Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) which is also called Common Ginger, Cooking Ginger, Jamaican Ginger, and Ginger Root, is one of the most widely known kitchen herb that is used as a medicine.Ginger is a spice that is added to vegetable dishes, breads, cookies, puddings, cakes, pickles, and soups; and is a medicinal herb that has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-flatulent. and anti-pain properties.Ginger contains 115 different chemical components, but its therapeutic benefits come from gingerols – an oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
The herb is easy to grow; and as soon as a new bud or shoot appears, simply bury the root in soil, and water moderately. Ginger plants grow outdoors all year round in full sun, or partial shade. They are also suitable for growing in containers.
The ginger plants we have in our herb garden have grown amazingly, and they are the tallest crop we’ve ever had (the plants can grow to heights of 3ft).Ginger plants contain moisture, protein, fat, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates; and the mineral and vitamins they contain are phosphorus, calcium, iron, carotene, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, as well as Vitamin C.
All parts of the ginger plants are nontoxic and fragrant; but the edible leaves and flowers are not commonly eaten. I understand that the leaves may be used as a flavorful garnish – like chopped chives or green onions, they are not usually eaten on their own.
When one of our ginger plants bloomed in October last year, it was the first time we’ve ever seen its flower. Ginger can be combined with almost all other herbs, and the root can be sliced, chopped, grated and chewed raw. Ginger can also be administered in teas, capsules, pills, essential oils, ginger powder, and as crystallized ginger.
In whatever form – whether eating whole ginger, drinking fresh ginger juice, and inhaling diffused ginger essential oil; all are highly effective ways to curb stomach disorders, relieve pain, and to promote a strong immune system.Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy; as a warming remedy, it is ideal for boosting the circulation and lowering high blood pressure. When taken in large doses, ginger is used for keeping the blood thin. Please note: Do not use ginger while taking aspirin.
Due to its tremendous circulation-increasing qualities, ginger is thought to improve the complexion; it may also aid in clearing acne, and preventing internal blood clots.Ginger is popularly consumed as a tea for indigestion, vomiting, and nausea; and to ward off colds, flu, and sore throats. The tea is also taken to ease gut inflammation, and to boost the immune system and liver health; also, chewing a piece of ginger regularly can help in relieving problems of excessive secretion of saliva.
As a medicinal herb, ginger is used as a remedy for relieving travel sickness, and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, gastrointestinal problems – such as gas and stomach cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, and nausea.
. . . Ginger is taken to prevent or relieve nausea resulting from chemotherapy, motion sickness, pregnancy, certain medications, and surgery.
Recent studies confirm that ginger directly affects the gastrointestinal tract, helping to improve muscle tone and to prevent abnormally rapid and strong intestinal contractions.
I understand that one reason why ginger helps people who are bloated, constipated and have other gastrointestinal disorders is that this herb relaxes the smooth muscle in your gut lining and helps food move along throughout the system.
In addition to these gastro-protective effects, researchers have found ginger to be very effective for stress related ulcers.
Please note that this herb should not be consumed by patients who are suffering from gall bladder stones. Using ginger can cause allergic reactions like rash. It can also cause heartburn, bloating, belching, nausea, and gas. Un-chewed ginger can cause a person to have intestinal blockage and ulcers. Ginger can also affect clotting, heart rhythms, and blood pressure. Consuming large amounts of ginger, especially at nights, may result in sleeplessness.
Ginger is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties; it is used for joint problems, arthritis, migraine headaches, toothaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis . . . and is an excellent pain killer.
Ointment made of ginger can help in relieving head pains, it can be applied on the gum, and near the ear to relieve pain in the gum and ear respectively. Due to its antispasmodic characteristic some people have used ginger to help ease menstrual cramps, and to treat arthritis, fevers, headaches, and toothaches. It is also used as a rubefacient to counter the problem of muscular pain.
If a person has exercised too much, or suffers from arthritis or rheumatism, ginger has been known to ease inflammation of the joints and muscle tissue. Ginger has also reduced nervousness, eased tendonitis, and helped sore throats return to normal. Ginger in teas is also excellent for trouble in the genital-reproductive organs.It is used to relieve menstrual problems, ease menstrual cramps, and for painful irregular menstruation. Ginger is also useful in promoting the quantity and quality of semen and it has been proven to improve the blood flow to the penis.
The herb is also known to be an effective aphrodisiac, half a teaspoon of its juice with honey and boiled egg taken for a month can tone up the sex organs. It relieves impotency, premature ejaculation, involuntary seminal discharge, and also spermatorrhoea.
Please note: Ginger can be used during pregnancy and babies can be given ginger. Ginger tea is also an herbal remedy to prevent or relieve nausea resulting from pregnancy. Studies have shown that there are no adverse effects from using ginger – for either the mother or the developing baby.Among the multitude of uses of this medicinal plant, ginger is also used for respiratory disorders and is known to act as an expectorant in relieving asthma, cough, and tuberculosis. It is also used to treat bronchitis.
Ginger naturally improve diabetes – by acting on insulin release and sensitivity, and supporting the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. It also protects against diabetic complications like diabetic kidney, eye and liver complications. One source suggests that ginger helps reduce the side effects of the medication Metformin (for diabetes).
Ginger has also been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon, and breast cancer; and although ginger had not been shown to halt the progression of cancer, it actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that this herb was able to fuel apoptosis or the death of the cancer cells.
Overall, ginger is good for various conditions such as boils, cholera, congestion, diarrhea, dyspepsia (atonic), acid reflux, flatulence (suppressed gas), flu, gout (atonic), griping, hemorrhage of lungs, menstruation, neuralgia, paralysis of tongue, reproductive problems, rheumatism, and vertigo.
Studies demonstrate that ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver. It has boosted the immune system and metabolism and has been proven to increases energy.
Ginger Root Bath:
Another way to relieve symptoms of arthritis, constipation and restlessness, is to have a ginger root bath: you will sleep like a baby!
Method: Add 2 lbs chopped ginger root to 8 cups (½ gallon) boiling water. Simmer for 45 minutes to allow the ginger to seep into the water. When the water is brown in color, pour through a strainer into your bath water then soak in the bath for approx. 15 minutes. It works from the outside in.
Note: Ginger root baths should be taken nightly for three nights, since diarrhea may occur in persons who soak more often than three times in a week.