The Ginger Fix
When chef Mai Pham was growing up in Vietnam, her mother would feed her rice soup simmered with ginger and topped with more ginger whenever she got sick. Today, Pham serves the same soup at Lemon Grass restaurant in Sacramento, California, along with other gingery recipes, like Clay Pot Ginger Chicken and Salmon Rice Bowl with Ginger-Lime Sauce. DETAILS Lemon Grass, 601 Munroe St.; 916-486-4891.
THE POWER OF GINGER
Ginger has long been used in Asia to treat everything from the common cold to the plague. Although there's no scientific proof that ginger helps fight colds, recent studies have shown its effectiveness in treating other ailments. Research conducted at the University of Adelaide in Australia and published in Obstetrics & Gynecology last year confirms that ginger can help reduce nausea in pregnant women. And according to a 2004 article in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ginger contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect against heart disease, cancer and stroke. Christine Gerbstadt, a physician and dietician with the American Dietetic Association, recommends eating fresh, finely chopped ginger or sipping a tea made by steeping it in boiling water.
"You can't imagine how much ginger we use. In many dishes it's almost up there with garlic."
—Chef Mai Pham
THE SPICE ROUTE
Kenzoki Euphoric Ice-Cold Eye Cream smooths skin with extracts from the heart of the ginger plant. DETAILS $45 for 0.5 oz from Sephora; 877-SEPHORA.
Indigo Wild Ginger Zum Bar is a handmade soap that has ginger oil to increase circulation and goat's milk to soften skin. DETAILS $5 each; 800-361-5686.
Hamadi Ginger Soymilk Hair Wash with stimulating ginger oil and moisturizing soy milk is gentle enough for daily use. DETAILS $18 for 4 oz, $27 for 8 oz from Sephora; 877-SEPHORA.
Lush Ginger Lotion warms and soothes sore muscles with organic gingerroot and Jamaican ginger oil and relieves dry skin with almond oil and cocoa butter DETAILS $22 for 7.9 oz; 888-733-LUSH.