Zingiber officinale or widely known as Ginger is herbaceous perennial plant native to southeastern Asia belonging to the family of Zingiberaceae. It has been commonly consumed as a spice and herbal medicine since ages. Ginger has been discovered to have biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. The volatile oils that give ginger its distinctive scent and flavour are mostly made up of zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols which are the major pungent compounds. Ginger can be used to treat arthritis, diarrhoea, fever, headaches, heart and menstruation problems, diabetes, stomach discomfort, and motion sickness, among other ailments.
The generic name, Zingiber, is adopted from the Greek zingiberis, which is derived from the Sanskrit word singabera, which refers to the spice. Ginger is used in traditional oriental medicine of Ayurvedic, Unani and Chinese systems of medicine for more than 2500 years for treatment of diseases like indigestion, fever, sore throats, nausea, constipation and other infectious diseases.
Ginger's rasa (taste) is pungent and sweet, its virya (energy) is warm, and its vipāka (post-digestive impact) is sweet, according to Ayurveda. Despite its spicy and heating qualities, it is tonifying, as a sweet vipāka indicates. This sweet vipāka, has a cooling and long-lasting impact.
According to Ayurveda, ginger has properties like Āmanāśaka (Destroys toxins), Pācana (Digestive), Chardinigrahaṇa (Prevents nausea), Śitapraśamana (Reduces feelings of cold), Rasāyana (Rejuvenative), Kāsaśvāsahara (Alleviates cough and breathing difficulties), Vedanāsthāpana (Alleviates pain) amongst many other.
For thousands of years, ginger (zingiber officinale), also known as vishwabheshaja, or "universal medicine," has been a panacea for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory ailments.
Provides relief from Nausea
Ginger's stomach-soothing properties have been validated by a number of studies. The plant tends to alleviate motion sickness and morning sickness symptoms, in addition to relieving post-surgery nausea and vomiting. People undergoing cancer treatment are perhaps the finest example of its anti-nausea benefit.
Managing High Cholesterol
Ginger may aid in the treatment of high cholesterol. By converting cholesterol to bile acids, it aids in cholesterol reduction. It also raises HDL, or good cholesterol, levels in the blood.
Eases menstruation pain
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a popular remedy for menstrual cramps and period discomfort because of its warming and pain-relieving effects.
Supports healthy joints
Due to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, ginger is known to be effective in managing joint pain by reducing inflammation. According to Ayurveda, aggravation of Vata dosha causes joint pain, swelling and joint mobility. Because ginger contains Vata balancing properties it promotes healthy joints.
The major bioactive ingredient in ginger is gingerol which is responsible for a lot of the therapeutic benefits of ginger. According to studies, gingerol has a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It aids in reduction of oxidative stress, which is caused by an excess of free radicals in the body.
Management of blood pressure
Ginger may be effective in the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. It has antioxidant and hypotensive properties. The angiotensin II type 1 receptor is inhibited by ginger. Ginger also protects blood vessels by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
Weight gain is caused by poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, which results in a weakened digestive system. This results in an increase in Ama accumulation, creating an imbalance in the meda dhatu and resulting in obesity. Ginger can help you lose weight by improving your metabolism and lowering your blood sugar levels.
Ginger powder can be used in different ways. You can consume ½-1 teaspoon or up to two grams of ginger powder mixed in warm water with a teaspoon of salt every morning on an empty stomach. Dry ginger powder when combined with salt can reduce inflammation in the body, especially help with swollen joints and fingers. A sprinkle of this spice in preparation of food can help avoid excess gas in the stomach, in addition to adding taste. Additionally, it can also be added in tea combined with cinnamon or cardamom to help with a cold or sore throat.
While Ginger has innumerable benefits, it is possible that it may not suit your body. It is important to listen to your body and discontinue using it if it leads to any or all of the following symptoms after having used it for at least 4-5 days:
- Upset Stomach
Further, Ginger might lead to slow blood clotting and hence causing extra bleeding during and after surgery. Hence it is recommended that one should stop using ginger at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Q1. What should you take Ginger Powder with?
Ans. Ginger Powder can be taken with warm water. In addition to enhancing flavour, a sprinkling of this spice in food preparation might help avoid excess gas in the stomach. It can also be used to treat a cold or sore throat when coupled with cinnamon or cardamom in tea.
Q2. Why is Ginger sourced from Assam, in India?
Ans.The best soil for ginger is loose, loamy, and rich in organic matter. Loamy soils allow water to drain freely, which will help prevent the rhizomes from becoming waterlogged. Thick mulch can also provide nutrients, retain water, and help control weeds. These soil conditions are found in the state of Assam and hence, Assam is the largest producer of ginger in India.
Q3. Is Ginger safe to eat during pregnancy?
Ans. According to studies, ginger can be used safely to treat nausea during pregnancy. If you're thinking of taking ginger capsules or extract instead of eating fresh ginger or drinking ginger tea, talk to your doctor first.
Q4. Are there any reasons someone should avoid Ginger?
Ans. Before consuming ginger, those with gallstones should consult their doctor. It may be dangerous, according to some doctors, because it causes the liver to create extra bile, which then rushes to the gallbladder.
It is suggested that you stop using ginger at least two weeks before your surgery.
Q5. Should people with type 2 diabetes consume Ginger Powder?
Ans. Ginger is not only safe to consume if you have type 2 diabetes, but it may also aid in the reduction of insulin resistance, which is a defining feature of the disease.
Q6. What are the benefits of Ginger for menstrual pain?
Ans. Menstrual pain can be relieved with ginger. Antispasmodic (smooth muscular action) and analgesic effects are found in ginger. Ginger inhibits the contraction of smooth muscles in the uterus by blocking calcium channels.
Q7 Why should you choose Ginger Powder for promoting digestive health?
Ans. It's an ayurvedic drug made to treat acid reflux, gas, and other stomach issues. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and aids in the reduction of ailed muscle swelling.
Q8. Is Ginger bad for your kidney?
Ans. Although ginger has not been proven to treat or cure kidney disease, it has been shown to help dialysis patients with indigestion and nausea.
Q9. Is Ginger good for skin?
Ans. Ginger can help with acne and other skin issues. Excess oil is removed and excessive sebum production is controlled when ginger is applied externally. This is due to its ability to balance the Kapha dosha.
Q10. When should you take ginger powder?
Ginger tea is delicious at any time of day, but the best time to drink it is first thing in the morning. It helps your body end its overnight fast, power up your metabolism, and reduce nausea when taken in the first 30 minutes after you get up.