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Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Herbs gallery - Ginger



Common names

  • African Ginger
  • Ardraka
  • Black Ginger
  • Chiang
  • Gan-jiang
  • Ginger
  • Nagara
  • Race Ginger
  • Shen-jiang
  • Sunthi

Zingiber officinale, the official name of the common ginger was coined by the famous eighteenth-century Swedish botanist and general naturalist, Carl Linnaeus. While Latinizing the name, Carl Linnaeus also derived the name Zingiber for the generic term, using the Indian Sanskrit name for ginger - singabera, or shaped like a horn.

About 1,400 species of plants are placed in the family Zingiberaceae and the ginger is just another of these plants. It shares equal honors with other famous family members, the spices turmeric - which is a principal component used in curry; it is also an herbal medicine - and the spice cardamom - used extensively in South Asian cuisine. The ginger has a slender stem; ginger is a perennial plant, about 24 to 39 inches in height. Compared to the second and following stems, the first stems are lengthier and also bear beautiful and fragrant flowers. The ginger flowers are greenish yellow and streaked with purple down the sides. Dark green ginger leaves are characterized by a famous midrib that is sheathed at the growing base. The seeds of the ginger appear in the rare fruiting body.

The underground stem of the ginger is the most familiar part of the plant and it is extensively used for commercial as well as domestic purposes. Often mistakenly called the root of the ginger, the irregular shape and size of the underground section of the stem is the most important part of this herb - the plant stores food reserves in this underground stem. The botanically correct term to apply to the underground stem is rhizome, even if the ginger will probably always be associated with the term root by common people. Whole new ginger plants can self generate from budded sections, and property of the rhizome is very different to a root, which will die if split into sections. Cultivation of the ginger has been made possible by these buds in the rhizome and the plant has been cultivated in this way for thousands of years. The habitat most suited to the cultivation of ginger is one with a hot and moist climate with some shade; ginger also prefers soil that is well tilled and rich in loam. The rhizome is white to yellow in color and bears thick lobes - it is also very aromatic, a property used in culinary and herbal processes. An unusual exception to this mild color range is one ginger variety, which has a characteristic blue ring, lying in circles inside the fleshy interior - this is one of the most prized varieties of ginger.

Today, the ginger is the most widely cultivated spice around the world. A lot of countries and regions cultivate this spice and different opinions exists as to who grows the best ginger. Any favoritism of a particular variety of ginger is purely a matter of personal taste, as the ginger appears in countless varieties, shapes and sizes, India alone is said to have an estimated fifty varieties of this versatile herb. Depending on the conditions of the soil and the manner of its cultivations, each and every variety of the ginger possesses its own distinctive flavor and aroma. Africa is reputedly the home of the most pungent ginger, while the milder varieties are grown mainly in China. The general agreements is that culinary applications will likely use milder ginger varieties, while the stronger and more pungent varieties are best to prepare ginger beverages and for use in therapeutic herbal remedies.

Oral anti-coagulants are normally prescribed to individuals who suffer from frequent blood clots to help keep their blood free from clots. The compound known as warfarin sodium commonly called coumadin, is one of the most frequently used medications in this regard. This compound is also a potent rat poison and taking it in high doses can cause serious internal hemorrhages in the body, especially if it is used over an extended period of time by the person. The ideal substitute for these synthetic blood thinners is ginger root, which can replace the role of this compound in the body. At least some individuals suffering from such problems who took an average of two herbal ginger capsules two times a day in between meals appears to have benefited.

Parts used

Rhizome, root, essential oil.

Ginger tea for women

This ginger tea is extraordinarily healing for all female organs and the intestines, as well as for stressed nerves and a sluggish metabolism.

  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 cups (1/4 l) water
  • 2 cups (1/2 l) milk

Peel the ginger and grate or slice very fine. Simmer very slowly for about 20 minutes in the water. Now add up to 2 cups (1/2 l) milk and let it boil up. Remove from the heat and sweeten with honey or cane sugar. Ginger tea is best consumed in small sips over the course of the day, as required. In the morning and before meals it stimulates digestion; on cold winter afternoons it warms and protects from the flu. Many women take the tea after miscarriages or abdominal surgery, to promote the healing of the uterus.

Ginger tea is so effective against ailments of the reproductive and digestive systems because it stimulates circulation and supports a good blood supply to these organs. Bloating can be treated with this tea, by adding a pinch of cinnamon. In the presence of stomach ulcers, however, modest amounts of this tea are recommended and the quantity of ginger can be cut down. Similarly, in the early weeks of pregnancy, the further stimulation of blood flow into the abdomen is not recommended, so go easy on ginger at this time. Modest amounts, however, are a great remedy for morning sickness.

Candied ginger

  • 1 lb. fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

Pare the root and cut into long narrow slices, across the grain. Cover with about 1 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, drain, and cover with cold water again. Heat to boiling, simmer 5 minutes more. Drain. Dry well.
Combine granulated sugar and 1 cup of water in a small kettle. Boil 10 minutes. Add the ginger slices and cook over very low heat. Do not boil. Stir, and cook until all the syrup is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove the ginger, and dry on a rack.
Roll the cooled ginger in superfine sugar, and let it stand in the sugar until it has crystallized.

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Comments

From Aida - Jan-26-2013
I am using ginger for cough and for cold. It's amazing helpful. I am making fresh juice from ginger and apple or any fresh fruit and putt half lemon.
From Lula - Aug-17-2011
I have tried drinking ginger and lemon grass for about 2 months. It's aided in weight management, relieve of cold and sometimes feels like an energizer.
From Angela - Aug-09-2011
My friend had a fever, cough and runny nose. I suggested she drink ginger boiled in water. After drinking it, she was sweating and the fever was gone. I suggest to take 1 spoonful of honey then drink warm water for her coughing. It worked! The second time, I suggested it to my friend's boss with the same symptoms. God relieved her also by using ginger as an herbal medicine.
From Amruta - 2010
I got fever after consuming high amount of ginger in potato veg.
From Julie - 2010
I recently came across powdered ginger tea in Bali, never having been a great fan before, tasted it and found I liked it. I bought a box and started drinking it daily since I got home. I suffer from terrible periods and digestive problems. I have lost 2 kg, my first period has been like a cleansing, I feel like my system is being flushed out, normally I get very tired and a lot of pain, but I had neither much to my surprise. I decided to look up more information on the healing properties and was stunned to find the effects on the respiratory system, because I also came home with a terrible chest infection, explains why I was craving the tea and getting such great relief.
From Michelle - 2010
Ginger is the one herbal remedy that has always worked, and dramatically for me. I discovered it in college when I might have drunk a bit too much. One morning my stomach was so upset I literally couldn't get out of bed. I made a broth with maybe a teaspoon or so of ginger (just straight from an old spice jar) and drank it. I was literally up and about within 10 minutes. It felt like a miracle at the time. I've since used it every time I'm really sick to the stomach and it always works.
I will add one thing - I had a friend. She tried this when she had the flu and it only made her sicker. Turns out she doesn't like ginger in general. So maybe only use it if your body can accept ginger.
From Deborah Kenny - 2010
I take a spoonful of the 'lazy ginger' for reflux and tummy upset. This ginger is sold in small jars in Tesco, Sainsbury etc.
From Claudia - 2010
Ginger tea helped me avoid morning sickness during two pregnancies. I drink it to avoid nausea when I travel, and find it clears my sinuses and provides relief when I have a head cold.
From Melissa - 2010
I've been taking ginger tea to regulate my periods and it's worked. I had missed my period one month and waited until the next month rolled around just to see how late it would be. I became frightened that I might be pregnant but my tests came back negative. I think my periods may have been late due to stress for I had some terrible family issues at the time.
I only had powdered ginger but it worked and my periods are fine now. Recently I also discovered that a lot of women suffer from late or no periods. This is known as amenorrhoea. It's an unfortunate type of illness that can cause premature menopause but drinking ginger tea can help stimulate the body into an induced period.
From Wilfrido - 2010
I am an herbalist. My daughter is 33 years old, and is narcoleptic. I suggested her to try ginger to keep awakened, and the results have been excellent. I peel the roots, then boil for 30 seconds, and blend them with distilled water to make a strong juice. For years I wanted her to do this but only recently she got interested. Five months of dramatic improvement. Because I like to share, I decided to place this comment.
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