A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The quality of the original rhizome must be the primary concern for the person using supplements of ginger in their diet. At the same time, the ginger herb is a valuable supplement in a variety of supplemental forms. At the same time, the value of the rhizome and the supplemental quality will be less if the original material is old, is shriveled, was moldy or chemically treated in anyway, in such cases, the quality of the ginger will obviously not yield the herbal values comparable to a herbal ginger product created using fresh and organically grown rhizomes.
An extensive and exhaustive grading system has been developed over the years, so as to insure that the international supply of ginger products remains top quality - the standards adopted in this grading system are fairly rigorous ensuring only good quality products pass the test. Chemical exposure of ginger products is still an unfortunate issue, and one of the issues that require much greater attention as chemical contamination of herbal products is a severe problem. The exposure of ginger to chemicals can easily occur at many stages through the product development process, the ginger can become contaminated by chemicals during the stage of cultivation, chemicals can contaminate the ginger in storage and processing stages, and the ginger is often exposed to a barrage of chemicals, which can include lethal mercury compounds, all forms of chlorinated hydrocarbons, and all kinds of fungicides and fumigants, aside from insecticides and pesticides used during cultivation.
Ideally, the ultimate goal is to have an opportunity for examining the freshly retrieved ginger rhizome and to check these for possible chemical exposure before the processing stages and before they are made into powdered herbal ginger or other types of finished and processed products. This ideal check is not possible in most cases, and indeed it would be a very difficult or even impossible process for large scale operations, for this reason, individuals who wish to use only likely uncontaminated products must try to place as their first choice only those products which are organically grown or those products that are certified and have passed many of the state and international organizations standards of food safety. This is an ideal step to take for all individuals planning a long term therapeutic use of the ginger based herbal medications and particularly so, when they are going to be using ginger in large amounts.
The ginger herbs are processed into a variety of products for the culinary market and this process begins with fresh or dry rhizomes; the finished products can include all kinds of ginger syrups, ginger based candies, ginger based jams, herbal capsules, herbal extracts, ginger fortified liqueurs, ginger pickles, cookies and ale etc. Different products made from the ginger have different and varied effects, for example, if the researchers noticed a ginger based marmalade might have had a dramatic impact on the platelet aggregation rate in the body, then the it will be inferred that the therapeutic principles inherent in the herb are obviously very stable or that they are resistant to the rigors of processing. For this reason, it is fair to suggest that each of the finished ginger products possesses its own distinct advantages in terms of herbal healing properties. As an example, the candied forms of ginger, may meet with objections due to its content of the sugar sucrose, this does not discount the fact that, if it came down to a choice between an artificially flavored and colored confection and the ginger candy possessing an actual health benefit, the ginger based candy will always be chosen. The appeal of ginger is therefore increased by the candied form of the remedy as it gives the ginger a wider, and much more mainstream market, thus the new adherents of this form of herbal remedy can now include people who may never have considered using the ginger as a health supplement in any form whatsoever.
Consuming at least a combination of ginger based supplements is ideal for patients, so as to receive good amounts of the beneficial compounds repeatedly confirmed by research, these include the gingerols - found in the fresh rhizome based products and the shogaols - which are found in the dry products, it is reasonable to assume, that a combination of ginger products in the supplement to include sufficient quantities of these two beneficial compounds. Different ginger based products will have varying levels of these two critical and beneficial compounds and this will depend a great deal on the processing methods involved. Distinct health benefits are endowed by the gingerols and the shogaols respectively. The gingerols as a compound class are much more potent and effective in the role of anti-hepatotoxics and anti-helmintics within the body, at the same time, shogaols compounds seem to be more effective in the role of anti-inflammatory agents in the body, and they also function as antipyretics and analgesics in the body at the same time-thus the two classes of compounds have distinct effects though they are found in the same herb.
The many uses of the ginger can be suitably studied from its use in the medical systems of China and eastern Asia. In Chinese and traditional Oriental medicine, the individual value of each different product made from ginger is confirmed in that the four different forms of ginger used in treatment - fresh, dried, steamed and roasted - are actually considered and classed as distinct herbal medications. So each form of ginger is prescribed only for treatment of specific group of illnesses and for specific applications in herbal remedies. At the same time, one modern Chinese study has suggested that the four forms of the ginger have much more in common then traditionally believed, and the one may not need to consume every conceivable ginger product to gain some specific benefit - such a step will be complex and time consuming, besides being expensive. During the study, among twenty-five of the vital compounds checked, it was discovered that there was only a maximum variation in three novel or missing constituents per herbal remedy - thus the similarity of different ginger remedies is very great.
Some suggest that the fresh ginger rhizome has some intangible advantage over other types of ginger remedies and whatever the final form of herbal product - the suggestion is that it is more effective as long as it was made using the fresh ginger rhizome. One may consider the delicate flavor of fresh cut ginger as being a distinct study in the culinary arts. The importance of the fresh ginger in cuisine and its remedial power and potency is underlined by the results of a recent fragrance test, during which it was found that fresh ginger scent can be detected by humans even at a dilution as low as 1 part in 35,000, this is in contrast to the powdered ginger which can only be detected by humans at 1 part in 1,500-2,000, if diluted beyond this the scent is lost - the fresh form is thus more potent in all respects. Fresh ginger rhizomes can be used in many types of herbal remedial measures and in many different medical applications such as to make hot compresses and as a culinary spice to flavor medicinal herbal tea. As far as possible, always use fresh ginger for any herbal remedy.
Many people who have used compresses made from the ginger have understandably names this herb as one of their most precious health routines and remedies during treatment. As far as topical treatments go and among all the myriad applications of the herb, the ginger compress can be extremely effective for the treatment of virtually all external signs due to underlying inflammatory processes in the body of patients, these can include the treatment of muscular stiffness and headaches of all kinds - the ginger compress is one of the best topical herbal applications. The compress is also an extremely valuable healing remedy for the topical treatment of swollen glands, for treating external problems in the chest region and for the treatment of head colds and disorders such as persistent stomach cramps.
The herbal ginger tea is believed to be a near perfect after dinner drink, and is an excellent fasting staple, it is also believed to aid in weight-loss and helps relieve pain and can also be used as a remedy against the cold. Prepare the herbal ginger tea, by using half a teaspoon of the freshly grated ginger rhizome into eight ounces of boiling water, mix these in a covered pot and let the herb steep in the water for 10 to 15 minutes at a stretch, this will allow the water to fully extract the juices from the fresh ginger rhizome. Once it has been cooled down, slowly strain the water and add some honey for taste to sweeten the tea. As an iced tea, the ginger tea can also induce a great tonic effect on the body.
A variety of ways can be chosen, when adding some fresh ginger to the daily diet of any person on a course of this wonderful herbal remedy. Thus ginger can be added to different fruit and vegetable juices and as a part of the daily juicing routine with carrot and apple juices. Because of its high potency, the fresh ginger juice must be carefully and gradually added to the daily routine so as not to shock the system.
Undoubtedly one of the world's most popular confectionaries, candied ginger is ranked high in the list of best confections. Candied ginger is usually processed using fresh ginger and plenty of sucrose, this form of ginger is very convenient when the need to take ginger exist during a period of travel and it can also be used as a delightful and effective digestive aid following dinner at night.
Ginger is also used in the form of honey-based herbal syrup; this form of the remedy offers more desirable way of delivering ginger with maximum health benefits for the user. As an herbal vehicle, pure and unadulterated honey has a long and traditional history of utilized in this role of delivery agent for various therapeutic herbs and ginger is no exception to the rule, the honey endows extra value to the herbal remedy being used. The recipe for a ginger herbal remedy in a base of honey syrup is described in detail, and dates back to the early sixth-century A.D. this was the traditional use of the honey in herbal medicine back at that time. Ginger is moreover fortified by the honey, the substance gives the ginger its own range of excellent synergistic and healing values, particularly when the ginger is allowed to be infused into the honey using a low heat process. The ginger product is benefited by mixing with honey in many ways, the honey enhances the flavor of the herb, it aids in the preservation of the herb, and it can also be used for a variety of different ginger remedies and herbal applications. Furthermore, the honey itself possesses an intrinsic range of anti-bacterial, anticancer and antifungal actions, besides promoting wound-healing actions, and having a good anti-ulcer properties on the body.
The role of honey is to effectively enlarge the herbal ginger's bactericidal and fungicidal properties. The addition of the honey also enhances the ginger's anti-ulcer properties on the whole. At the same time, the honey has a good protective effect over the gastric mucosa and induces significant action against a bacterial species known as Helicobacter pylori, which is the bacterial species associated with the development of peptic ulcers in humans. Individuals concerned with the potential conflict between the use of honey and the effect on blood sugar levels during trials and in the candida albicans treatment programs, the gathered evidence suggested that the body tolerates honey significantly better than commonly consumed simple sugars such as sucrose. Candida albicans is also defeated by a distinct remedial factor in the honey.
At the same time that the herbal ginger and honey combination is being used, a health tonic or a cough or cold syrup, also made from ginger and honey can be taken by the individual in the form of a hot beverage or as a sweetener in tea, this can also be used as a culinary seasoning or even as a dinner table sauce, it can be used as a dessert topping or it can be mixed with some carbonated water for a nutritious and delicious homemade ginger ale - which can be taken at any time.
Prepare your own unique ginger syrup, by adding a part of fresh grated or juiced ginger, into three parts honey and then refrigerate the two together. You must ensure that you peel the ginger rhizome; this will result in the extension of the vital properties of the herb and will prevent the chances of fermentation from occurring at the same time. Usually about one to two teaspoons of this syrup can be added for every eight ounces of carbonated or hot water to make the drink.
The exceptional herbal benefits of ginger can be experienced in one of the most versatile and powerful ways by using it in the form of a dehydrated herbal powder. Used in this form, ginger can benefit a person by providing two of the essential and principal values of the herb:
The high-quality beneficial effects of the powdered ginger form have been verified during studies, and the powdered herb can be effectively taken for the treatment of both internal and external injuries. The powdered form of the ginger can also be used in a lot of the remedial applications where the fresh form is normally used, these include herbal compresses, it can be used to make ginger herbal tea and in cooking dishes. The herbal powdered ginger can be used in the form of capsules, or it can be consumed by the teaspoonful in any food or in liquids such as juices, this form of the herbal remedy provides the best anti-inflammatory effects during treatment and it is also a very excellent all spectrum treatment for various problems with the digestive system, and it can also be used as a cardiovascular tonic - and has very beneficial protestant properties over the body. The herbal ginger powder can also be used for external treatments as a topical compress or it can be used to infuse bath water, the ginger powder induces a very powerful and stimulating effect on the body, it also possesses transdermal and aroma-therapeutic effects on the body. At the same time, the herbal ginger powder is also excellent for use as a moistened chest compress, it can also be added by the tablespoon to infuse hot bath water for the topical treatment of various muscle strains and to treat the symptoms of cold. The herbal ginger powder can also be used to make an excellent chest compress, prepare the powdered ginger by simply moistening about 2-3 teaspoons using a little hot water and then spread this slowly over a hot and wet cotton towel - this can then be applied directly to the affected parts of the body. The amount of ginger to use in cases of sensitive skin must be low, in such cases, the herbal build up must be slow and application sustained over a long period of time.
Herbalist and traditional medical practitioners as well as modern researchers recognize alcohol to be an excellent extraction agent for the beneficial properties of all herbs and herbal extracts. Dried ginger derived double-macerated or highly potent alcohol ginger extract can give all the benefits of this form of the herbal remedy, and also includes very significant levels of the beneficial compounds known as shogaols. The juice of fresh ginger can be added to the mixture so as to maximize or balance the full benefits of the alcoholic ginger extract. A dual purpose is served by the addition of the ginger juice, the juice will complements the dryness in the remedy as it has unique fresh elements such as the compounds called the gingerols, at the same time, the juice will also enable a lowering of the final alcoholic concentration to a safe level, which the majority of individuals will find tolerable.
Convenience and concentration of the herb are the principal benefits inherent in the extracted form of the herbal remedy. The full range of benefits will become apparent in the person, within a few seconds of taking a dropper full of the extract, especially when it is taken straight, or mixed in a glass of water. There are some limitations to the utility of the extract, however, while it may not be practical to use the extract for purposes of cooking and to make compresses, it comes into its own as an exceptional therapeutic form of the herbal remedy and by and large, it offers the most comprehensive and immediate therapeutic response, which is very effective for the treatment of various digestive disorders or in the treatment of the symptoms of the cold.
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