Ginger is one kitchen herb that is available all around the year and its aromatic, pungent and spicy flavour add a distinct taste to Indian curries and many exotic dishes. Ginger honey green tea is one of the most accepted home remedy for cold and sore throat. In Ayurveda it has been called as Vishva bheshagam meaning it is universally reputed.
Other names: Ginger, horn root, ginger root, indian ginger, adrak, sunthi (dried ginger ) shringveram (shaped like deers antlers), vishvabheshajam (universally reputed), gingembre
Ginger for ages has been used to treat gastrointestinal (G.I.T) disorders. The carminative and anti-spasmolytic properties of ginger make it special for gastrointestinal ailments. Taken regularly it makes you healthy because it is also believed to have antioxidant effects. It is also used as a remedy for morning sickness, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and cold sweat.
In Ayurveda ginger is used as a remedy for many ailments but has been named as Kaphari due to its property of treating most of the kapha disease. It finds a special place in treatment of bronchial asthma and cough.
Bronchial asthma and cough: Ginger juice mixed with honey should be taken in case of coughs, bronchial asthma, coryza and fever caused by cough.
- Agnimand (loss of appetite): Ginger is very useful in agnimand. Ginger if taken along with lavan (salt) prior to food, helps in increasing appetite.
- Common cold (Rhinitis): In common cold ginger taken with hot milk is very beneficial.
- Respiratory disorders: Ginger juice taken along with honey is very beneficial in cough.
- Shoth (swelling/oedema): Ginger mixed with equal quantity of jaggery in dose of 20 gm/day upto 200 gram/day can be given for a period of 30 days
- Joints pain: Local application or massage with ginger (shunthi) powder and oil is beneficial in joints pain.
- Post Partum weakness: Ginger also finds its use to treat postpartum weakness as in this shunthi pak (a dry ginger preparation) is given.
- Indigestion and flatulence: Intake of juice of ginger mixed with equal quantity of milk is wholesome or oil cooked with ten times the ginger juice is useful.
- Morning sickness: Ginger is also very useful to treat morning sickness in pregnancy.
- Detoxification: Ginger is also useful to detoxify the body and relieve pain that are arthritic in nature.
- Promotes sweating: Ginger also promotes sweating. This property is very useful to reduce temperature caused due to common cold.
- Acti-cancerous: Ginger is also believed to possess anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Dysmenorrhoea: Ginger decreases pain of dysmenorrhoea.
- Headache: Ginger powder is effective in headache that is related to migraines.
- Fever (temperature): In chronic irregular fever sunthi (dry ginger) powder is helpful.
- Caution should be exercised if you are on anticoagulant therapy because ginger has anti-platelet aggregatory action.
- Ginger is contraindicated in gall stones as ginger promotes the production of bile.
- Ginger is also relatively contraindicated in anaemia, skin disorders, epistaxis and sharad ritu (i.e. September and October month).
- Parts used: Rhizome
- Dose: Juice 5-10 ml dry ginger powder 1-2gm
- Hindi name: Adrak (अदरक)
- Sanskrit name: Ardrikam
- Guna (गुण): Guru (गुरु), Ruksh (रुक्ष), Tikshan (तीक्ष्ण)
- Ras (रस): Katu (कटु)
- Virya (वीर्य): Ushna (उष्ण)
- Vipaka (विपाक): Katu (कटु)
- Doshkarm (pharmacological action): Mainly kaphavatashamak but also acts as tridoshamak
- srotorodh nivaran
Modern scientific explanation
- English Name: Ginger root
- Botanical name: Zingiber officinale
- Family: Zingiberaceae
Chemical composition: Ginger consists of magnesium, protein, fat, carbohydrate (Sugars, dietary fiber), fiber, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, Iron. It also has volatile oils like zingiber and zingiberol.
- Pregnancy: Studies suggests that it is safe to use ginger to relieve morning sickness in pregnancy. No side effects or adverse effects have been observed.
- Anti-inflammatory: Studies suggest patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and swelling as ginger acts as anti-inflammatory as it partially suppresses COX and lipoxygenase. These are two important enzymes that play an important role in inflammation. This is the reason why Ginger is used in chronic inflammation.
- Anti cancerous: It has been proven that gingerols are the active phytonutrients in ginger. Gingerol is the compound that kills ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).
- Colon cancer: Ginger reduces inflammation therefore reduces the risk of colon cancer.
- Qualities: Studies show that ginger possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects on cells.