Ginger

Ginger is not only widely cultivated spice but it is world's best natural remedy with versatile health benefits. Ginger is herbaceous perennial flowering plant which is used as well Known spice. This herb is used in ayurvedic system for its various medicinal properties. Ginger belongs to the family of turmeric and cardamom. This plant is easily adapted to warm climates. It produces pink and white flower buds in a cluster. These flower buds bloom in yellow flowers. It has annual leafy stem which grows 3-4 feet in height. Ginger rhizome vary in color depending upon different types. It may be yellow, white and red in color with brownish skin may be thin or thick. Both fresh and dry rhizome of ginger is used.

General Information

Ginger is used as a spice to add flavor in cooking, for centuries. The fresh stem of this plant is used as a main ingredient in many dishes, in Asia. In European cooking, ginger is more popular as powdered spice while in Britain, it is popular as gingerbread. Ginger oil and oil resin are other common uses of this ginger to flavor ginger beer and ginger ale. It is even used as an ingredient in cosmetics, perfumery and medicines. This ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari, in Japan. It is used as raw or grated ginger in tofu or noodles. In India, ginger is used as one of the main ingredients in the cooking of thicker gravies for vegetarian dishes, as well as in many other non-vegetarian dishes such as meat based dishes. Ginger contains gingerols, a-curumene, citral, D- camphene, geraniol, zingiberenes, zingerone etc. Ginger juice is used in the purification of opium (ahiphena shodhana).

Special Note about this plant

Ginger can be used in dried, powdered, fresh, oil and juice forms. It is very commonly used spice. Gingerol is its natural oil that provides a unique flavor and aroma to this spice. Ginger is famous in medicine system because of its medicinal properties. It has very powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Habitat of plant

Basically ginger is native of Asia, but it is cultivated throughout world in tropical regions. Africa and South America cultivate this herb for commercial use. Ginger had a great history in Asia and Middle East as an alternative remedy. Since 2000 years ago China has been using ginger as treatment for indigestion. Nowadays ginger can be grown indoors.

Fertile, moist and properly drained soil is best for the cultivation of ginger. It grows wildly in rainforest because essential nutrients are locked up in dead wood and decaying leaves in theses rainforests.

Classification

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Order – Zingiberales
  • Family – Zingiberaceae

Names

  • Latin name – Zingiber officinale
  • English name – Ginger
  • Hindi name – Adraka
  • Kannad name – Hasi sunthi
  • Telgu name – Alla, allamu
  • Bengali name – Ada
  • Marathi name – Aale
  • Gujarati name – Adu
  • Tamil name – Shukka, Inji
  • Malayalam name – Inchi
  • Farsi name – Anjeebeele, tara
  • Sinhala name – Amu, inguru
  • Arabian name – janjabeele ratab
  • Malaysian name – Halia
  • Burma name – Gyin

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Katu Taste Pungent
Guna Guru, Ruksha, Tikshna Physical Property Heavy, Dry, Sharp
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Madhur Metabolic Property
(After Digestion)
Sweet

Effects on Doshas

It balances kapha dosha.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita
  • Truptighna - Herbs which Relieve pseudo-satiation.
  • Arshoghna - Herbs which are good for piles.
  • Deepana - Herbs which are good for digestive health.
  • Shoolprashmana – Herbs useful in relieving abdominal pain.
  • Trishna nigrahana – Group of herbs useful in thirst.
Pipalyadi gana, Trikatu

Reference of Ancient Text Rajnighantu

In Rajnighantu this herb is also mentioned that it has katu rasa and ushna veerya. It is deepana and hrudya. It is best used to cure shopha and diseases associated with throat.

Ancient Verses about Ginger

Ancient Verses About ginger

According to Acharya charak Snehan, deepana, virshya and pacification of vata and kapha dosha are the various effects of this herb. Its vipaka is sweet and it is used in hridyaroga and ginger is a best appetizer.

According to Acharya shushruta it pacifies vata and kapha, it improves voice and relieves constipation, relieves gas and bloating, helpful in abdominal pain. It is katu ras and ushna veerya, appetizer, hridya and vrishya in nature.

References

In Charaka suthrastanan chapter 27th this herb is mentioned.

In Chapter 21st of Charaka chikitsa this drug is also mentioned.

In Shushruta samhita sahaarirasthan this herb is mentioned.

Practical Uses of Ginger

  • Ginger is a best appetizer, it improves taste and relieves anorexia.
  • It helps to improve vigor because of its aphrodisiac nature.
  • It is also useful in heart disease.
  • It improves digestion and helps to relieve abdominal colic pain.
  • It is anti-inflammatory in nature it helps to reduce swelling and edema.
  • It is also useful in diseases associated with respiratory tract and asthma.
  • It is useful in early stages of liver disorders.it is also used to cure anemia and Elephantiasis.
  • It breakdowns hardened stool into small pieces and helps to relieve constipation.
  • Ginger is effective in arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dizziness, menstrual pain, motion sickness and weight loss.
  • Paste of dry ginger is applied over forehead to relieve headache.

Cautions

  • It may worsen gastritis in people having sensitive stomach.
  • It is safe to use ginger in low amount during pregnancy and lactation.

Ayurvedic Products from Ginger

Dosage

  • Fresh juice – 5-10ml
  • Powder - 1-2gm
  • Syrup – 2-5 ml in divided doses

Part Used

Rhizome (Both fresh and dry)

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