Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a plant that not only has medicinal importance, it is also a spice and also an equally important ingredient in many dishes in cuisines all around the world. The Ginger was first grown in South Asia before it spread all around the world. It sometimes also referred to as Ginger root.
The Ginger root is characterized by a specific odor and taste and this is because of the oils and mixture of chemicals like zingerone, shogaols and gingerols and these comprise much of the overall weight of this herbal remedy. It also contains essential oils and compounds that give the Ginger root a very popular place in cuisines and in herbal therapies all around the world.
History and Origin
The name Ginger is basically French in origin, form the word ‘gingembre’ and also in Old English as ‘gingifere’. The Ginger root is very popular in many cultures as an important ingredient in cooking a variety of dishes from sauces to soups. The Ginger root is also an indispensable part of traditional herbal remedies simply because the Ginger root has many chemicals and therapeutic properties.
There is an endless list in the use of the Ginger root in cuisines all around the world. The spiciness and the unique flavor of the Ginger root has made it an important ingredient in Western cuisine, in Indian and Pakistani dishes, in Asian cuisine, in the Caribbean and also in Greek dishes.
Ginger tea was also used during ancient times to relieve common gastrointestinal ailments such as stomach pain, indigestion, and diarrhea and also for the treatment of nausea. It was also used in the treatment of colds and coughs.
In modern times, the Ginger root is classified as a gastric stimulant and also prevents gas formation in the gastrointestinal system. It is a cure for dyspepsia, stomach pains and also for constipation. It is also effective in the treatment of diarrhea and forms of infectious diarrhea caused by E.coli.
Ginger root also has anti inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for people with arthritis. It can decrease swelling, pain and relieve other arthritis symptoms. The use of the Ginger root in the treatment of heart disease is also possible since it has blood thinning capabilities. It also has the ability to lower blood cholesterol thereby decreasing systemic blood pressure as well. There have been studies regarding the possibility of Ginger root in relieving anxiety since there are compounds found in Ginger root that can bind with human serotonin receptors.
Ginger root extracts are also great in relieving nausea, sea sickness, and nausea due to chemotherapy and also for morning sickness.
There is an acute overdose of Ginger root that can cause over stimulation of the central nervous system called “ginger jitters”. It may cause severe anxiety, nervousness and also sleeplessness. This is ingestion of more than the allowable 2 grams per kilogram of body mass.
There are no known side effects with the ingestion of Ginger root supplements. It is relatively safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women as long as they stay in the required safe range.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan