Ginger

Starr_070730-7818_Zingiber_officinale

Angel Fox 06/28/2020
Tags: ginger, herbalism, herbs, medicinal herbs, ginger medicinal, ginger tea

Ginger

hot, dry, relaxant

Zingiber off.

Taste: Earthy, pungent, aromatic
Family: Zingiberacea
Zone: 10 Ginger is native to southeast Asia. 
Plant Description: Ginger reaches a height of 4 feet and spreads 1.5 feet, it is a tropical herbaceous perennial with a branched and knotty rhizome, the leaves are grass like, 6-12 inches long and pointed. It rarely flowers but when it does it is an astounding sight. The flowers are sterile, fragrant, conelike and vary in shades white with purple streaks.

Cultivation:Ginger requires well-draining soil that is both moist and fertile, full-sun to part shade. It thrives in hot, humid climates. Ginger plant is not hardy and should be grown in pots in colder climates in a mixture of loam and sand in a large pot.
Propagation: Purchase green roots and plant the eyes in loam, sand, peat moss, and compost.
Preservation:Pull up ginger 8-12 months after it is planted and remove the leaf stalks and fibers of the root. Use it fresh, dried, pickled, or in a tincture to preserve.
Medicinal Parts: rhizome
Actions: stimulant, carminative, rubefacient, diffusive, relaxant, antispasmodic, stomachic, antiemetic, anodyne, emmenagogue, diaphoretic
Affinities: digestive, circulatory, and reproductive systems
Notable constituents: volatiles 1-3% (zingiberene 20-30%), oleoresin 4-7.5% (gingerol, shogaols)

Ginger_tea

Medicinal Applications:

  • Ginger is a great carminative. A carminative helps move a sluggish digestive system by warming it up and getting it moving again. It is great for cold conditions in the digestive system, or ones where things just seem to be moving slowly, undigested, spasming, gassy, and painful. The warming action of ginger brings that gentle fire to get things going! It releases pain by reducing spasms, and constrictions.
  • It is also an antiemetic, or a substance that prevents vomiting. Uses would include, food poisoning, stomach flu, medications, chemotherapy, morning sickness, and motion sickness.  It also aids in the removal of worms and parasites in the digestive tract.
  • Ginger is a warming diaphoretic, which means it is helpful for encouraging a healthy fever to respond to infection.
  • This warming herb is also an emmenagogue, or a substance that increases menstrual flow. It is not to be confused with some herbs that are contraindicated for pregnancy as ginger is very helpful in aiding the fetus to get proper nourishment. It is also a major food substance in Asia where all pregnant woman eat it regularly.
  • A Rubefacient, ginger aids in bringing warmth to the skin and muscles when applied topically by increasing bloodflow where it is applied. It improves circulation, nourishing tissues and clears away stagnant fluids, while reducing pain. In this regard is is helpful for bruises, sprains, strains, rheumatoid arthritis, and externally over the belly for indigestion and menstrual cramps.
  • Ginger contains anodyne which is good for cold, constricting headaches, or tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.
  • Ginger poultices can relieve lung congestion when placed on the chest, and can relieve gas, and menstrual cramps when applied to the abdomen.
  • Chewing fresh ginger or candies, or drinking ginger tea can help to relieve a sore throat.

Ginger_powder_3

In Practice:

  • Ginger is very often given to those with digestive complaints. It can be incorporated into a gut health tea blend, taken in tincture, pill, and candy form for digestive unease.
    • It is taken for painful menstrual cycles with scant bleeding, or when someone lacks a heavy flow.
  • As a tincture, ginger works really well for severe nausea, or when someone cannot keep anything down. Candied ginger also works well for this.
  • Fresh ginger is diffusive, it moves blood and warmth outwards to the surface and periphery (outer limits).
  • Dried ginger is more warming centrally and heats to the core, especially the digestive tract and reproductive systems.

Rate of Use:

  • Take up to 6 cups of tea, or 1.5 teaspoons of tincture (6 droppers full) a day.
  • For nausea take 1 to 2 ginger capsules of dried ginger every 2 to 6 hours.
  • Grate fresh ginger into a poultice for gas, menstrual pain, and lung congestion.
  • Ginger can be added to other herb formulas both for its taste and its medicinal qualities.
  • Its medicinal actions also apply when added to foods and treats.

Cautions:

  • Ginger contains a blood thinning effect, use caution with those taking blood thinning medications. Its emmenagogue effect will increase the menstrual flow of those with already heavy cycles.
  • Do not confuse medicinal ginger with wild ginger (Asarum canadense) an ornamental ground cover.
  • Very large amounts of ingested ginger may cause nausea.

Companions:

  • tumeric, galangal, cardamom, chamomile, fennel, garlic, calamus

Magical uses:

  • Traditionally ginger was used in magical applications for money, healing, love, and energy.

History:

Ginger has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. It was used by the Indians and Chinese as a tonic to treat common complaints. It originated in Southeast Asia but was cultivated widely in many other regions. By the first century traders took the root to the Mediterranean region. The Roman Empire used it quite regularly until the empire fell. Its use increased as did its price. In medieval times it was used to create candies. And in the 14th century it cost as much as a live sheep!

Sources:

Kraska, Martha E. American Gardening Series HERBS, New York NY, Prentice Hall Gardening, 1992

Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, Materia Medica, https://commonwealthherbs.com/

Keville, Kathi and The American Herb Association, Complete Book of Herbs Using Herbs to Enrich Your Garden, Home, And Health, Lincolnwood IL, Publications International, Ltd., 1997

Murphy-Hiscock, Arin, The Green Witch, Your Complete Guide to The Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils and more, Avon MA, Adams Media, 2017

Bremness, Lesley, The Complete Book of Herbs, A Practical Guide, to Growing & Using Herbs, Viking Studio Books, New York NY, 1988

Web:
Priebe, Katie, “Know Your Spice: A Brief History of Ginger.” Mother Earth Living, Ogden Publications, Inc., 3/16/2011, https://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-health/know-your-spice-a-brief-history-of-ginger

Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved
The Adoring Crow Publishing, Hopedale, Ma
theadoringcrow@gmail.com

Published by Angel Crow

Herbalist, Artist

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