The Healing Power of Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Author: Kerryn Dingey   Date Posted:1 April 2015 

Ginger is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in herbal medicine since ancient times. It has been used traditionally for a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, muscular aches, colds, cramps, colic, indigestion, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting. More recently, ginger is used predominantly for nausea, as an anti-inflammatory, a circulatory stimulant, for mild stomach upset and as a pain and warming remedy. Ginger is a beautiful warming herb that can be added fresh to meals, used as a dried spice in cooking, drunk as a tea or tincture, or taken in tablet form for various ailments.

Anti-inflammatory & Analgesic - Ginger has a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Its strong anti-inflammatory potential is due to its modulating effect on enzymes associated with inflammation. Research has reported that oral ginger supplementation can significantly reduce inflammatory markers as ginger acts on multiple mechanisms helping to reduce inflammation. Research has also shown that ginger can help reduce the symptoms of menstrual pain.

Nausea - Ginger has been shown to be effective in relieving nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness and morning sickness*. It has also been shown to benefit people experiencing nausea and vomiting as a medicinal side-effect. If you are prone to travel / motion sickness, try taking ginger 30 mins before your trip. *Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking ginger.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort - The active constituents in ginger are reported to stimulate digestion, and act as an antispasmodic and carminative helping to relieve flatulence, colic and indigestion. Ginger is ideal for assisting digestion.

Circulatory Stimulant and Warming Agent – Ginger has historically been used as a diaphoretic which helps promote sweating. It is also helps enhance circulation and warm the body and muscles. Colds and sniffles - Ginger has been used for thousands of years throughout Asia to help relieve the symptoms of colds.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that to help treat cold symptoms in adults, steep 2 tsp of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day. Tip: Here’s a recipe for a cold kicking tea that will knock the socks off those sniffles

ginger tea

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cm of ginger
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey

METHOD

  1. Finely chop the garlic, onion and ginger
  2. Juice the lemon
  3. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and cinnamon quills to a mug and pour boiling water over them. Cover the top of the mug and let it steep for 5 minutes
  4. Uncover and strain
  5. Add the lemon juice and manuka honey
  6. Rug up, sit back, sip and relax
Written by Kerryn Dingey BHSc (Naturopathy)

Kerryn holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) and is passionate about educating and empowering others to make informed choices around nutrition and lifestyle and take steps towards optimal health. Kerryn has previous experience in retail Naturopath roles where she was able to apply her knowledge and learn about customers’ needs first hand.

With a focus on moderation, Kerryn believes that preventative medicine is the key to good ongoing health.