Scientific Name:Zingiber officinale L.
About this Herb:Once an East Asian plant, Ginger is now cultivated in many tropical locations with India being the largest producer. Ginger is a perennial spiky leaved plant with small white and pink buds that grow in clusters and bloom into yellow flowers. Ginger grows to be from 3 to 4 feet tall. The Ginger root is harvested when the plant stalk withers. To keep it from rooting it can be washed and peeled or scalded. Ginger can be refrigerated or frozen in a plastic bag for long term storage.
Common Names:African ginger, Black ginger, Race ginger, Chiang, Shen-jiang, Gan-jiang, Sunthi (Sanskrit name), Nagara dry (Sanskrit name), Ardraka fresh (Sanskrit name)
Uses:Ginger is widely known for its culinary uses, it can be candied, pickled, added to beverages, brewed and used to spice up dishes in a fresh or powder form.
Ginger tea or tincture has been found effective for nausea from morning sickness, motion sickness and chemotherapy in multiple studies. Ginger Ale and Ginger beer may also be used for nausea.
To relieve menstrual cramps, diarrhea, cold symptoms, flu symptoms, sore throats and headaches, try hot Ginger tea, warmed tincture or decoction.
Used topically, a poultice of Ginger root is used to relive symptoms of and aid in healing, burns, bruises, sprains, arthritis, gout, COPD, most skin irritations as well as most aches and pains.
Applications:Tea: For colds, sore throats or flu: Place 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded ginger root in a cup of boiling water and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Gargle as needed.
Tincture: 3 to 5 tsp.
Decoction: After straining you may add honey or mix with Brandy or other alcohol.
Warnings:The FDA has Ginger on the “generally recognized as safe” list. However, Ginger can interact with some medications like warfarin. When using powdered Ginger it may cause bloating, gas, heartburn, belching and nausea. Ginger may adversely affect those with hypertension, on blood thinners, gallbladder problems and heart arrhythmias.
According to MDidea, “no more than 4000 mg (4 grams) of powdered ginger or 10,000 mg (10 grams) of fresh ginger should be taken orally per day. Children under the age of 2 should not be treated with Ginger.