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Written by: Jayanthi
Monday, March 03, 2008

Also known as:  Adi, Adrak (fresh), Sonth (dried) (Hindi), Inchi (Malayalam), Inji (Tamil)

Why write about Ginger?   
I really like to drink ginger tea, especially when I am not well. It really helps heat up my body when I am feeling cold. It also adds zing to many dishes and drinks.

Parts of the plant used:
Though many people refer to ginger as ‘gingerroot’ is not a root- it is a rhizome, or a stem that grows horizontally mostly underground (though they can grow above ground also). Rhizomes sprout roots and stems, yet another support that it is not a root.

Ginger rhizomes, both fresh and dried are used. Dried ginger can be used as a powder as well. Rarely used are ginger leaves.

Ayurvedic Use as quoted from The Ayurvedic Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention and Longevity, by Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha (pps 71-73)

-I am providing this information for your reference only.  I am not a physician or ayurvedic doctor.  Consult your doctor or ayurvedic practitioner for indications based on your particular health concerns and/or dosha imbalances.-

Reduces Vata and Kapha, Increases Pitta. Dried ginger is better for increasing agni (digestive fire) and reducing kapha. “Taken with rock salt it reduces Vayu; with rock candy it reduces Pitta; with honey it reduces on Kapha.”

Acts as: an analgesic, antiemetic, aromatic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, nervine, sialagogue, stimulant.

Used for: asthma, colds, colic, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, headaches, hoarseness, flatulence, indigestion, laryngitis, sore throats, stomach and bowel pains, vomiting.

Other minor uses: arthritis, belching, heart disease, improves memory, removes obstructions in the vessels, eye diseases.

Precautions: Aggravates Pitta (i.e. inflamed skin diseases, fever, bleeding, ulcers, etc.)

According to Penelope Ody’s The Holistic Herbal Directory,Ginger is also helpful in alleiviating morning and motion sickness, warming chills, relieving cramps in digestion.

 

I have used ginger to benefit my health:
When I have a cold, I boil few slices of fresh ginger in water until the water turns slightly yellow. Sometimes I have to add more water as some boils away. After the water emits a nice gingerly aroma, remove from the stove and add honey per taste. This concoction promotes body warmth and helps calm the throat. When I was in India, my friends had me drink this and then mummify myself in plenty of blankets turning off fans to promote sweating. Sweating out the fever seemed to be very successful in lowering the fever and getting back to health.


I have used ginger in cooking:
I use ginger- fresh, powdered and paste form in many dishes. Ginger is a good addition to the gravies used in North Indian subjis (vegetable dishes) and some dhal dishes. Besides using ginger in tea, I also like ginger in Sambaram, a spiced buttermilk.  Another liquidy delight that can be eaten with rice or sipped while not feeling well is an oil-free rasam that is very tasty.


References:  Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages – Ginger  |  Ginger in Ayurveda (remedies included)  |  Ginger, Honey and Obesity  


How have you benefited from using ginger?  Share below.

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Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar

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