Ginger Herb Profile:
Latin Name: Zingiber officinale
Description: a thick, knotty rhizome (tuber, root) of a perennial plant.
Parts used: only the rhizome (hence “ginger root”), fresh or dry
Medicinal Properties: Ginger is used around the world for digestive and intestinal relief. This root’s enzymes have the ability to not only to improve the movement of food through the digestive tract, but also counteract inflammation, increase blood flow and circulation, relieve arthritic pain, and reduce artery build-up. Ginger is a must-have at my home!
Common (therapeutic) uses: Arthritis, Blood Clots, Circulation, Cold Symptoms, Cramps, Depression, Diarrhea, Digestive Aid, Dizziness, Fevers, Headaches, Indigestion, Inflammation, Menstrual Conditions, Morning Sickness, Motion Sickness, Nausea, and more
Medicinal Forms: Here are a few ways to use/apply ginger:
- Infused Oil
- Salve, Balm, or Ointment
- Herbal Bath or Soak
- Tincture (traditional or cider vinegar)
- Decoction (herbal “tea” with roots)
- Herbal Honey
- Syrup or Elixir (great for children)
- Candied Ginger
- Ginger-ale with actual ginger
- Fresh root
General dosing options: (taken from The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook)
- 3-10 grams fresh or 2-4 gram dried ginger in a cup of hot water 2-3 daily or as needed
- up to 1/2 teaspoon of a liquid extract, tincture, honey, or syrup daily
- soak a washcloth with fresh brewed ginger “tea” and apply to skin to relieve headache, joint stiffness or abdominal cramps
Recipe to try:
Ginger’s antimicrobial properties, along with its warming, expectorant tendencies, indicate a wonderful herb for colds and the flu. The following tea recipe is common for the cold and flu season.
• Grate a half inch of fresh ginger using a cheese grater, or mince finely with a knife. Place in a mug.
• Fill the mug with boiling water and cover. Let stand for 15 – 20minutes.
• Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the mug, and add honey to taste. You can strain the ginger out if you want, but it isn’t necessary
• You can also do a decoction of ginger root for a stronger brew.
Precautions: Excessive amount ingested on an empty stomach could mildly irritate your GI tract. Also, may interact with anticoagulant drugs. Otherwise, ginger is very safe!
Where to find: Most grocery stores carry whole ginger root, candied ginger, and ginger “tea”. If you want to make your own remedies, you can purchase whole, dried ginger root that has been cut in small pieces at Bulk Herb Store or Glenbrook Farms. Be sure to keep your dried herb in a cool, dry place to preserve freshness.
- The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook by James A Duke, Ph.D.
- Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben-Erk van Wyk and Michael Wink
- Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung
- The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White M.D., Steven Foster
- Bulk Herb Store (note: this is my affiliate link)