For over 2,500 years, ginger has been an important herb in Asian medicine. Traditionally it has been used to promote cleansing of the body through perspiration, to calm
Action: Aromatic, carminative, stimulant to the gastro- intestinal tract,
diaphoretic, expectorant, antiemetic, and stomachic, also sialagogue and digestive; Externally, a local stimulant and
Ginger is used for:
Atherosclerosis, heart disease
Nausea and vomiting following surgery
Digestive System Actions:
Ginger is a classic tonic for the digestive tract. Classified as an aromatic bitter, it stimulates digestion. It also keeps the intestinal muscles toned. This action eases the transport of substances through the digestive tract, lessening irritation to the intestinal walls. Ginger may protect the stomach from the damaging effect of alcohol and
non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) and may help prevent ulcers.
Allergies and asthma:
Dried ginger can help
in the management of allergies and asthma by offsetting the effect of the
platelet-activating factor (PAP). PAP initiates inflammatory processes in allergy and
asthma. It was found to become more active after changes in blood chemistry that occur in a high-fat diet.
Atherosclerosis and high
Arthritis, bursitis, fibrocystic breasts,
lymphedema, and pain.
Ginger inhibits the production of immune-system components called cytokines.
These chemicals are believed to create a long-term tendency toward inflammation.
Ginger also stimulates blood circulation. These effects of ginger are
taken advantage of in treating a number of disorders marked by swelling and pain, such as arthritis.
Studies have also shown that ginger can relieve pain without the side
effects typically found when using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and
Research is inconclusive as to how ginger acts to alleviate nausea. Ginger may act directly on the gastrointestinal system or it may affect the part of the central nervous system that causes nausea. It may be that ginger exerts a dual effect in reducing nausea and vomiting.
Colds, influenza, and strep
Ginger contains a chemical called zingibain that dissolves parasites and their eggs. In
laboratory trials, ginger extracts have been shown to kill the anisakid
worm (a parasite occasionally found in raw fish) within sixteen hours. Ginger tea is useful as a supplement in treating schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease.
Ginger protects the body from the hepatotoxic effects of valproic acid (Depakene), a common treatment for seizure disorders.
Ginger, when used on a daily basis, was found to improve the elevated levels of the liver enzymes alanine amino- transferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
Action and Uses in Ayurveda and Siddha
Ginger is an important herb used in Ayurveda. Ayurveda takes advantage of the
following medicinal properties for ginger:
Analgesic, anti-emetic, aromatic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diaphorelic, digestive, expectorant, nervine, sialagogue, stimulant.
Ayurvedic practitioners consider ginger to be a truly a wonder drug, having so many healing properties. It was called the universal medicine. Taken with rock salt it reduces
vayu; with rock candy it reduces Pitta; with honey it reduces Kapha. Thus
it can be used to influence all tridoshas.
Ginger is used in the
following ayurvedic remedies: katu rasam, ushna veeryam, vata-kapha-haram, katu- vipaka, lagu, snigdam, pachanam, ruchyam, vrishyam, swaryam, vibhanda haram, in grahani agnimanthyam. amavatham, chardhi, swasam, soolam, arsas, anaham, hrith-rogam, udhara
rogam. It is used externally in kapha, swellings, headache.
Action and Uses in Unani
The following actions of
ginger is taken advantage of in Unani Medicine:
aphrodisiac, Carminative, digestive, removes obstruction in the
vessels, removes viscid matter, and strengthens memory. In addition,
ginger is used in nervous diseases, and for incontinence of urine.
How To Use Ginger:
For treating indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, spasms, stomach and bowel pains with fever, colds, cough, and
How To make the Jam
juice from fresh ginger with water and cane sugar.
Boil it to a syrup like
Add saffron, powders of cardamom, nutmeg, and clove.
Store properly and use when needed.
For indigestion with want of appetite:
Mix together equal parts of ginger juice, lemon juice and rock salt.
Mix well and take it before meals.
Alternately, combine equal parts of ginger and rock-salt.
Mix well. Take it just before meals. This cleanses the tongue and throat, increases the appetite and produces a pleasant sensation.
For sciatica and other forms of rheumatism:
A compound oil named Saindha vadya Taila is
traditionally used in
Ayurveda for this condition
For bile and delirium due to
Mix 2 parts of ginger juice with
7 parts of cow's milk. Boil to half volume. Add rock-candy powder. Take
this before going to bed.
Alternately, combine two parts each of ginger juice, mango-juice, fine sugar and cow's ghee. Mix well. Melt it down to half the quantity. Take in the morning and evening daily.
For sore throats, hoarseness, and laryngitis:
Chew a piece of fresh ginger.
This produces a copious flow of saliva.
Rub ginger juice on navel.
Take ginger juice with rock candy
For dyspepsia, loss of appetite and piles
Use Samasarkara Churna.
Another remedy, Saubhagya Sunti
is used as a carminative tonic in dyspepsia and; in disorders of the alimentary canal in females after confinement.
For nausea, and vomiting
Take a combination of ginger juice and onion juice.
For nervous headache
Mix ginger juice with milk.
Let dry. Use as snuff.
For indigestion and low appetite:
Mix ginger with ghee or hot water.
For painful bowels or stomach:
Make an infusion of dry
ginger. Mix it with 1-2 tbs. castor oil.
You can also take a mix of asafoetida
and ginger powder.
For chronic rheumatism
Make an infusion of dry
ginger (Sonth) (combining 1part dry ginger with 24 parts water ). Take this warm just before going to bed. Cover
the body with blankets to induce perspiration.
For Dropsy and Cirrhosis of the Liver:
Ayurvedic doctors from India believes that drinking the juice extracted from fresh ginger in gradually increasing doses acts as a strong diuretic that is useful in cases of general dropsy. Traditional literature suggests that:
"This method was tried 'in three cases of ascites with dropsy arising from cirrhosis of liver of recent origin and there was, when the juice was so administered, complete subsidence of ascites and disappearance of the dropsy.' The fresh juice of the drug acted as a strong diuretic. The patients passed gradually increasing quantities of urine daily."
This remedy, however, was not effective in treating dropsy of chronic Bright's disease and chronic heart disease. In fact, these conditions got worse when this remedy was administered. Also,
"longstanding cases of cirrhosis with ascites did not derive the slightest benefit from its administration." The Ayurvedic literature goes on to state that "fresh ginger juice, when properly administered, will be found beneficial in cases of early cirrhosis of the liver with ascites and dropsy of the lower limbs."
See Ginger Remedy for Dropsy
See Sunta Ghrita.
It is an Ayurvedic
for rheumatism that incorporates ginger.
Make a ginger paste by mixing dry ginger powder with a little
water or aloe gel . Apply and rub this paste to the
forehead before going to sleep
For neuralgic head ache
See Ginger Headache Remedy
For tooth or face aches:
Make a paste of ginger
powder and aloe gel or water. Apply the paste to the face.
Remedy for Fainting
In the collapse stage of cholera, powdered ginger is rubbed to the extremities, to check the cold perspiration, improve the local circulation, and to relieve the
Mix powdered dry ginger well with castor oil or with the paste of castor-root. Apply this to the painful parts.
Miscellaneous Home Remedies Utilizing ginger
Rhubarb Digestive Remedy
This is an Ayurvedic child's digestive.
Ginger Rhubarb Tonic
This is an Ayurvedic tonic
useful for digestion.
Ginger Ajowan Indigestion Remedy
An Ayurvedic home remedy
remedy for stomach-ache.