Botanical name - Zingiber Officinale
Ginger is a perennial herb with underground branching stems (rhizomes) which are swollen and tough.
The herb has been used as a medicine in India from vedic period. Ancient physicians used it as a carminative or anti flatulent. Galen, The Greek physician used it to rectify the defective humours or fluids of the body.
An analysis of fresh Ginger shows it to contain moisture 8.9%, protein 2.3%, fat 0.9%, mineral 1.2%, fibre 2.4%, carbohydrate 12.3% per hundred grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium phosphorus iron carotene thiamine riboflavin niacin and Vitamin C its calorific value is 67.
Ginger is widely used in local medicines in India
and the Far East. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-ulcer. Taken internally, it is
stimulating and carminative and externally, it is used as milder skin stimulant for
relief of muscular pain.
Ginger is extremely useful in the treatment of dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, vomiting, spasms and other painful affections of the stomach and bowels, not accompanied by fever. Chewing a piece of fresh ginger regularly after meals prevents these.
The protective action is due to the excess excessive secretion of saliva, diastase enzyme and volatile oil.
Half a teaspoon of fresh Ginger juice, mixed with one teaspoon each of fresh lime and mint juices and a teaspoon of honey is effective medicine for dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting due to biliousness, indigestion caused by intake of heavy, non-vegetarian and fried fatty foods, morning sickness, jaundice and piles. The mixture should be taken thrice daily for these conditions.
Coughs and Cold
The herb is an excellent remedy for Coughs and colds. Extracted juice of Ginger with honey is taken 3 or 4 times in a day in case of coughs.
In case of colds, ginger cut into small pieces is boiled in a cup of water. After staining add half a teaspoon of honey and should be taken warm. Ginger tea, prepared by adding few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding tea leaves, is another effective remedy for frequent colds and fever.
A teaspoon of fresh Ginger juice mixed with the cup of fenugreek decoction and honey to taste,is an excellent mixture to increase sweating and reduce fever in influenza. It acts as an expectorant in bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough and tuberculosis of the lungs.
Ginger juice Is aphrodisiac. Take teaspoon of of ginger juice with honey and a half boiled egg at night, before going for bed for a month.It helps in impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea or involuntary seminal discharge.
For menstrual disorders, a piece of fresh ginger is crushed and boiled in a cup of water for few minutes. The infusion, sweetened with honey is taken thrice daily after meals for irregular menstruation caused by exposure to cold winds or cold bath.
Aches and Pains
Ginger is an excellent pain killer. It can cure all types of pain. In headaches, half teaspoon of ginger powder mixed with a glass of water, taken throughout the day is beneficial. It also helps in toothache when applied to the gum.
Ginger is available and two forms fresh and dried. Both the forms are effective. As a taste of Ginger is not very palatable, it is carefully adapted to a palate by putting it in vegetables.
In western countries it is widely used for culinary purposes in gingerbread, biscuits, cakes, pudding and pickles. It is a common constituent of curry powder. Ginger is the most widely used spice in Chinese cookery.
The essential oil from the rhizomes is used in the manufacture of flavouring essence and in perfumery.