Alternative medicine Ginger


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Alternative medicine Ginger

  1. 1. Alternative medicine: Ginger Tue, 16 Oct 2007 19:59:52 By Patricia Khashayar MD., Press TV, Tehran Ginger is called 'the universal medicine' for its therapeutic effects in various diseases such as flu, nausea and muscular pains. Botanical: Zingiber officinale (ROSC.) Family: N.O. Zingiberaceae Synonym: Zingiber Habitat: Ginger which seems to have originated from Southern China is now cultivated all over Asia, Brazil, Jamaica and Nigeria. Description: Ginger is a perennial root which creeps and increases underground, in tuberous joints; in the spring it sends up green 2-foot-high stalk-like reeds with narrow lanceolate leaves from its roots. The flowering stalk rises directly from the root, ending in an oblong scallop spike; from each spike white or yellow bloom grows. Part Used: The large, fleshy rhizome ('gingerroot', although it is not a root). When fresh it has a staghorn-like appearance. Dried ginger is usually sold in the form of off- white to very light brown powder. Ginger leaves are occasionally used for flavoring. Commercial ginger is called black or white, according to whether it is peeled or unpeeled; the ripened roots of both kinds are used after the plant dies down. Constituents: The primary known constituents of ginger root include gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. It also contains acrid soft resin, gum, lignin, vegeto matter, asmazone, acetic acid, acetate of potassa, sulphur and citral. The pungency of ginger is caused by a non-volatile resin containing hydroxyaryl compounds. Medicinal Uses: Fresh ginger root appears to have the most medicinal qualities; however, the dried form may work well too. Ginger is most commonly known for its effectiveness as a digestive aid. By increasing the Page 1 of 3Press TV Print 3/17/2008
  2. 2. production of digestive fluids and saliva, it helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Ginger root is believed to affect the part of the central nervous system which causes nausea and therefore is used both motion and morning sickness. It can also be used to prevent nausea from chemotherapy. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and rheumatism, and muscular spasms. Ginger tea is a hot infusion very useful for treating the flu; however, different countries have their own preparation method: In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headaches and consumed when suffering from a cold. In Myanmar, ginger and a local sweet made from palm tree juice (Htan nyat) are boiled together and consumed to prevent the flu. In China, a drink made with sliced ginger cooked in sweetened water or a cola is used as a folk medicine for common colds. By loosening and expelling phlegm from the lungs ginger root can be effective in treating asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Ginger root is a known diaphoretic and can be used to help break fevers by warming the body and increasing perspiration. Ginger's therapeutic properties effectively stimulate blood circulation, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin. Ginger is used to treat vertigo, suppressed menstruation, syphilis, tetanus, malaria, breast cancer, toothaches and dog bites. Ginger is an anodyne, an antidote for scorpions, an antiseptic, a stimulant, and tonic. Preparation: 0.25 - 1 grams of crushed or powdered dried ginger root can be taken after every meal. Ginger tea is prepared by pouring one cup of boiling water onto a teaspoonful of coarsely powdered ginger steeped for 5 to 10 minutes. The tea is better used before meals. Ginger tincture is more commonly used than tea; 10-20 drops of ginger tincture in 1/2-1 glass of water can be used before meals. For treating and preventing motion sickness, ingest 500 mg of ginger powder (dried) between 30 to 60 minutes prior to traveling. 500 mg should be taken as needed every 2 to 4 hours. Fluid extracts, syrup and oleoresin are also made from it. Caution: Ginger essence should be avoided, as it is often adulterated with harmful ingredients. Individuals with warm temperament should avoid taking ginger. The excess use of ginger is not recommended in pregnant women, however, they can take as much as 1 gram per day to treat nausea. Page 2 of 3Press TV Print 3/17/2008
  3. 3. Ginger can rarely cause heartburn, bloating, gas, belching and nausea, particularly if taken in powdered form. It can also adversely affect individuals with gallstones. Individuals who have had ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease or blocked intestines may react badly to large quantities of fresh ginger. Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in rashes. It has also been suggested that ginger can influence blood pressure, clotting, and heart rhythms. PKH/HGH Count of views : 1658 © Press TV 2007. All Rights Reserved. Page 3 of 3Press TV Print 3/17/2008