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The Ginger Compress

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					The Ginger Compress
From The End of Medicine

Kaare Barsell




I
    f we have established beyond rea-                                                       ognize the large intestine as the single
    sonable doubt that we do have                                                           most critical organ to address if we
    Chronic Intestinal Stagnation, then                                                     wish to affect a true and deep healing
we may want to inquire as to what we                                                        of the body. Many, many treatments
can do to aid our intestines in healing                                                     have been devised over the years in an
themselves. From what has already                                                           attempt to remove this impacted mucus
been written it should be fairly clear we                                                   material, including enemas, colonics,
must first begin by changing our way                                                        clay treatments, herbal colon cleans-
of eating to one based on eating cooked                                                     ing programs, and fasts of innumerable
whole grains and vegetables.1 However,                                                      kinds and varieties. However, none of
on the physical level, changing our way                                                     them actually work in removing the
of eating is not enough. It is often as-                                                    Chronic Intestinal Stagnation, which
sumed, at least it appears to be the as-                                                    is lodged in the walls of the intestines.
sumption, in macrobiotic literature, we                                                     Many are difficult to do, and some actu-
need but change our daily staple foods                                                      ally detrimental. For example, I think,
from meat, eggs, dairy food, refined,                                                       colonics actually weaken the walls of
chemicalized foods, etc. to cooked                                                          the intestines.
whole grains and vegetables and our in-                                                         These treatments are effective in
testinal function will take care of itself.                                                 sloughing off the mucus build-up in the
And, in many instances, when people                                                         lumen or cavity of the intestines, but
begin eating whole grain and vegetables                                                     then so is eating a diet based on cooked
according to macrobiotic principles,                      KAARE BURSELL                     whole grains and vegetables due to the
one of the first changes noticed is a con-    ing on over the entire life of the individ-   high fiber content of these foods.
siderable, often dramatic improvement         ual living in modern culture, eating the          The most effective remedy of which
in bowel movement.                            modern diet, and as the years go by the       I know is probably several thousand
    However, the consumption of these         Chronic Intestinal Stagnation becomes         years old, and was probably devised
foods—cooked whole grains and veg-            extraordinarily impacted and “locked-         at the beginning of recorded history. I
etables—on a regular basis as staple          in” the intestinal walls. Thus we must        have also heard it was thought up by
foods does not allow for making any           do something in addition to changing          a physician of a Buddhist persuasion
real inroads on breaking down the             our way of eating if we wish to get rid       around 500 BC. No matter. To the au-
Chronic Intestinal Stagnation, the toxic      of the toxic mucus stagnation in the          gust and profoundly wise gentleman or
mucus build-up in the intestinal walls.       walls of our intestines.                      gentlewoman who first came up with
The Chronic Intestinal Stagnation has,            I must avow I am not the first per-       the idea of the ginger compress, I offer
as has already been suggested, been go-       son in the history of humanity to rec-        my profound prayer of gratitude.


                                                                            MACROBIOTICS TODAY     •   September/October 2009      9
    So, after a long and necessary pre-    ginger water will retain its heat long      grated ginger, squeezing the excess
liminary discourse, we come to the         enough to do two, possibly three, treat-    juice in the grated ginger into the hot
reason for the writing of this book:       ments before needing to be reheated.        water, place the bag in the pot, and if
                                           If you want to ensure the ginger water      there is any ginger juice in the bowl
                                           remains hot after you have taken it off     you grated the ginger into, pour that
ITEMS REQUIRED                             the stove, obtain a hot plate you can       in also.
                                           plug into an electrical outlet near the         Then place the two folded and
 1. One gallon of water in a contain-
                                           place you choose to do the treatment        sewn up terry cloth towels or cotton
    er with a lid (tap water is fine).
                                           and place the pot of ginger water on it     diapers in the pot of hot ginger water
 2. One quarter of cup finely grat-
                                           after you have made it.                     and let them soak for a minute or two,
    ed—by hand—fresh, unpeeled
                                                                                       with the lid of the container on.
    ginger root (non-organic is fine)
                                                                                           You are now ready to do the com-
    wrapped in the cheesecloth, or         PRELIMINARY INSTRUC-                        press.
    other natural fiber cloth, to make     TIONS                                           Place an old blanket or sheet on
    a bag of grated ginger.2 A ginger
                                               Place the container of water on the     your couch, carpet or bed, wherever
    root, which fits in the palm of
                                           stove and bring the water to a boil.        you choose to do the compress and
    your hand, will suffice for the
                                           Meanwhile, grate the unpeeled ginger        set up the pot of ginger water with the
    amount of grated ginger needed.
                                           root using a fine tooth grater (do not      two terry cloth towels (henceforth re-
 3. Two one foot wide terry cloth
                                           use a blender) until you have approxi-      ferred to as the ginger towels) in it, on
    towels three feet long. Also good
                                           mately one quarter cup of grated gin-       some newspapers within easy reach of
    are cotton baby diapers.
                                                                                       where you lie down on your back (do
 4. One cotton bath towel.
                                                                                       not use plastic in any shape or form)
 5. One pair of thick rubber gloves.
                                                                                       on the couch, bed or floor, expose the
                                             “...we must first begin by                skin of your abdomen, and place the
PRELIMINARIES                                                                          bath towel, also folded so it can cover
    Before proceeding, take the terry
                                             changing our way of eat-                  your abdomen, on your lap.
cloth towels and, singly, fold each         ing to one based on eating                     Then, with the rubber gloves on
one in three-fold such that it cov-                                                    your hands, remove the lid of the
ers the area of your abdomen, which            cooked whole grains                     pot, place it on the floor, and take up
goes from the sternum (breastbone)                                                     one of the ginger towels in the pot (if
of the rib cage to the pelvic bone, and
                                                  and vegetables.”                     you’re lying on the floor you need to
from one hip to the other hip. Once                                                    sit up to do this), ring out the excess
you’ve done this, sew each one along                                                   liquid into the pot, then replace the lid
the loose edges so they are prevented      ger; the easiest way to assure you do       on the pot to keep the heat in.
from falling open once you start do-       not lose any ginger root is to place the        Taking the wrung-out ginger
ing the treatment.                         piece of cloth you’re using to wrap         towel, open it up so it is flat (it will
    Also, the treatment has to be done     the ginger in, in a bowl and grate the      remain folded if you have sewn the
on an empty stomach, either an hour        ginger onto the cloth in the bowl.          loose edges together), lie down if you
before you eat or two hours after you          When you have grated enough             had to sit up to do the preceding, and
eat. It can be done at any time of day.    ginger, bring the four corners of the       raise and lower the ginger towel over
However, a practical tip is to do the      cloth in the bowl together to enclosed      the skin of your abdomen, close to but
treatment before you go to bed, and        the grated ginger in the cloth; twirl to    not actually touching the skin to be-
after doing it, leave all the materials    make a neck and wrap a rubber band          gin with3—until you can tolerate the
where they are in the kitchen, and go      or tie around the neck to hold the four     ginger towel laid directly on the skin.
to bed. First thing in the morning,        corners together. You now have a bag        After you have placed the hot ginger
before eating breakfast, reheat the        of ginger. Any ginger juice will be         towel directly on the skin of your ab-
ginger water pot, making sure you          found at the bottom of the bowl.            domen, cover it with the bath towel,
do not boil the water, and you can do          By now the water in the pot will        which has been lying on your lap, to
the treatment again. Thus you can use      be near to boiling, if it has not already   keep the heat in.
one pot of ginger water for two treat-     reached boiling. Then, and this is the          After two to five minutes the gin-
ments.                                     most important point, once the wa-          ger towel on your abdomen will start
    If we use one gallon container for     ter has reached boiling point, switch       to cool down. Then, lift up the bath
our ginger compress then after it is       your heat source off and let the water      towel covering the ginger towel; re-
ready to start doing the treatment, the    stop boiling before taking the bag of       move the cooled ginger towel, leav-


10    MACROBIOTICS TODAY    •   September/October 2009
ing the bath towel so it covers the ab-
domen to keep it warm.
    Remove the lid from the ginger                       The End of Medicine
water pot, place the just used wet,                                     by Kaare Bursell
cooled ginger towel back in it to re-
heat it, and remove the second ginger       Kaare Bursell (pronounced Core-ah Bur-sell) has written a book entitled, The
towel, which has been soaking in the        End of Medicine, a book in which he details how to help the body heal itself.
ginger pot while you were using the         In particular, the book contains step-by-step instructions of how and why to
first ginger towel. Thoroughly ring out     do a ginger compress over the intestines.
the excess ginger water in this second           Perhaps you know (or know of) Kaare; perhaps you have heard about lay-
towel back into the container, replace      ing hundreds of ginger compresses over the intestines, perhaps you have even
the lid and repeat the procedure as         done them. I have. I have known Kaare for years. I have heard him speak. I
with the first ginger towel. Alternate      have even done ginger compresses, although not the recommended hundreds.
the two ginger towels in this manner        But now, after reading the book, I have a renewed understanding of why this
for half an hour. This constitutes one      method is valuable.
treatment.                                       The book’s main tenet is that the body has the wisdom to heal itself, and
                                            given the right conditions, the capacity to actualize a deep healing, a healing
                                            so profound it affects the spirit. In Kaare’s opinion, this healing comes about
TREATMENT INSTRUC-                          due to the combination of proper diet and the catalytic property of the ginger
TIONS                                       compress. Proper diet provides the needed nutrients. The ginger compress
    I recommend the compress be             breaks up stagnation in the small intestine, freeing the small intestine from
done 64 times, two to four times a          sludge. The body regenerates which, in turn, allows the mind and spirit to
week. This constitutes one round of         renew.
compresses; this may not be, and is              Esoteric studies are not new in macrobiotic circles; the link between body
generally not, enough to complete the       and soul is well established. Yet, this book goes beyond a casual correspon-
rehabilitation of our intestines.4          dence and explains how the deep seat of the intestines reflects the inner work-
    If you determine your intestines        ings of the soul. It is a mind-boggling example that originates with Rudolph
need more work, I suggest waiting           Steiner. Rudolph Steiner (instigator of the Waldorf schools) is insightful; his
for 6-8 weeks and then do another           writings are serious, and his teachings cover subjects as vast as education,
round of 64 compresses. I think it          farming, and philosophy. Kaare is well versed in Steiner’s teachings and in
takes three rounds of 64 compresses         this book, connects some of the dots about the physical and astral bodies.
each, generally speaking, to complete            The End of Medicine presents a fascinating analysis. Even if you don’t
the rehabilitation of our intestines. I     agree with the body/soul connection theory, you can’t dispute the scientific
also recommend that the three rounds        discussions of digestion and blood alchemy. Each topic has a respective chap-
of 64 compresses each be done over a        ter. And, as if this isn’t enough to make you think, there is a chapter on yin
one to two-year period.                     and yang!
    It must not to be assumed that do-           This is a book of information intended to help the reader maintain health.
ing more ginger compresses more of-         The section on home remedies, specifically the ginger compress, is thorough.
ten is better than I recommend here.        Highly recommended.
The intestines undergo their rehabili-
tation in their own good time, so we                                                     – Book Review by Julia Ferré
must show patience in allowing them
to do so. In my experience it takes a
minimum of two years for the intes-       some other reason you do not have           many, many years, even decades.
tines to rehabilitate themselves and      the time in a particular week or two.       The older we are when we discover
a maximum of seven years. It is also      Therefore it is fine to miss doing it       our Chronic Intestinal Stagnation, the
important to point out that the 64        for one or two weeks; just taking up        longer it has been going on. And the
compresses per round doing to 2-4         where you left off, keeping track of        longer it has been going on, the more
compresses a week is not mandatory.       the amount of compresses you have           tenaciously hardened and impacted it
What I mean is it is important to do      already done.                               is in our intestinal walls. Therefore the
the 64 compresses per round. How-             The reason it takes so many com-        more ginger compresses we’ll have to
ever, it is not always possible to do     presses to complete the rehabilitation      do, more consistently and with perse-
compresses every week because you         of our intestines is the Chronic Intes-     verance, in order for the compresses
may be on vacation, or for work or        tinal Stagnation has developed over         to have their desired effects.


                                                                    MACROBIOTICS TODAY     •   September/October 2009         11
    I also recommend that once you           room, attesting to the strong dispers-     sues of the walls of the intestines be-
are satisfied your intestines are back       ing, expansive movement of ginger          gin to receive clean, revitalized blood
in shape again, it is a good idea to do      chi. The reason for this is the ginger     (if we have also changed our way of
ten to twenty compresses every few           root grows horizontally under the          eating to a daily fare of cooked whole
years, although this will depend upon        ground, which means it is also in-         grains and vegetables, and it has to
you doing your facial diagnosis to           fluenced by more yin activity, than,       be emphasized the ginger compresses
determine the condition of your intes-       for example, burdock or carrot roots       are wasted time if we have not) for
tines. With regard to children it is bet-    which grow straight down. It is this       the first time in years, or decades.
ter to wait until they are seven years       additional more yin factor that is re-     They become revitalized, leading to
old before doing the ginger compress         sponsible for its dispersing (more yin)    a regeneration of the tissues and res-
regimen on them.5                            activity, which is further enhanced by     toration of their proper, harmonious
                                             finely grating the ginger.                 function.
     The activity of ginger is amazing.           My feeling is that by doing the
It is a root (downward energy), which        ginger compress in this way, laying
also has a very strong dispersing odor       the towel soaked in the hot ginger wa-     DURING THE TREAT-
when grated (upward energy). This            ter, which is permeated with the ethe-     MENTS
dynamic quality enhances heat and ac-        ric activity of the ginger root, thereby       As a result of doing the treatments,
tivity. The strong downward presence         harnessing it, on the abdomen while        toxic mucus deposits are gradually
during the compress penetrates deep          lying on our back, the ginger towel        dissolved and flushed into the blood-
into the organs as well as through the       focuses these etheric forces on the        stream, and what happens overtly as
walls of the organs. The dispersing ef-                                                 a consequence will depend on many
fect increases circulation ten fold and                                                 factors.
assists in breaking up hardened ac-                                                         All I will say here, and more will
cumulation which could be 50 years              “The activity of ginger                 be said on this subject in the chapter
old or more. The increased circula-             is amazing. It is a root                “Macrobiotic Healing,” is that the
tion also assists in eliminating these                                                  body may show signs of detoxifica-
excesses from the body and returning          (downward energy), which                  tion or may show no overt signs of
the body’s natural rhythms to normal.                                                   it cleansing itself other than passive
Eating well during this time is impor-        also has a very strong dis-               weight loss, increased urination and
tant, as you do not want to slow down         persing odor when grated                  bowel movement and some fatigue.
this process. Also discharges may oc-                                                       More active signs of cleansing
cur during this process and you may               (upward energy).”                     include nasal mucus discharges, sore
want to consult your counselor during                                                   throat, coughing and sneezing, fever,
these times. Do not use on the brain,                                                   and flu-like symptoms, temporary
on infants, during high fevers or preg-                                                 constipation and/or diarrhea, various
nancy, or on any direct inflammation         abdominal cavity, in which the intes-      aches and pains, skin eruptions in
or cancerous area.                           tines lie, and they penetrate into the     various parts of body and headaches.
                                             tissues by means of the root (more         If accompanied with healthy appetite,
                                             yang) activity and break up the toxic      normal sleep patterns, general vitality
THE ACTIVITY OF THE                          mucus stagnation encountered in the        and no nausea, these signs indicate the
GINGER COMPRESS                              tissues by means of the strong disper-     healing process is going very well.
     The ginger compress works be-           sive activity. Furthermore, the ethe-
cause of the etheric or chi activities       ric forces of the ginger stimulate the
of the heat and the ginger root. From        etheric forces of the intestines, thus     CONTRA-INDICATIONS
the perspective of yin-yang theory,          activating their proper activity.6             The ginger compress on the abdo-
the ginger root has strong yang activ-            The activity of the heat of the       men should not be done in the follow-
ity by virtue of its “rootness.” This        compress stimulates the circulation of     ing instances:
more yang activity means the etheric         the blood and tissue fluids in the area
                                                                                          During pregnancy and breast-
activity of the ginger has a strong,         being treated, which then facilitates
                                                                                             feeding. It can be done when
downward, penetrating direction of           the bearing of the dispersed toxins
                                                                                             menstruating.
movement.                                    away to be excreted.
                                                                                          If there is abdominal inflammation,
    On the other hand when we grate              The combination of these three
                                                                                             peritonitis, pneumonia.
the ginger root we notice how the            etheric or “chi” activities brought to
                                                                                          On the brain.
aroma of ginger powerfully fills the         bear by the compress, means the tis-


12    MACROBIOTICS TODAY      •   September/October 2009
                                            dominal region is a total of two hours
  On infant babies.                         of the 168 hours of the week, which         The affordable, one stop internet shop
  In cases where a high fever is run-                                                   for the highest quality macrobiotic foods,
                                            comes to 1.19 percent of the week,          innovative cookware, books and more.
     ning.                                  hardly excessive.
  If there is presence of overt cancers
     in the abdominal region, al-
                                                 Furthermore if we classify all ill-
                                            nesses of the human organism into
                                                                                         Simply Natural
     though they may safely be done                                                          www.simply-natural.biz
                                            two groups; whether they are illness-               1-888-392-9237
     if cancer is present in other parts    es from too much heat, or illnesses
     of the body.                           from too much cold, in the body, then
                                                                                        Share ideas, philosophy, recipes and
     In macrobiotic literature, which       it turns out of all the degenerative ill-
                                                                                        experiences. Connect with likeminded
discuss the ginger compress, you will       nesses are illnesses of too much cold       macrobiotic people in exotic locations
come across writings on “special con-       in the body.                                and from those just down the road.
siderations for cancer patients…” and            Two problems may become evi-                 www.cybermacro.com
there is mention of the Taro Potato         dent during the course of the treat-
Plaster. The reason it is mentioned         ments. One is that the skin of the
that cancer patients should not do the      abdomen takes on a darkened, brown-         get a much clearer impression of the
ginger compress for more than five          red/yellow hue; this will clear up          changes by comparing the “before” and
minutes on the cancer is because it is      after regimen has been completed.           “after” photographs side by side.
thought the stimulation of the blood        The other is the possibility of de-             5. Children today are being born
supply caused by the compress means         toxifying too rapidly; meaning the          with Chronic Intestinal Stagnation, due
that, if there is a cancerous tumor in      symptoms of discharge may become            to the “modern diets” of their mothers
the region being treated, the increased     overwhelming. In this case, simply          during pregnancy.
blood circulation will cause the can-       adjust the rhythm of the compresses             6. When we cover the abdomen
cer to grow.                                by temporarily stopping them for a          from the sternum to the pubic bone, we
     However, this is only true if the      few days or a week or two. The key          are also treating the stomach and spleen/
blood is still toxic. When a person         point, as I pointed out before, about       pancreas, and the liver/gallbladder, and
starts a macrobiotic dietary regimen,       the regimen of 64 compresses is to do       because the lungs are the paired com-
in ten days the blood plasma (the fluid     them; whether this takes 16, 20, 32 or      plimentary organs of the large intestine,
in which the blood circulates) is re-       40 weeks is immaterial; what is re-         and heart of the small intestine, these
newed; in 30-60 days all the white          quired is to get the compresses done        organs are also being treated.
blood cells will be newly created, and      on a relatively consistent basis and to
in 120 days all the red blood cells will    complete the 64.
be newly created.                                                                       Kaare Bursell was born in Kenya
     Thus, theoretically, if we begin the                                               and moved to England at age 14. He
ginger compresses four months after         NOTES                                       graduated from the University of Liv-
starting the dietary practice, then the         1. This subject is addressed in more    erpool, School of Veterinary Medicine
increasing blood flow means clean,          detail in the chapter on General Dietary    and Science with a Degree of Bach-
revitalized, fresh blood will be cir-       Recommendations.                            elor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.)
culating more vigorously. The cancer            2. The reason for placing the grated    in 1971. Kaare found macrobiotics in
consequently will then be receiving         ginger in a bag is to avoid having pieces   1975 and helped start Oakland’s Or-
this fresh clean blood, which in turn       of ginger floating about in the water or    ganic Cafe and Macrobiotic Center
means the cancer will dissolve faster.      getting on the towels. Also, if ginger is   in 1983. He has counseled over three
However, to act on the side of caution,     boiled, the treatments will not work.       thousand people with many and var-
if a person has cancer of the colon or          3. If you place the ginger towel im-    ied degenerative conditions. Kaare
some other cancer of the abdominal          mediately on the skin you will scald the    has given seminars, workshops, cook-
region, it is perhaps wiser to wait un-     skin, a very painful experience!            ing classes around the world. He has
til the macrobiotic practice has been           4. You can check the facial features    written for many publications and is
done for one year before embarking          described in the chapter on diagnosis to    Secretary of The Pacific Macrobiotic
on the regimen of ginger compresses.        see what changes occur. To make this        Conference, held bi-annually since
     I have also heard comments the         easy, I recommend you have a photo-         1982 to the present. Kaare aspires to
regimen of two to four compresses           graph taken of your face before starting    change the current self-destructive
a week applies too much heat to the         the regimen of ginger compresses, and       course of the world to a positive, con-
organs being treated. However, doing        another one after you’ve completed the      structive, and healthy one. He can be
it the maximum four times to the ab-        64 treatments. If you do this, you will     reached at: kaareb@mac.com.


                                                                       MACROBIOTICS TODAY   •   September/October 2009           13

				
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