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Herb Reference Guide

Ginger

History

Ginger and her cousin Turmeric are proud members of the zingiberaceae family and grow in sub-tropical, volcanic soils in the southern hemispheres. The plant is thought to have originated in tropical Asia and is widely cultivated in the Caribbean and Africa. many cultures report similar uses of this plant. It has been used as a favorite "diffusive" circulatory tonic and warming agent, to calm occasional nausea, and to aid in a healthy immune respiratory response. It has also been used to support a normal inflammatory response. Ginger is one of the most widely consumed aromatic spices on the planet.

Function

The fresh rhizome in Ginger is less hot and contains more of the flavor components such as triterpenoids and volatile oils which act on the peripheries of the body. The dried rhizome is quite hot from its concentration of pungent nonvolatile compounds known as gingerols and acts centrally to dispel what are referred to in Traditional Chinese Medicine as "Cold-Wind" conditions. Ginger has shown in numerous clinical trials to support a healthy inflammatory response and as a beneficial nausea aid. It is thought that Ginger promotes normal production of inflammatory markers which would explain its action on the immune system as well as its ability to promote healthy circulation and inflammatory responses.

Uses of Ginger

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Ginger contains hundreds of chemical components. The highest percentages of chemicals are the volatile oils (camphene, phellandrene, zingiberine, zingiberol, eucalyptol, citral, borneol, and linalol) and the phenolic compounds (gingerol, zingerone, shogaols) and resins.

Parts Used

  • Root

Important precautions

Additional Resources

MacLeod AJ, Pieris NM. Volatile aroma constituents of Sri Lankan ginger. Phytochemistry. 1984 ; 23: 353-59.

Srivastava KC. Effects of Onions and Ginger consumption on platelet thromboxane production in humans. Prostaglandins Leukotriene Essential Fatty acids. 1989; 35: 183-85.

Srivastava KC, Mustafa T, Ginger (Zingiber Off.) and Rheumatic Disorders. Med. Hypotheses. 1989; 29:25-28.