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When I was a new student of Ayurveda, I kept hearing different teachers promote the virtues of a ginger-lime pickle as a natural digestive aid.
“A ginger-lime pickle WHAT?” I thought to myself!
“What is it, and can it really be as great as they say?”
I finally decided to find out the answers, and made the ginger-lime pickle the first time.
Before long, it became a staple that I keep in my fridge and use almost daily.
How Do You Make Ginger-Lime Pickle?
Ginger-lime pickle is made from minced ginger, fresh lime juice, and a pinch of mineral salt.
You can make it fresh, or make a couple week’s worth, and keep it in the fridge.
I like making it ahead, because the ginger softens as it sits in the salt and lime juice, and it tastes even better.
Naturally, it tastes spicy, just like ginger. But there’s an added tang from the citrus and salt that gives a pleasing finish to each bite.
A Note About Mineral Salt
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the best mineral salt is Himalayan pink salt.
Pink salt is mined by hand from an ancient seabed deep beneath the Himalayan mountains in Pakistan and India. The source is abundant.
Unlike any other salt, Himalayan pink salt contains a small amount of sweet taste (in addition to salty taste).
Pink salt is also less heating to the body than other salts, and it contains a bit of light quality, while other salts are entirely heavy.
As a final note, pink salt is loaded with trace minerals that you might not find elsewhere. So I highly recommend using it.
The Digestive Benefits of Ginger-Lime Pickle
The reason for eating ginger before a meal is to awaken your taste buds and get your digestive juices flowing.
It’s a way of signaling to your body that food is on the way.
Did you know that digestion and metabolism account for around 60 percent of your daily energy expenditure?
That means you spend more effort on digestion than anything else.
So it’s a good idea to help your body out a little by using ginger-lime pickle.
Who Should Use Ginger-Lime Pickle?
From an Ayurvedic perspective, ginger-lime pickle is good for all body types, especially vata types who benefit from the warmth, the salt, and the sour tastes.
Kapha types like it because it is stimulating and warming, and it helps to clear congestion and stagnation.
It is pitta types that are most likely to find it a little too stimulating if they eat too much of it.
However, ginger has a few special qualities that still make it very suitable for pitta’s fiery nature.
The first is that while ginger is quite pungent, its thermal energy is warm rather than hot.
The second main reason is that ginger is anti-inflammatory. Since inflammation is an achilles heel for pitta types, they really benefit from this.
In fact, ginger has a crazy number of medicinal properties in addition to those I have already mentioned.
8 Extraordinary Health Benefits of Ginger
- Stimulates digestive juices
- Warming, but not too warm
- Burns up ama, especially heaviness and congestion
- Opens up blood vessels and enlivens the blood
- Awakens the taste buds and stimulates saliva
- Relieves nausea and indigestion
- Hydrating, due to its very high electrolyte content
4 Ways to Add Ginger-Lime Pickle to Your Diet
1. Eat a pinch before a meal, or any time you feel your digestion is sluggish and needs a boost. Eat as much, or as little as you like.
If you don’t have the pickle ready, a quick trick is to cut a slice of ginger, sprinkle it with salt, and eat it.
2. Use your prepared ginger-lime pickle directly in cooking, as if you were adding ginger as an ingredient to a vegetable sauté, soup, or stir-fry.
3. Add it to smoothies or warm milk.
4. Add a pinch to hot water and drink throughout the day, especially if you are feeling cold, weak, nauseous, or have other signs of ama.
Ginger-lime Pickle Recipe
- 2 inch piece of ginger (about 3-4 tablespoons)
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon mineral salt
- Mince the ginger by hand or in a mini chopper. To mince by hand, peel the ginger first.
- Then slice the ginger as finely as you can into slices. Stack up the slices like dominoes and chop it finely into strips, then turn the strips 90 degrees and chop finely into tiny square pieces.
- Place the ginger in a small mixing bowl, squeeze in the fresh lime, and add the salt. Mix well. The lime juice should be enough to just cover the ginger.
- Transfer to a small glass jar for storage. It will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or more.
- As the ginger softens over time in the salt and lime juice, it will taste even better.