Ginger – The herb of many uses including medicinal

Taken from Ayurveda For All written by: Dr. Ch. Murali Manohar, MD, Ayurveda

Ginger has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years. It has been recorded in early Ayurvedic treatises and Chinese texts. Ginger has a wide variety of herbal uses, many of which have been scientifically proven. Ginger is called ardrakam in Sanskrit and its anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet properties have attracted considerable interest among researchers.

Medicinal Uses

  • Ginger can be chewed after meals in conditions like indigestion, gastritis, flatulence, gastrointestinal infection, and parasites. This protective action of ginger is attributable to the excessive secretion of saliva.
  • If you feel heavy and bloated after consumption of non-vegetarian and fried fatty food, you can try this remedy – take half a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, one teaspoonful each of lime juice and fresh mint juice mixed in a teaspoonful of honey.
  • If you have painful periods, take a small piece of fresh ginger, pound it, and boil in a cup of water for a few minutes, sweetened with sugar and take this thrice daily.
  • Ginger acts as good medicine for throat problems. Chewing a piece of fresh ginger along with clove and a crystal of common salt acts as an excellent remedy for pharyngitis, loss of voice due to shouting or singing; paralyzed muscles of tongue and fauces, colds, rhinitis, enlarged uvulva, tonsillitis, etc.
  • If you are suffering from dropsy and scanty urination, take a teaspoonful of ginger juice with a glass of tender coconut water.
  • For those who suffer from dental sensitiveness or toothache caused by eating sour fruits, ginger gives good relief. Burn it and mix with common salt. This can be used as toothpowder.
  • If you are suffering from diarrhoea and dysentry, fresh ginger fried in ghee can be taken with buttermilk twice of thrice daily.
  • Half a teaspoonful of ginger juice can be taken with half boiled egg and honey once daily at bedtime for a month. This tones up the sex centers and is very useful in curing impotency, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, etc.

Thus, Ginger can be used to:

  1. Stimulate digestion, and to enhance absorption of other treatments.
  2. As a diaphoretic and anti-pyretic for fevers and common cold.
  3. As a diffusive stimulant to reinforce the action of other digestive, diaphoretic, and expectorant herbs.
  4. To treat and prevent nausea and vomiting. It has also been found to be effective in the treatment of vertigo. It is preferable to give ginger as early as possible during the disease period since the vomiting back of ginger can act as kind of “aversion therapy.”
  5. To treat digestive problems, particularly colic, flatulent, peptic ulcers and gastro-intestinal infections and infestations.
  6. As an anti-platelet agent for decreasing cardio-vascular risk.
  7. As an anti-inflammatory treatment in conditions such as osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
  8. To treat migrane headaches, especially in conjunction with other herbal therapies.
  9. Topical application for acute inflammatory conditions, like a ginger compress for acute mastitis.

Please Note

  • Ginger should not be used in conditions such as obstinate skin diseases, anaemia, dysuria, haemorrhage, burning sensation in the body, and during summer season.
  • Use of ginger should be matched to the person’s condition and constitution, that is, ginger will be most effective for “cold” patients with “cold” conditions as the action of ginger is described as “vata kapha haram” in the classical text.
  • Ginger should be used cautiously in people receiving potent anti-coagulant and anti-platelet drugs or in circumstances where prolonged bleeding time might be disadvantageous.

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