Medicinal Uses of Ginger

· February 27, 2015
Ginger is a root that makes the flavor of any dish stand out. Still, make sure not to use too much since it can be quite strong. Learn about the medicinal uses of ginger below.

This powerful plant comes from Indochina but is grown in tropical regions today. You can use the many varieties of ginger in different ways. The best ones come from India, Jamaica, and Australia. Countless cultures over centuries have known about the medicinal uses of ginger. In addition, you can also use it in food. In this article, we’ll take a look at the medicinal uses of ginger, the root “from the garden of Eden”.

Medicinal uses of ginger: internal

  • Promotes digestive health: this is one of the most popular medicinal uses of ginger. It stimulates the pancreas by increasing the enzymes that foster digestion and prevent poor food absorption.
  • Helps prevent intestinal problems: due to its anti-bacterial strength, ginger prevents changes in intestinal flora.
  • Fights nausea: it’s one of the best remedies for fighting nausea from different triggers. For example, you can use it for motion sickness (when traveling by boat, bus, etc.) and long trips. In addition, you can use it while undergoing chemotherapy. Also, pregnant women can use it during the first few months of pregnancy (on a short-term basis). Lastly, you can even take it for nausea after an operation.
Large piece of ginger

  • Treats ulcers and prevents them from developing. Thanks to its anti-bacterial strength, ginger reduces the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori, which emits ammonia. Moreover, ginger is a great remedy for gastritis and for neutralizing excess stomach acid.
  • Reduces diarrhea and constipation. Ginger also eliminates harmful bacteria or microorganisms like E. Coli, which cause diarrhea in children and gastroenteritis. It simultaneously increases intestinal peristalsis, which promotes bowel movements.
  • Prevents heart disease: from cardiac arrest and thrombosis to angina and clotting.
  • Promotes good circulation in your limbs: eliminates pain primarily in the legs. It can also help with symptoms in the fingers caused by Raynaud’s disease.

Discover: How to Treat Constipation Without Laxatives

Big pile of ginger


More internal uses

  • Ginger also helps regenerate tissues in wounds and frostbite.
  • Useful against flu symptoms: it reduces fever, nasal congestion, and joint aches caused by the flu. If you have a cold, it reduces pressure in the chest caused by mucus buildup. The same is true for those that suffer from sinusitis or nasal congestion.
  • Treats chronic fatigue: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a common problem, in which the individual always feels tired or weak, in spite of sleeping or resting.
  • A potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic: ginger is helpful for arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint pains and inflammation caused by injuries. It’s also useful for those with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Medicinal uses of ginger: external

  • Treats molar pain: apply a bit of ginger tea directly to the jaw. Another option would be to chew a very thin slice of ginger.
  • Eliminates bad breath: Ginger has been used for a long time to treat halitosis. This Asian technique refreshes the mouth after meals. What’s more, since it boosts saliva production, it can also be used by people who always have a dry mouth.

Want to know more? 12 Things That Will Help Prevent Bad Breath

Single piece of ginger

  • A potent aphrodisiac: some believe it arouses sexual desire and increases libido in both men and women. Men that have erectile problems can also use it.

Using ginger

To benefit from all of ginger’s properties, you should know how to use it. Some treatments do require a specific method. Still, you can generally choose the method you like best or is the simplest.

Depending on your ailment, you could drink teas made from fresh or dried ginger. You can also choose capsules, smoothies, massage, essential oils, etc. You could also use other medicinal plants to enhance the benefits and get better results.

Medicinal uses of ginger

Preparation

For fresh ginger, first, wash and peel it well. Then, grate it or dice it to add it to soups, sauces, or stews (the ginger is cooked in these cases). You could also soak dry root in water, broth, or juice and add it to your recipes. It’s an excellent side for sushi and other Asian dishes.

You can pickle ginger using vinegar. Moreover, you can preserve it with sugar, salt, and vinegar or even oil. You can also eat grated ginger with sweets, curry, stir-fries, pastries, and sauces.

And lastly, you can even crystallize it by boiling it in water for 30 minutes. Drain and, in a pot, bring three tablespoons of water and three tablespoons of sugar to a boil. Cook until the liquid is evaporated.

One of the most common options is drinking ginger as a tea. Keep in mind that it’s rather spicy. You’ll need about 85 grams of ginger root, 700 mL of water, and a sweetener (stevia, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar). Wash and dry the ginger well.

Then, peel and cut it into thin slices. Boil some water and add the ginger, letting it boil for a few minutes. Or, you could place the root in a bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.

For either method, strain the ginger and drink. Many people add lemon slices or juice when they have a cold. Lastly, for urgent cases, use raw or crushed ginger root.

Photos courtesy of Crystal, Delphine Menard, Tony Hisgett, Scot Nelson, Stan Dalone, Miran Rijacev, Chandrika Nair, and Mararie.