Zingiber officinale

Since 5000 years

Ginger is the rhizome of Zingiber offinale plant, used as a spice by many cultures around the world, especially in India and China. Ginger is a well-known medicine in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since 5000 years. Till today you can find abundant use of ginger in the both Chinese and Indian culinary dishes and home remedies.

Fresh versus dry

Ginger can be used both in fresh and dry form. Fresh ginger has a warming quality and the dry ginger on the other hand, has a hot nature. The ginger harvested between 4 to 5 months old are called young ginger, and they usually have a mild flavor and are juicy in texture. Such young ginger is less pungent and can be eaten raw.

As the ginger ages, the more stronger it becomes. The dry ginger contain higher volatile oil compare to the fresh ginger. Gingers volatile oil (essential oil) is highly medicinal. Gingers oil is light yellowish in color, contain pleasant smell and is mainly composed of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenoids.

These compounds are known for their calming properties, supporting the immune system, fighting harmful microbes, acting as antioxidants as well assisting in cellular repair. Generally, gingers essential oil is used for pain relieving (analgesic), promoting tranquility (sedative), activating digestive fire (agni) and fighting bacterial infection.

An ancient medicine

Ginger is a very common herb used in Ayurveda for treating ailments such as indigestion, stomach bloating, circulation disorder and respiratory issues. Ayurveda recommends the use of fresh ginger for nausea related issues such as vomiting, morning sickness and motion sickness.

The dry ginger is used for respiratory related conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on the other hand, uses fresh ginger for dispersing cold related issues such as coldness in the stomach resulted from poor digestion. Some people can experience nausea and vomiting due to stagnation in the stomach. For example, some people can experience nausea after eating fatty food due to indigestion.

The dry ginger on the other hand, has been used to warm up and activate the spleen for enhancing appetite and preventing diarrhea. According to TCM, chronic diarrhea is related to spleen deficiency. The spleen is responsible for the distribution of nutrients and water from the food we eat. When the spleen is weak, the body is unable to absorb food and water properly, leading to diarrhea.

For belching and gas in the stomach

Ginger is a very useful herb for a broad range of digestive issues, such as bloating, belching (burping), abdominal pain, cramping and even constipation. When taken in the form of tea or decoction, ginger helps to activate the digestive fire (agni) in the stomach.