Botanical Name(s): Zingiber Officinale
Family Name: Zingiberaceae
Species: Z. officinale
Popular Name(s): Root Ginger, Ardrakam, Shunthi, Adrak, Sunth, Black Ginger, Race Ginger, African Ginger, Jamaica Ginger, Sheng Jiang.
Parts Used: Fresh and dried rhizomes
Habitat: South East Asia and throughout India.
A deciduous perennial herb, ginger flourishes in most parts of southern Asia, Jamaica, Nigeria and the West Indies. The creeping herb has thick, branching rhizomes and sturdy, upright stems, with pointed lance-like leaves that are 15 to 30 cm in length. It produces yellow-green flowers, with a deep purple lip and yellow marking. The fruits resemble fleshy capsules. Ginger grows well in fertile, moist and well-drained soil. The plant is cultivated in Florida, California and Hawaii, China, India and tropical regions. In India, the herb is called aadrak in Bengali and Urdu, adrak in Gujarati, shunti in Kannada, allam in Telugu, inji in Tamil and Malayalam, alay in Marathi and aduwa in Nepali.
(+)- volatile oil (zingiberene and arcurcumene, beta-bisabolene and arcurcumene, neral and geranial, D-camphor, beta-phellandrene, geranial, neral and linalool, (E)-alpha-farnesene, mixture of cis- and trans-beta-eudesmol), shogaols (6-shogaol, 8-shogaol, 10-shogaol), gingerols (6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol), bisabolene, zingiberene.
Uses & Benefits of Ginger
- Ginger forms one of the main spices for preparing pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations.
- The herb serves as a stimulant and carminative and is used in dyspepsia and colic.
- It is known to have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties, due to which it is used in treating heart diseases.
- Ginger tea is considered a good remedy for colds.
- The herb helps in treating arthritis, diarrhea, motion sickness, diabetes, bronchitis and rheumatism.
- It is a remedy for nausea caused due to seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy.
- Around 3 to 4 leaves of Tulsi, when taken along with a piece of ginger, on empty stomach, cure congestion, cough and cold.
- It is safe to take ginger during pregnancy for relief from nausea.
- Dried ginger root is powdered and made into capsules and sold in pharmacies in the West.
- In India, ginger paste, when applied to the temples, relieves headaches.
- Burmese boil the mixture of a local sweetener made from palm tree juice and ginger and consume it to prevent flu.
- In China, a drink is made by cooking sliced ginger in water with brown sugar or cola to treat common cold.
- People with inflammatory skin complaints, ulcers of the digestive tracts and high fever should not consume ginger.
- Ginger oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Powdered ginger can cause heartburn, bloating, gas, belching and nausea.
- Unchewed fresh ginger, when taken in large quantities, can have bad reactions on people with inflammatory bowel disease and blocked intestines.
- Ginger can also affect blood pressure, clotting and heart rhythms.
- The herb should not be given to children below 2 years of age.
- It should be taken after consultation, since it can irritate sensitive skin.