I Want (Ginger) Candy

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Candied Ginger

Candied Ginger, shared under a CC license by Flickr user dani920.

Back when I was a decidedly non-vegan little toehead, I possessed a stomach of steel. (I guess I had to, seeing as I downed a package of lunch meat a day. Yuck.) No shoddily constructed carnival amusement ride could best me. Back and forth through the turnstile, I’d ride the Sea Dragon and Jack Rabbit for hours on end, with little impact on my appetite.

I don’t know how or when it happened, but somewhere in young adulthood, my inner fortitude left me; my stomach bottomed out. Now, a car ride’s enough to make me sick. Scratch that; I’m a-ok in a car, just as long as I’m 1) driving or 2) sleeping. Which a) doesn’t leave me with many options and b) kind of blows, since I’m a multi-tasker and would rather be reading or doing paperwork while riding shotgun on trips of any length.

Anyhow, my younger sister – who also suffers the same, sad problem – tipped me off to ginger pills. These generally work well for preventing car sickness, but in those all-too common instances when I forget to take ’em, they’re rather slow to help ease nausea, if not altogether ineffective.

Enter: ginger candy! (Or candied or crystallized ginger, if you prefer.) During my recent trip to New York, I was having a particularly rough day – I think my body was still acclimating to the change in routine and diet; yes, I am an oversensitive little baby, what of it? – my father dug out a bag of ginger candy for me to try. He works for a local grocery chain – maybe you’ve heard of it? – as the buyer for its natural foods section, so he has tons of natural/organic/vegan/vegetarian products laying around. Which means that I always return home bearing quite the haul, but I digress. The ginger, while a little spicy for my tastes, did the trick: after a few fistfuls and an hour-long nap, my stomach was settled down enough that I was able to eat and (oh joy!) even help the family put up some siding on the barn.

Since his pantry overfloweth, dad sent me home with a few bags of candied ginger as well as some soft chews, and I’ve been experimenting with its medicinal uses since. In my experience, whole ginger is fairly effective at both preventing and relieving nausea related to motion sickness (more so than ginger pills). Working at home as I do, occasionally I’ll be busy enough that I’ll “forget” to eat a meal (or even two). When this happens, I might get faint or lightheaded, and nauseous as well. Ginger candy to the rescue! While the ginger combats the sick feeling in my stomach, the sugar provides a little burst of energy, just enough to hold me over until I can make a more substantial meal.

(More below the fold…)