Botanical name: Zingiber officinale
Actions: Analgesic, anodyne, antacid, antiemetic, antispasmodic, aperitive, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, condiment, detoxicant, diaphoretic (whole), diffusive stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, pungent, rubefacient, sialagogue, sternutatory, stomachic, sweet, tonic.
Parts used : Dried rhizomes and root
Ginger is a perennial herb that thrives in most parts of southern Asia, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the West Indies. The English botanist William Roscoe gave the plant the name Zingiber officinale in an 1807 publication. The genus Zingiber comprises approximately 85 species of fragrant herbs from East Asia and tropical Australia. The name originates from a Sanskrit word meaning “horn-shaped,” in reference to the bulges on the rhizome [underground stems].
The plant has recently been cultivated in Florida, California, and Hawaii. Purple orchid-like flowers grow on the stalks of the wild plant. The most common part of the plant known for its multi-faceted use is the thick tuberous rhizome root that is brown on the outside but a dark yellowish amber hue on the inside.
Medical uses and benefits of Ginger
- Used throughout the world as a digestive aid and for circulation.
- sed as a catalyst with other herbs.
- Increases circulation to peripheral areas (brain, hands and feet) of the body.
- Great for indigestion and nausea.
- Increases lymph flow and aids elimination of mucus from the upper respiratory areas, especially the lungs.
- Effective in motion and morning sickness.
- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Prevents blood clotting.
- Useful in post strokes.
- Aids in the cleansing of congestion (mucus) in the cerebral and sinus areas.
- Increases perspiration and elimination through the skin
- Because ginger can make blood platelets less sticky–and thus increase the risk for bleeding–it’s probably a good precautionary measure to stop taking ginger three to four days before any scheduled surgery. Start up again right after surgery.
- Avoid medicinal amounts of ginger if you have gallstones unless your doctor advises you otherwise; the herb increases bile flow.