Herbs > Ayurvedic Herbs and their Healing Power > Ginger (zingiber officinalis)
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni
Ginger is also known by the colloquial names zingiber adrak or aale,
while its botanical name being Zingiber officinale.
Ginger is a perennial herb. It has irregular,
underground, branched stems, which are juicy, shiny,
yellowish, with threads inside, unevenly thick and
tough. It has a characteristic fragrance when
shredded or cut. It can be used in fresh or dried
form. Fresh ginger called adrak and dried
ginger is soonth.
known for its medicinal properties from ages and has
being in use as a medicine in India, China and Far
East since long. Ayurvedic scholars use ginger in
carminative and anti-flatulent mixtures. It is
routinely used in Indian recipes as a spice where it
serves both flavoring as well as medicinal purposes.
It is a common constituent of Indian curries. Ginger
was known to European countries since the first
century A.D. and was in use in Europe since then. The
Western world has also accepted ginger in their
cookery in the form of gingerbreads, biscuits, soups
major role in treatment of dyspepsia i.e.
indigestion, tastelessness, loss of appetite,
distension of abdomen i.e. flatulence, intestinal and
biliary colics, nausea, vomiting etc. A small piece
of fresh ginger with salt/rock salt (saindhav)
sprinkled on it, if eaten prior to meal helps in
digestion and assimilation of food. Shredded fresh
ginger mixed with lemon juice and honey is a famous
combination used in digestive tract problems
especially in nausea and vomiting. Dried ginger (soonth)
in powdered form combined with Piper longum (pippali)
and Piper Nigrum (kali miri) is called Trikatu
and works well on digestive tract in general. It is
said that, this combination has some anti allergic
properties also which can be used in drug and food
is an effective remedy for acute/chronic cough,
common cold and fever. Here it helps in digesting ama
(accumulated toxins in body, which are a cause of
these troubles). A decoction or herbal tea prepared
from ginger works excellent in catarrhal infections
like allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, acute and chronic
bronchitis where accumulated secretions is the
irritating factor. Herbal tea prepared out of
fresh/dried ginger also gives prophylaxis from
respiratory troubles in cold weather and seasons. In
influenza and other viral fevers, decoction or herbal
tea induces sweating and reduces fever. Here it
serves the purpose of diaphoretic mixture.>
the Sanhitas (original ayurvedic texts),
ginger has some aphrodisiac properties also. Ginger
added to chicken or mutton soups or taken with half
boiled egg is recommended in sexual problems like
impotency, premature ejaculation, spermaturia i.e.
semen discharged with urine and spermatorrhea i.e.
involuntary loss of semen without orgasm. Asava (medicinal
wine) prepared from ginger and other supportive
medicines helps in toning of muscles of genitalia.>
Ginger is a
proven remedy in menstrual disorders also. A
decoction of ginger is to be taken regularly for 6 to
12 consecutive cycles helps in correcting problems
like irregular menstruation, menorrhalgia i.e.
painful menstruation, menostasis i.e. suppression of menses.
Ginger is known for its pain killing properties also. It is used in all
types of pain, internally or externally. In headache, backache or any kind of
muscular catch ginger can be applied externally where it works as a
counterirritant and helps in relieving pain. In toothache it is pressed against
painful tooth, gum and the juice helps in relieving pain and swelling.
To summarize; ginger is a very common medicinal herb, which has
place in kitchen as well as medicinal cupboard. It is
commonly used in digestive disorders like dyspepsia
and flatulence, respiratory troubles like cough and
cold, painful conditions like headache, toothache and
muscular spasms. It also has proved its role in
conditions like impotency and menstrual disorders.
More about ginger
For further information on Ayurveda and/or questions
please Visit India Herbs For Genuine Ayurvedic Medicines and
Nutritional Supplements or contact Dr. Satish Kulkarni
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