiled and said: “taking hot ginger tea twice a day.” I told him I kept getting infections and flus all the time and I asked him if he thought drinking ginger tea would help. “Definitely he stated— since I started taking ginger I haven’t had a cold or the flu for more than 15 years. He recommended drinking ginger tea made from fresh ginger root. You simply make thin slices of ginger and boil then… strain and add natural honey and you have ginger tea. He went on to say: “that ginger is very good for stomach, vertigo and dizziness, and improves on pain with people who suffer from arthritis and other joint pains. And lastly ginger ads to your vigor and energy levels.”

The spice ginger is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant, known botanically as Zingiber officinale. The plant’s botanical name is thought to be derived from its Sanskrit name “singabera” which means “horn shaped,” a physical characteristic that ginger reflects.

The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. The ginger rhizome has a firm, yet striated texture and a taste that is aromatic, pungent and hot.

Native to southeastern Asia, a region whose cuisines still feature this wonderfully spicy herb, ginger has been renowned for millennia in many areas throughout the world. Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. After the ancient Romans imported ginger from China almost two thousand years ago, its popularity in Europe remained centered in the Mediterranean region until the Middle Ages when its use spread throughout other countries. Although it was a very expensive spice, owing to the fact that it had to be imported from Asia, it was still in great demand. In an attempt to make it more available, Spanish explorers introduced ginger to the West Indies, Mexico and South America, and in the 16th century, these areas began exporting the precious herb back to Europe. -wh

The health benefits of ginger have been known for over 2000 years.

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is used to calm upset stomachs, soothe nausea and stop diarrhea. Other traditional health practitioners also understood the health benefits of ginger ? It has been widely used in Europe to help relieve menstrual cramps, treat the symptoms of the common cold and ease headaches. One of the newest reports of the health benefits of ginger is that it may stop cancer from growing and spreading.

What Is Responsible for the Health Benefits of Ginger?
The health benefits of ginger come from chemicals called volatile oils, specifically gingerols and shogaols, that also give ginger its spicy, pungent taste. Those oils stimulate your body to produce more digestive juices and help neutralize the stomach acids that cause cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Ginger is also a natural decongestant and antihistamine, which makes it a natural treatment for head colds.

Research Supports the Health Benefits of Ginger
There are several studies that support the traditionally known health benefits of ginger. Those include:

Two studies about the health benefits of ginger in helping pregnant women with morning sickness showed that ginger root preparations were more effective than a placebo. A clinical trial that proved that ginger root helped prevent seasickness better than a placebo. Preliminary results in animal trials show that ginger seems to prevent or slow the rate of tumor growth in cancer. –

Ginger is classified as a herb which have been widely used as traditional medicine or spice in many cultures throughout the world.

Ginger is known to have more than twelve types of anti-oxidants, making it useful for treatment of many disorders. Like other spices, it has aphrodisiac properties and is used widely for medicinal purposes.

This herb contains essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, inositol, manganese, panthotenic acid, silicon, and a small amount of vitamin B3.

The medicinal uses of ginger is almost endless. If you can stomach the spiciness, it does wonders in treating many disorders.

Anticoagulant: Add ginger in most of your cooking or add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice in your beverages to enjoy the anticoagulant properties of ginger. It helps make blood platelets less sticky which in turn reduces your risk of atherosclerosis.

Aphrodisiac effect: A natural aphrodisiac, this might be the better substitute to viagra! Drink hot ginger tea (by mixing ginger juice, hot water and raw honey) after a not-too-heavy meal and see it work!

Cold: Cut up a small piece of ginger and boil it with a small cup of pure drinking water. Add some green tea leaves if you wish. Strain and drink when hot. Effective if you also have fever resulting from the cold. You may also drink this concoction if you feel a cold coming.

Cough: Drink ginger juice with raw honey three to four times a day for a bad throat. It is soothing and helps clear up phlegm.

Digestive disorder: Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with one teaspoonful each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice with some honey to taste in a glass of water. Drink to relieve heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Especially helpful after a big meaty meal.

Fatigue: Slice a piece of ginger into disks and boil it with a big glass of water. Add a piece of cinnamon bark, bring to boil and then cover it for about half an hour till it turns to golden color. Drink it to relieve fatigue when recovering from fever. It also relieves muscle pain and soreness.

Flatulence/wind: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste. Drink it twice a day to let off the wind trapped in the intestinal tract.

Impotency: Believe it or not! Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to a half-boiled egg and a teaspoonful of honey. Take this concoction on an empty stomach, every night for a month. It is supposed to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and increase sperm count. (Not proven but worth trying!)

Inflammations: The anti-inflammatory (gingerols) and anti-oxidant properties in ginger help relieve various inflammatory disorders like gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It provides substantial relief in pain caused by inflammation and help decrease swelling and morning stiffness.

Menstruation disorders: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste. Drink it hot two or three times a day for a month. The pain-relieving and anti-cramping compounds in ginger effectively help relieve painful menstruation cramps (dysmenorrhoea). In the absence of menstruation in women in the reproductive age (amenorrhoea), this concoction can also help induce menstruation.

Morning sickness: A teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with some honey will also help alleviate morning sickness, sea or motion sickness, dizziness and even nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.

Pain killer: Ginger juice makes an excellent pain killer, even when applied externally. In headache, apply ginger juice to the forehead. With toothache, apply it to the external area either on the cheek or jaw area.

Use a teaspoon to scrape off the ginger skin. When adding ginger in cooking, add at the beginning of cooking for a milder taste, or near the end for a much more pungent taste.

Try to add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice in your vegetable or fruit juices whenever possible. It blends very well with pineapple, carrot and apple juice.–

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE: Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. —Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The Word “Salary” Comes From “Salt!” Salt, our oldest preservative, was extremely rare in the past. So rare, in fact, that it was often used as pay. Imagine…earning a couple of tablespoons of salt for a hard-days work. Today, salt is so common that restaurants give it away for free, and packaged food contains so much that it’s far too easy to eat too much salt (salt is also known as “sodium”).

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Time! You only have so much time… so use it wisely!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Drink your daily ginger tea for vigor and good health!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on the sacred cow!

We could start with deriatives of cow and come up with cow-a-bunga and go into extensive research to learn how the

Cow Grazing

cow has become sacred over the years and maybe even a god!

In ancient India, oxen and bulls were sacrificed to the gods and their meat was eaten. But even then the slaughter of milk-producing cows was prohibited. Verses of the Rigveda refer to the cow as Devi (goddess), identified with Aditi (mother of the gods) herself.

Even when meat-eating was permitted, the ancient Vedic scriptures encouraged vegetarianism. One scripture says, “There is no sin in eating meat… but abstention brings great rewards.” (The Laws of Manu, V/56)

Later, in the spiritually fertile period that produced Jainism and Buddhism, Hindus stopped eating beef. This was mostly like for practical reasons as well as spiritual. It was expensive to slaughter an animal for religious rituals or for a guest, and the cow provided an abundance of important products, including milk, browned butter for lamps, and fuel from dried dung.

Some scholars believe the tradition came to Hinduism through the influence of strictly vegetarian Jainism. But the cow continued to be especially revered and protected among the animals of India.

By the early centuries AD, the cow was designated as the appropriate gift to the brahmans (high-caste priests) and it was soon said that to kill a cow is equal to killing a brahman. The importance of the pastoral element in the Krishna stories, particularly from the 10th century onward, further reinforced the sanctity of the cow.

The five products (pancagavya) of the cow — milk, curds, ghee butter, urine and dung — are all used in puja (worship) as well as in rites of extreme penance. The milk of the family cow nourishes children as they grow up, and cow dung (gobar) is a major source of energy for households throughout India. Cow dung is sometimes among the materials used for a tilak – a ritual mark on the forehead. Most Indians do not share the western revulsion at cow excrement, but instead consider it an earthy and useful natural product.

Despite their sacred status, cows don’t seem very appreciated in India. Visitors are often surprised to see them walking neglected around city streets, living on garbage from the gutters. But the cow is honored at least once a year, on Gopastami. On this “Cow Holiday,” cows are washed and decorated in the temple and given offerings in the hope that her gifts of life will continue.

Mother of the Earth. The cow always gives and feeds, representing life and the support of life. Honoring the cow inspires in people the virtues of gentleness and connectedness with nature. The cow takes nothing but water, grass and grain, while it gives of its milk, as does the liberated soul give of his spiritual knowledge.

“The cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-colored, giving milk for each day. To the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant loving. In our assemblies we laud your vigor.” Rig Veda (4.28.1;6) In the Rig Veda, cows represent wealth and joyous Earthly life. Several hymns refer to ten thousand and more cattle.


QUOTE: “One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.” Mahatma Gandhi.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honored, garlanded and given special feedings at festivals all over India, most importantly the annual Gopashtama festival. Its nature is represented in Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow. In India, more than 3,000 institutions called Gaushalas care for old and infirm cows. The gift of a cow is applauded as the highest kind of gift.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Cows! And that’s no Bull!


From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler arrives in El Nido, land of enchantment, Palawan!

El Nido Land of Enchantment

Hearing stories about Jacques Cousteau adventures and discoveries in Palawan set the stage for the following comment:Palawan is one of the Last Unexplored Islands in the Pacific, as well as the location of the 1997 James Bond thriller “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

Renowned underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau has described Palawan as having one of the most Beautiful Seascapes in the world. Sprawled beneath the seas are nearly 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Myriads of fish swim in these underwater gardens. Jacques Cousteau remarked that Palawan was the most beautiful place on earth.

El Nido Seascape

With adrenalin on high we felt like we were following his footsteps as we headed out for El Nido to see for ourselves what has been written about this area of the Philippines.

We took a private van, which took six hours from Puerto Princesca to El Nido! The first half of the journey the van cruised at a fast clip over relatively good paved roads. You see miles and miles of green scenery and have the feeling you are on the last frontier and like the song so well described….. we said to each other: “ON THE ROAD AGAIN!”

After lunch near the town of Roxas, we weaved through some construction where part of the road is finished and then you travel over some long stretches of dusty, roads in the dry season. It’s a good idea to carry a handkerchief as the dust can seep into the window cracks and come up through the engine. I have been told by a local authority in El Nido that the entire road will be completed within the next three years or maybe sooner as they are gearing up for major tourism including: Chinese tourists who represent a mult-million dollar tourist market. You can also fly direct from Manilla to El Nido twice a week which eliminates a lot of travel time.

We arrived at the local bus depot and took a tricyle directly into town where we procured lodging at the Olgie Beach Pension House. We walked through the town and got oriented seeing the many signs advertising island hopping, which can include tour A, B, and C. It all depends on you and how much photography, snorkeling and diving you want to do.

Like we always do on a trip we ask lots of questions and like to orient ourselves by walking around looking for a place to stay and checking their rates and availability. We walked to the end of town at the Marina Building and spotted a sign that advertised tourist information located on the second floor. We told them we would like to go island hopping tomorrow and wondered if they recommended anyone. She immediately picked up the phone and told us to be on the pier at eight o’clock sharp the following morning. She then asked what we would like for lunch which is included in our island hopping tour…. chicken or fish. Easy! We chose fish!

El Nido Town


El Nido Harbor

Like out of a National Geographic Magazine we left in a private pumpboat which cost 1500 pesos for all day. The name of the pumpboat was Victory with a terrific captain and tour guide. They allowed us all the freedom we needed for beaching, snorkeling or taking photos and handled every detail to perfection. We pulled our cameras out as we made our way through the most amazing rock formations and azure blue water I have ever seen. Perla my companion cried because she said: “everything was so beautiful and she dreamed in elementary school that someday she would visit Palawan…..nicknamed the last frontier.

Island hopping on Victory pumpboat

As the pumpboat cruised through these enchanted islands our boat captain selected an area on the beach locally known as Twin Lagoons. We snorkeled between the lagoons, which were straight out of the movies. Several pods of colorful tropical fish darted by as we proceeded to the far side of the lagoon and wondered if we were in a dream or this was real life.

Twin Lagoons

After the lagoon trip we visited several more islands and had a gourmet fresh fish lunch prepared and grilled on the beach. We eased through several rock formations and crevices and went into a Secret Lagoon… which the guide described legend has it that a pirate buried his booty of gold in there somewhere.

Secret Lagoon

Upon returning back to El Nido (which means birds nest) we walked to the end of the island where we discovered several restaurants directly on the beach… offering sunset drinks and several varieties of local cuisine. The town of El Nido is situated close to the sea and has a variety of good restaurants, shops, and places to stay. It looks like a dream Perla insisted as we walked around taking in the sights.

The farthest restaurant at the end of the beach is owned by local Philippinos who specialize in local fare…here the tables were set directly on the beach, where you could photograph the sunset of a lifetime and just enjoy the moment.

Beach Scene

At the end of the main beach is another restaurant owned and operated by a German, has an outdoor patio, a great menu, and incredible views of the sunset. Just a few meters away… sitting on a small sand bank is a beach hut bar run by locals and had tables set out to enjoy the sunset. This was our favorite hangout as we noticed it was mostly locals…. plus a few tourists, who discovered the friendly service and great choices of local fresh seafood.

Local Sunset Restaurant

The following day we explored the town and found a local coffee shop that made a terrific iced coffee. We ordered kimchi as a snack and it was a first for me, but quite tasty and I am told this is Korea’s national dish! Perla made her way around the town and found a few bargain clothes and a bright flowered dress, which she wore that night when we went out to dinner.

I was at the restaurant earlier and reserved One of the Best Tables in the World hanging out over and looking directly at the sea. As you entered the building you left your shoes and slippers at the bottom of the stairs and proceeded to the second floor, where you witnessed a complete bar restaurant made of natural mahogany and native woods. You sat on the floor on your private contour space … half laying down with legs stretched out with plush white pillows… looking at the stars and the seascape. As the moon edged up over the mountains and islands you could just imagine what may lie ahead as visions of sugar plums danced in your head.

You felt as if this was the place only fit for kings and queens and celebrities.

Dinning with the Stars

I whispered to Perla “we are celebrities of a sort… we are celebrating aren’t we–isn’t that what celebrities do?” Named the Alternative Restaurant… They specialize in vegetarian cuisine, but have plenty of other delicious dishes also. We ordered the spicy eggplant (best ever) and fresh catch of the day steamed in coconut milk. A great dinning experience… one of those places where you lose all sense of time and don’t care if you ever leave.

So there you have it if you want a photographers paradise, want to island hop, dive or kayak through the sea or just hang out at the many nice resorts…. why not book yourself into El Nido before the rest of the world discovers this eco-paradise.

El Nido Silhouette

QUOTE:“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Dramatic soaring limestone cliffs with clinging vegetation home to hundreds of species of birds; deserted sandy lagoons hosting a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and colorful corals create a pristine biodiversity not often found in Asia. The 96,000 hectare El Nido Marine Reserve is protected by the Philippine government – Bacuit Bay and its 40 plus islands on the doorstep of El Nido town present an undeveloped haven for the eco-conscious escaping the crowds of other more popular destinations such as Boracay and Mactan Island, Cebu. Kayaking, snorkelling, diving or just simply daydreaming are key to enjoying this wonderful peaceful paradise. asia hotels. com

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Birds nests! We know a really good bowl of birds nest soup may go for a cool 400 hundred dollars in China….but the birds need these sticks and such so they can nest again! How would you like it if they made House Nest Soup out of your house. UGH!!!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Its all in zee travel!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

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