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Ginger Plant - Health Benefits of Ginger

Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale

Family Name : Zingiberaceae

Ginger is a perennial herb having underground branch-stems known as rhizomes-a swollen hard part. They are brownish yellow in color from inside and rough brown outside with diameter 2.5 cm. Leaves & rhizome possess specific odour, sold as ginger in fresh form and as sonth in dry form.

Origin and Distribution

Ginger is native to India and China. Ginger has been important in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and is mentioned in the writings of Confucius. It is also named in the Koran, the sacred book of the Moslems, indicating it was known in Arab countries as far back as 650 A.D. It was one of the earliest spice known in Western Europe, used since the ninth century. It became so popular in Europe that it was included in every table setting, like salt and pepper. is grown throughout the tropical areas of the world. The most expensive and highest quality varieties generally come from Australia, South India, and Jamaica, while most mass market ginger is grown in China .

Properties of ginger

Stimulant, carminative, anti-dyspeptic, anti-flatulent, rubefacient, digestant, aphrodisiac, anti-rheumatic.

Food Value of ginger

Ginger is available in two forms, fresh and dried. Both the forms contain effective food value. As the taste of ginger is not very palatable, subtle means are adopted to use it in certain ways. It has dual role, as a vegetable as well as a spice. It is held in high esteem for its flavour, pungency, aroma and medicinal value.

Ginger analysis gives the following composition:-

Moisture 81.0%
Protein 2.3%
Fibre 2.5%
Carbohydrate 12.3%
Phosphorus 310 mg
Fat 1.0%
Calcium 20 mg
Vitamin C 6.0 mg
Iron 2.6 mg

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. Ginger has been medicinally used from Vedic period and is considered as a carminative and anti fermenting medicine. Greek physicians used it against gout, paralysis and as aphrodisiac. In India, it is widely used in the form of spices, as rubrefacient, aphrodisiac, digestant and in cold and cough.
  2. It is extremely useful in disorders of the digestive system, e.g. dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, vomiting, spasms etc. Chewing a piece of fresh ginger after meals regularly is good for these troubles.
  3. Ginger is an effective remedy for colds and coughs. Juice of ginger and honey (one teaspoonful each) four times daily helps combat cough. For colds, it should be cut. into pieces and boiled with a cup of water. The strained liquid should be taken 3/4 times a day. Ginger tea prepared by adding lemon grass (2 leaves), basil (5 leaves) is very good for both.
  4. Ginger juice along with fenugreek boiled for some time, filtered, honey added to taste provides good diaphoratic mixture for fever & influenza. It acts as an expectorant in bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough etc.
  5. Ginger is also a painkiller. Rubbing ginger with water and applying it on the forehead gives relief in headache. It is useful in toothache and ear-ache (a drop is sufficient for ear-ache).
  6. Ginger is a potent aphrodisiac (half a teaspoon ginger juice is to be taken with a half-boiled egg and honey, once, daily at night for a month). It tones up sex centres.
  7. Ginger is also useful in menstrual disorders. Pieces of ginger e boiled in a cup of water and taken 3/4 times after filtration & adding sugar. If taken early in the morning, it's an effective remedy for morning sickness, biliousness, sluggish liver, jaundice, indigestion, excessive formation of gas in the intestines, constipation, diarrhea due to indigestion, burning in the gastro-intestinal tract and constant burning sensation in the chest.

Note:- If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use ginger without first talking to your healthcare provider

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