Ginger root has been used to treat stomach upsets for thousands of years. Fresh Ginger is helpful in the treatment of diarrhea, nausea, colic, arthritis, heart conditions and motion sickness. It can also be used in the treatment of cold and flu-like symptoms and is particularly good for a chest cold. Ginger is also very good for the circulation. A cup of ginger tea is also a good remedy for menstrual cramps
Common Name: Ginger Root Botanical Name: Zingiber officinalis Family: Zingiberaceae
The Japanese use Ginger compresses to relieve back ache and joint problems, as well as chest infections. They grate about a kilogram of ginger and put it into a large pot of boiling water. Hot towels are dipped into the liquid and rung out with tongs, then placed on the troubled area. These hot steaming towels are constantly replaced. Care must be taken not to scold the patient.
Ginger root is a large knotted rhizome that grows under the ground. It has a long history of cultivation and is believed to have originated in Asia. It is grown in Southeast Asia, India, the Caribbean and West Africa. Jamaican Ginger is thought to be the most potent. It is related to the Arrowroot, banana, bird of paradise, screw pine and Cannibis sativa.
Growing Ginger is simple. The Ginger plant is a perennial reed like tropical and subtropical plant with annual leafy stems to about a metre high. The root is dug up when the stalk withers, is immediately scalded or washed and scraped to prevent it sprouting. When planting Ginger root simply take a piece of the rhizome and bury it in good friable soil.
The active ingredients of ginger are a mixture of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols, volatile oils that make up about one to three percent of the weight of the ginger. In medieval times ginger was known as a powerful aphrodisiac considered excellent for transforming frigid women into Acrasia the Circelike enchantress whom all men seek in their dreams.
In Jamaica Zingiber or ginger root is a popular spice used in cooking, and an essential ingredient in sorrel punch, a traditional Christmas festive drink. Sorrel calyx Hibiscus sabdariffa and grated ginger are covered with boiling water and left overnight in a large pot. In the morning the liquid is strained off and lime juice and sugar syrup are added. Some well known Ginger products include Ginger beer, crystallised ginger and ginger tea. Jamaican Ginger or medicinal ginger is a carminative as well as a stimulant. It is also known to have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties. It is important to use organically grown ginger in medicine and not give ginger to children under two years old.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
Side effects associated with ginger are rare, but if taken in excessive doses the herb may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea and irritation of the mouth. The mild gastrointestinal side effects, such as belching, heartburn, or stomach upset, may be relieved by taking ginger supplements in capsules.
Everyone can get access to fresh organic ginger and it is indispensable in the home as a cheap and very effective medicine. A Ginger recipe for the treatment of influenza, chest infections or colds is to make a tea ofgrated fresh ginger, lemon and thyme and drink it frequently throughout the day and night.