Biohacking Recovery: Ginger Poultice for Sports Injuries

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

1. Why?

Yesterday was a tough day.

For the past few mornings, I’ve been feeling a tinge of pain on the underside of my right foot for quite a while. Today was no different except in my stupidity, I decided to go ahead with participating in my track and field lesson where we did multiple relay practices to work on our baton passing skills.

At the time, I didn’t feel any pain while running. I was even thinking to myself that I had ‘cured’ my foot problems by ‘running them down’! As usual, I was wrong.

The day concluded with 3 hours of table tennis, another sport module I’m taking this semester. Halfway through this lesson, the pain on the underside of my foot started building up and by the end of the lesson, I was limping.

Today I decided to try an age-old natural remedy in hopes that it could help with speeding my recovery: a ginger poultice.

2. What is a poultice?

A quick google search will give you:

“a soft, moist mass of material, typically consisting of bran, flour, herbs, etc., applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation and kept in place with a cloth.”

Basically its like a DIY natural medicated bandage that can be used for a myraid of purposes from cuts to wounds to relieving inflammation, insect bites and even some forms of arthritis.

More specifically, Ginger poultices have an anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxant effect – great for sports injuries like sprains and overuse syndromes (which I suspect is what I’m suffering from)

Ginger also acts as a type of irritant on the skin which promotes blood flow to the affected area, speeding up circulation and stimulating our body’s own healing mechanisms.

3. How?

What you’ll need:

  1. Some fresh ginger (one root is sufficient)
  2. Mortar and pestle
  3. A permeable cloth like cheesecloth or a handkerchief
  4. Some bandages / plastic wrap

Steps:

  1. Wash and skin the ginger
  2. Pound it with the mortar and pestle to satisfaction (when you see ginger juice)
  3. Apply it to a permeable cloth or directly on the affected area. Alternatively, you can put the ginger in between two layers of cheesecloth
  4. Secure the poultice in place with some bandages or plastic wrap. Do not wrap too tight as blood circulation is desired
  5. Leave the poultice on for 3 hours or more and change when desired.

4. The aftermath

In about 10 minutes after skin contact with the ginger, I started to feel a warm tingly sensation that reminded me of chilli powder on my skin except less irritating and kind of soothing.

After 3 hours, there was a noticeable reduction in pain but that could be a placebo effect or simply because I did not walk much today.

I intend to apply this throughout the night tonight and maybe for the next few nights until the pain subsides. Will follow up on this post!

Resources:

  1. Healing from your kitchen – Ginger soak/poultice for injuries and pain.

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poultice

 

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