Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberaceae) is originally a native of Indian subcontinent. It is considered as one of the most important spices for food thus has been traded all over the world. Now-a-days ginger cultivation is done around the globe and very easy to acquire in any country of the world.
In Ayurveda, ginger is also referred as “Vishawa Bhesaj”, which means, Medicine for the Whole World. It means that ginger can be given to anyone living in this world and it would be suited to all. Historically, ginger was one of the highest traded spices from India to all over the world.
|Vipak (Post-digestive effect)||Madhura|
|Guna (Quality)||light, oily (dry powder), heavy and sharp (fresh ginger)|
|Doshic Effect||Balances Kapha- Pitta|
Therapeutic Benefits Of Ginger:
- Ginger and Digestion
- Appetizer Effects of Ginger - Ginger being pungent in flavour, it helps in cleaning the tongue by increasing the salivary secretions. Cleaning the tongue increases the appetite.
- Ginger as Metabolism Increaser - Hot potency of ginger increases the metabolic rate therefore it also helps in increasing digestive capacity.
- The Constipating Relieving Effect of Ginger - Dry ginger powder is oily by nature. This oiliness lubricates the internal lining of the intestines especially the large intestine thereby facilitating the elimination of farts and faeces. Moreover due to its pungent flavour it also helps in breaking down the hard faeces in the colon thus making the stools soft to pass out easily.
- Ginger relieves Bloating - When gases get stuck in the abdomen the patients feel discomfort due to bloating of the abdomen. Ginger relieves bloating due to numerous reasons, by relieving constipation, efficiency in pelvic area, vata pacifying and also due to sweet vipaka.
- Cardio Tonic Effects of Ginger - Effect of Ginger on Heart Diseases Due to its sharp breaking down effects over blockage, it is also used to clear off the blockage present in the blood vessels. The pungent flavour is also responsible to relax the muscle spasm which further helps in relieving the high blood pressure. All these factors help the heart stay healthy.
- Painkiller Effects of Ginger - Ginger is very good in pacifying vata dosha by its oiliness and hot properties. Vata is always the main culprit in any kind of pain according to ayurveda therefore ginger can kill any pain present whether in GIT, angina or any other part of the body (since it can manifest its actions in blood and blood can reach any part of the body.)
- Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Ginger - Vata – Kapha pacifying effect of ginger plays an important role in anti-inflammatory effect. According to ayurvedic theory, a ‘sotha’ (inflammation), may be due to either ‘avritta’ or vata-kapha; or due to obstruction of vata due to kapha. In any situation ginger with its hot, oily, pungent, sharp and breaking down properties relieves the inflammation.
- Effects of Ginger on Haemorrhoids - Piles is mainly caused and aggravated by constipation. Ginger being very good in relieving constipation, the haemorrhoids is also relieved. Further, ginger also reduces the inflammation and pain associated with the haemorrhoids.
- Anti-Rheumatic Effect of Ginger - Rheumatism, a condition sometimes present in ‘Amavata’ disease, according to ayurveda, is characterised by presence of ‘Ama’ (ingested toxins) along with vata dosha in the joints. Ginger with its good digestive effect reduces the ‘ama’ toxins and ginger with its vata pacifying effect reduces the rheumatism.
- Voice Clearing Effects of Ginger - According to ayurveda, the origin of the voice starts from the navel and voice is manifested by vocal cords at neck. Neck is Kapha dominant organ, excess of kapha can cause obstruction to voice and thus voice may not be clear. Ginger being a very good anti kapha, always keeps voice clear.
- Antiemetic Effects of Ginger - Vomiting is mainly due to indigestion, hyper acidity or increase of gases. Ginger handles all these conditions. It manages indigestion by increasing metabolism or digestion.
- Effects of Ginger in Asthma / Breathlessness - The pungent flavour helps in relieving the bronchial spasm thereby reducing the breathlessness or asthma.Ginger removes all the blocks in GIT, due to its sharp and breaking down properties and by reducing Bronchospasm by relaxing the bronchial vessels.
- Effects of Ginger on Filariasis The main efficacy of ginger is at the pelvic area including the navel and lower limbs. Filariasis is characterised by oedema in both legs. Since ginger works well in this part of the body and it is also effective anti-inflammatory, filariasis is reduced.
Therapeutic Dose of Ginger
Ginger is very potent even in dry form thus it is used in very less quantity. Even just a few drops are very effective in reducing many ailments not only for adults and old aged but also for children and new-borns. Dry ginger – 250 mg (adults); 125mg (children and old) Fresh ginger – 500 mg (adults)
Contraindication of Ginger
Even though ginger can reduce morning sickness, it is not advisable for pregnant women due to its sharp, hot and breaking down properties.
Another group of people who could be sensitive to ginger are very high pitta people, these people may show signs of pitta increase with use of especially fresh ginger.
Dry ginger powder still can be used very cautiously in all of the conditions along with suitable “anupana”. (Anupana is that material which is consumed along with food or medicine.)