The thrilling three

“Why don’t you write about garlic, ginger and chilli?”, someone suggested, a few hours ago. “No thanks, I have lots to write about” I replied. Except that after trawling through hundreds of stories on the Gulf oil spill, failing nuclear reactors, melting glaciers and the like, I was far from inspired, and, to top it off, cold.

All I could think about was garlic, ginger and chilli, three wonderfully warming foods.

Chilli is perhaps more well-known for being blazingly hot rather than simply warming, and it’s the capsacain that gives chilly its fiery touch. If you’re experiencing poor circulation, a dash of chilli stimulates blood flow to the hands, feet and head by widening the arteries and generally producing a warming sensation. It’s also being studied as a treatment for nerve fibre disorders, arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy.

I remember as a child thinking that the way to reduce pain in one area was to inflict pain in another. So when suffering from a severe migraine I’d punch my fist into a cupboard. It worked, sort of, but fortunately there are better ways. Chilli shows great promise in relieving arthritic and diabetic pain. It seems some mild burning in the mouth does wonders for reducing pain elsewhere!

This week we’re offering a new habanero sauce – mild it says on the label. Ha, don’t be fooled – it blew my socks off. But that’s just me, a colleague was smothering it like tomato sauce over everything, so you’ll have to see for yourself. There’s also chilli olive tapenade, olives stuffed with with chilli, and, not least, chilli corn chips. As of yet, no fresh chillies, but I hope that’ll change before you place your order.

There was a phase where some suggested taking aspirin to prevent heart disease. That advice is now discredited, but there’s a better alternative. Garlic also thins the blood, promoting circulation and aiding the elasticity of the capillaries.

Of course, it also wards off vampires. The vampires in question include Counts Candida, salmonella, fungi, yeast and e-coli, all of which are killed or inhibited by garlic.

So no need to rush off and buy a silver dagger – there’s a choice of traditional garlic pickle, dried garlic, and fresh garlic available on the site this week

Ginger is the last of the “thrilling three”. I can see why Enid Blyton took “Famous Five” and Marvel Comics “Fantastic Four”. Ginger also boosts the blood flow, is fantastic for the digestive system, combats nausea, and also assists with arthritis and the cardiovascular system in general.

We have potent ginger powder, ginger pumpkin and ginger noodles, two ginger drinks, and tofu and ginger miso soup available this week.

To order, head on over to

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical Co-op team.