Ginger (Zingiber officianale) is a herb, also from the same family as Turmeric, which I recently wrote about, and cardamom. The part used is also the root, or rhizome. The plant itself comes in many varieties which have large thin leaves and produces a beautiful fragrant flower that can come in a variety of colours. It is grown and used around the world and has been used for centuries for it’s therapeutic properties, particularly in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, warming, antioxidant herb. It is a diaphoretic, antiemetic, carminative, peripheral circulatory stimulant, antiplatelet, pungent and aromatic digestive.
Ginger is helpful for the gastrointestinal system. Studies have shown ginger to be effective in relieving nausea related to morning sickness ( plus also when combined with Vitamin B6) and for motion sickness, travel sickness and sea sickness. It can also help to relieve wind and indigestion, dyspepsia, intestinal colic, abdominal bloating and flatulence and strengthen digestive weakness.
Ginger is used for the respiratory system to treat acute infections, fever, common cold, acute bronchitis, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, bronchial asthma and ear infections.
Due to its anti- inflammatory and platelet aggregate inhibition roles it has found to be effective in the relief of migraines.
Gingers anti-inflammatory and circulatory stimulant properties make it effective in relieving the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, and also helps with the maintenance and functioning of the joints and surrounding tissues as the increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients. Ginger can reduce pain and inflammation after exercise and stimulate blood circulation to the hands and feet.
It has also been effective in relieving the symptoms associated with spasmodic dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, menstrual cramps and Raynaud’s syndrome.
Ginger can be used in many forms and is commonly available as a tea, in crystallised form, the fresh grated rhizome used in cooking in curries, stir fry’s, also in soups, jams & biscuits and can be made into ginger ale, and ginger wine, and as a herbal tincture. It has also been effective as a deep tissue rub. A soothing lemon, ginger and mint iced tea is deliciously refreshing on a hot day!