Folk medicine has used ginger to treat indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea and loss of appetite. It is considered carminative, aphrodisiac, tonic, aperative and stomachic, especially for convalescents. Teas have been made for indigestion, stomach ache, malaria and fever.
The Chinese value ginger as a stimulating diaphoretic, and always add ginger to meat dishes to detoxify the meat. They use ginger externally to remove the heat of painful, inflamed and stiff joints. An oil extract of ginger is used in massage therapy for the treatment of dandruff and for earaches.
A study in The Lancet (March 2, 1982) showed ginger to be effective in treating motion sickness. Two gelatin capsules of ginger are more effective than 100 mg of dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), an over-the-counter motion sickness remedy. To use ginger in this manner, take two capsules approximately 20-25 minutes before taking off in an airplane or boarding a ship and thereafter every 4 hours.
A favorite personal use of ginger is to place 2-3 tablespoonfuls in a hot tub of water. This really relaxes my muscles and relieves body pain. It helps if you place the powdered ginger in a large tea bag so you do not have floaties in the bath with you.
The volatile oils, oleo resins and proteolytic enzymes in ginger are digestive stimulants which trigger the production of digestive fluids. This helps combat the effects of overeating, improper chewing or excessive motion by helping to make the digestive process more efficient, increasing gastric motility and neutralizing toxins and acids in the digestive tract. This carminative action has been widely recognized for centuries and is the basis for most of its medicinal use.
The volatile oils are also stimulants that produce effects on the circulatory system, including diaphoretic action and vasomotor stimulus. The folk use of ginger in rheumatism remedies apparently has some basis as ginger is hypocholesterolemic, both to serum cholesterol and cholesterol stored in the liver. This makes ginger a blood purifier in folk terms. This may also help rid the body of other toxins that contribute to the inflammatory diseases.
The fresh juice of ginger has the ability to reduce serum glucose levels in test animals and may have use as a hypoglycemic agent, although its mode of action is obscure.
Ginger has a longer shelf life than most aromatic herbs because of its protective root bark.
Contains aromatic compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids and enzymes, lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. It also contains bitter compounds that reduce muscle spasms, increase blood circulation and dilate blood vessels. Ginger is an excellent herbal source of trace minerals, especially silicon, magnesium and manganese. It has been used to treat nausea, motion sickness, flatulence, colds, coughs, indigestion, fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, chronic bronchitis, and cold hands and feet.
"There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance…"
–Ophelia to Laertes, Hamlet
There are only a few things that make me break out in a cold, heart-stopping, sweaty panic: getting stuck in a dark, tight cave; snakes; and dying alone. Oh, uh, uh… I almost forgot. There is one other thing: losing my memory… my mind… to a life-robbing disease such as Alzheimer’s.
For many of us, the experience of watching a person (be it family, friend, patient, or hero) in the throes of Alzheimer’s is sad, frustrating, and heart wrenching. How helpless it must feel to watch a once vibrant, intelligent, and competent person slowly lose his ability to tie his own shoelaces or recognize his own children. If you know someone close to you or have a friend, there is a wonderful book called The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins that drives home the point of how frustrating a day for the caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient truly is. In fact, it is more like a day and a half – hence the title. Often the days are filled with impatience, anger, and “what ifs.” If you know anyone with memory problems or, like me, want to maintain your own mental prowess, try these simple spices in your food regularly. Just maybe we can avoid the predicament altogether.
One spice, Cinnamon, is especially powerful. It affects several physiologic functions of the body. Cinnamon kills bacteria and yeasts that cause stomach ulcers and urinary-tract infections, and even helps the body regulate blood sugar. But for me, the most important benefit of its consumption is increased brainpower. A few years ago, it was discovered that just the smell of cinnamon could improve cognitive function. In that study, it was true that either tasting (technically it was chewing) or smelling cinnamon worked to improve brainpower. WOW… this may lead me to renew my old grade-school days’ habit of chewing cinnamon toothpicks... read on
Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years as a remedy for digestive disorders, nausea, fever, coughing, diarrhea, rheumatism and lumbago. Studies of ginger root have shown the plant prevents motion sickness, thins blood, lowers cholesterol, forestalls the flu and prevents cancer in animals.
Practitioners of folk medicine brewed ginger tea to treat indigestion, stomach ache, nausea, whooping cough, malaria and fever. Externally, ginger oil cools inflammations, eases earaches, and treats dandruff. Hong Kong boat dwellers chew it for motion sickness.
Studies have confirmed ginger root’s effectiveness in the treatment of stomachic, digestive and circulatory disorders. Much of the research done on the plant’s antinausea properties concentrated on treatment of motion sickness because those experiments were easiest to control.
Clearly, ginger is more effective in the treatment of motion sickness than Dramamine, the most common over the counter drug. Unlike Dramamine, which contains the drug dimenhydrinate, ginger does not have the side effect of drowsiness because it works on the stomach not the brain.
Ginger root proved to be an effective motion sickness antidote for travel by car, boat, train or plane.
Mowrey, who has a doctorate in psychology and psychopharmacology, tested ginger root on other types of nausea and found the plant to be effective in dispelling morning sickness, dizziness, vertigo and stomach flu.
Ginger has been clinically proven to decrease the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea associated with the common three-day and 24-hour flu viruses. Taken early enough, ginger can help thwart the flu entirely, according to Mowrey.
Ginger tea with honey and lemon is the folk medicine prescription for indigestion, cramps, nausea, colds and flu. The tea is made by grating one ounce of fresh or dried ginger root into a pint of water and simmering for 10 minutes.
A massage oil for muscle pain or dandruff can be made by combining the juice of fresh grated ginger with equal parts of sesame or olive oil. To treat an earache, put a few drops of the oil on a piece of cotton and insert into the ear.To make a fomentation for treating external aches, pains and inflammations, simmer five ounces of grated ginger in two quarts of water for 10 minutes. Apply the fomentation to the affected area with a cloth and re-apply to keep it warm. Reddening skin indicated increased circulation.
The volatile oils in ginger also stimulate the circulatory and respiratory systems, lower cholesterol, deter blood clots and purify the blood. Ginger boosts the metabolism by increasing the function of the circulatory and respiratory system aiding the body’s recovery from the negative effects of stress and fatigue.
In Japan, scientists contend that both fresh and processed ginger relieves pain, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the heart. Ginger can actually block cell mutations that can lead to cancer, according to studies by Japanese scientists.
Research has shown ginger root has the same effects whether fresh or dried. The plant can be taken confidently in large quantities because the amount that must be taken for a lethal dose is so incredibly high that the herb has been accepted as completely safe by the FDA. Ginger also enjoys a longer shelf life than most aromatic herbs because of its protective outer bark.
Ginger, the spice used in cooking, is used in the bathtub to promote perspiration to relieve congestion and fevers; and to help relax and relieve tired, achy muscles after over exercising, 3-4 tablespoons per full bathtub in tepid, no hot water.
Has been used in the following:
This is one of our favorite spices because after reading all that it’s good for, we have learned to love it.
Caution: This is not like the Ginger you may find on a spice rack in a supermarket. This is much fresher and more effective.
Uses: Ginger is one of our favorite spices. For that reason, we keep it in the kitchen as all other food ingredients. It's mostly used for internal applications: teas, tinctures, capsules, food recipes, etc. Our two favorite uses are in teas and meals. Like many other bulk herbs, we add it to many dishes (salads, meat dishes, soups, stews, etc.) in small amounts for added nutrition and fiber without affecting the flavor. Ginger can be used to benefit men, women (including before, during or after pregnancy, and nursing) and children. It can be used as often as you would like.
Storage: It should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, dry, and cool place.
Questions?: Check out Frequently Asked Questions.