Ginger Roots In Folk Medicine

Ginger Roots In Folk Medicine

Zingiber officinale

The ginger family, Zingiberacea, has been used in folk medicine all over the world for many centuries.  Ginger roots are carminative, rubefacient and stimulative., and as such have a role to play in preventative medicine.

The roots, leaves, shoots, and influorescence of the ginger plant can all be used in healing, but ginger roots are the part of the plant which is the most potent.  Ginger roots are the parts mostly used in folk medicine.

Ginger as a Digestive Aid:  Ginger roots have a fine reputation as a digestive tonic. The therapeutic compounds in ginger, camphene, phellandrene, zingiberene and zingerone give ginger rubefacient, or counterirritant and carminative properties.  These compounds in ginger also help break down fats and therefore aid the body in its digestion of fats.

Ginger For Nausea: Ginger tea can be helpful in alleviating travel sickness, or motiion sickness. It can be used to counteract morning sickness in pregnancy, although some herbalists advise pregnant women to avoid using ginger.

Ginger In Ayurvedic Medicine:  Ginger roots have been used to treat cholera, anorexia and inflamed liver in traditional ayurvedic medicine.

Ginger Is a Respiratory Medicine In China: Ginger tea has long been used in China for treating coughs, colds and flu. The Chinese regard Ginger as a lung and kidney strengthening medicine: Its helpful action on the kidneys, and its ability to help dissipate poisons from the body has earned ginger the reputation of being a hangover medicine. Ginger helps headache which often comes from a hangover or from over indulgence in rich foods.

Ginger To Help Circulation Problems: Ginger-oil massage is a traditional treatment in Japan, where it is used for massaging sore joints as well as spinal stiffness, and for promoting good circulation.

Pain Relief: Ginger is useful in treating painful joints, as it helps to draw the blood to the area, stimulating circulation, which helps remove toxins and alleviate pain.

Sinus congestion can be relieved by either taking a ginger inhalation, or by using a ginger compress. Kidney problems, menstrual cramps and rheumatic and arthritic pain and gout can also be helped by using a ginger compress over the affected area.

Ginger For Ear Ache:  Ear ache can be relieved by plugging the ear with cotton wool which has been soaked in diluted ginger-oil or a strong infusion of ginger tea. If you are using ginger oil, then you use must dilute the essential oil in olive oil – one drop of essential oil in about two teaspoons of olive oil. A few drops of this mixure may be put into the ear. Or you can soak a cotton wool pad in this diluted ginger oil and place in the ear. Garlic oil, or freshly pressed garlic juice, can be used in the same way for helping ear ache: Dilute the garlic oil in a little olive oil before putting in the ear.

A ginger footbath is a good invigorating tonic for the whole body, as this increases circulation.

Varicose veins can be helped by using a ginger footbath.

Ginger Footbath For Varicose Veins

Ginger Footbath to Increase Circulation
Ginger has many health benefits:  One main one is that ginger helps increase circulation.  This means that the ginger footbath will have a helpful effect on many conditions, such as arthritis, rheumatism, heart troubles, and varicose veins.

There are many ways to take ginger for improving the circulation and improve your digestion:  You can include ginger root or powdered ginger in your diet.  Another very good way to treat circulation and help varicose veins, as a complement to a good diet rich in alkaline greens, is by soaking the feet in a prepared ginger footbath.

Soaking the feet in a ginger footbath will help to improve the circulation in your whole body, as well as in the legs.  It is a relaxing therapy which gives your body a chance to absorb iodine and other minerals from the sea salt.

How To Make A Sea Salt and Ginger Footbath
Simply put two heaped teaspoons of powdered ginger, or chopped ginger roots, into a bucket or a large bowl which is big enough for your feet to fit in.
Add one desertspoon of sea salt.
Pour over three pints of hot water. Make sure the water is not too hot.
Test with your hand to see that the temperature is comfortably warm. Bath temperature is about right.

Now To Soak The Feet: Sit yourself down by the prepared ginger and sea-salt footbath. Place the feet in the warm footbath.
Splash some of the ginger and sea salt water up over the legs and pat them gently.
Soak the feet for about five minutes, or until you feel you have had enough.

You can keep the ginger and salt water for one more use if you choose.  This is a good idea if you wish to give the feet another treatment within four hours or so.  You can simply add a jug full of boiling water to the cold water.

For best results, try to soak the feet morning and night in the ginger and sea salt foot bath.  This will be beneficial to your circulation, your heart, and your varicose veins.  It will also help regulate your  blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  It will help to reduce pain, help to alleviate stress, and be conducive to a good night’s sleep, if you soak the feet each  night.

Homeopathic Hamamelis For Varicose Veins:

It is always best to seek professional help from a homeopath if you have varicose veins.  But here is a suggestion if you cannot immediately see a homeopath for your trouble.

Homeopathic Hamamelis isan excellent treatment to help alleviate the pain and pressure of varicose veins.  Hamamelis is an astringent which can help reduce swellings and tumours and swollen veins.  It can be used after pregnancy to help heal distended veins on the legs.

Take a few drops of Homeopathic Hamamelis 30c three times a day for a week.  Then stop for a week.  Continue for another week after that.  Continue this routine for a couple of months.

Another possible remedy which could be useful for varicose veins is Aristolochia Clematis.  I am not familiar with this remedy, but James H. Stephenson M.D. recommends it in his book ‘Helping Yourself With Homeopathic Remedies’. Published by Parker Publishing Company, Great Britain, 1976.

 

Ginger Inhalation For Colds and Flu

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
The Aromatic Ginger Plant
Edible Species: Zingiber officinale; Zingiberaceae mioga; Zingiberaceae serumbet
Family: Zingiberaceae
Aromatic ginger is also known as Jiang in Chinese medicine.

THE AROMATIC GINGER RHIZOME, OR GINGER ROOT, has many culinary and medicinal uses. Ginger roots are well known for their healthful properties. Ginger has a world-wide reputation in medicine: Ginger is used in the ayurvedic medicine tradition, as well as in Chinese medicine and western herbal medicine..
Ginger roots can be used fresh, or in powdered form, or as crystallized ginger root.

ESSENTIAL OIL OF GINGER may be used in inhalations or as embrocation for arthritic and rheumatic pain, but this must be used conservatively: One drop only of essential oil, added to about a tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive oil, is all you need to make an embrocation oil for external use. Wash your hand carefully after using the essential oil: You don’t want to touch your eye area with any of this on your hands, as it will burn your eyes.

GINGER INHALATION;
Powdered Ginger, or fresh ginger roots can be used for this inhalation. Ginger inhalation can be a useful complement to other treatments for helping colds, flu, and lung infections. It works as a decongestant to help relieve the sinuses and lungs. Simply put a heaped teaspoonful of ginger powder into a bowl. If you are using fresh ginger, then grate about two teaspoons of ginger roots.
Pour over a pint of boiling water. Let stand for a minute to cool slightly, then put a towel over your head, covering the bowl as well. Keep the head up about 18 inches away from the water. This is about the length of your lower arm from the fingertips to the elbow. It is important not to get too close to the boiling water, as this will burn the delicate membranes of the sinuses and lungs. 18 inches is fine. Keep the head over the bowl at this distance away from the hot water, for about five minutes, or until you feel you have had enough. The inhalation treatment can be repeated often during the day or night, which might be necessary for chronic infections. Do see your doctor or naturopath or similar if you or any of your family have a severe infection.
ALTERNATIVE INHALATION WITH ESSENTIAL OIL: If you have essential oil of ginger, then you can use ONE DROP ONLY OF THE ESSENTIAL OIL in the bowl for inhalation. Follow the instructions as for powdered ginger inhalation above.

OTHER USES OF GINGER PLANT;
GINGER TEA can help to relieve a fever and promote sweating, as well as promote circulation.
The roots, shoots and leaves can all be eaten either raw or cooked.
Because ginger root helps circulation, it is a good herb for people to use who have varicose veins, or sluggish circulation with cold hands and feet. Ginger can help to lower high blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, and lower cholesterol. Ginger, like garlic, is a natural blood thinner.
Ginger roots can be used to treat nausea: Note – Caution needs to be exercised during pregnancy. Only small amounts should be used for morning sickness, and it should be used for a limited time only.
It is used in cooking: Fresh ginger root is a much used spice in oriental cooking. It is used to flavour many sweets, biscuits and deserts, and is used in some beverages, such as ginger beer.

How To Make Ginger Tea

Benefits of Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea has many health benefits. Ginger is a vermifuge. Drinking ginger tea on a regular basis can help prevent stomach upsets such as indigestion and nausea, flatulence and gas, and divert a migraine.

Prevention is better than cure: Drinking ginger tea and using ginger in your cooking will strengthen your immune system: Ginger not only helps your digestion, it will help to keep your blood pressure normal, help to keep cholesterol levels in check, lower the risk of heart attack, keep your intestines clean and improve the blood circulation.

Remember that it is always easier to avoid sickness with appropriate measures rather than try to treat an illness later after the damage has been done, so get stuck into that ginger tea. Between four and six cups a day can be taken by an adult. Use half or less of this amount for children.

For certain illnesses: Ginger can be used in helping people whose health is below par and who may suffer from things such as irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and arthritic symptoms : These things can generally be helped by drinking ginger tea on a regular basis, in combination with an appropriate diet.

NOTE: Ginger is a natural blood thinner. If you are taking medications such as Warfarin or other blood thinners, then ginger is Not recommended. Again – prevention is better than cure. It is far better to watch your diet and take appropriate herbal medicine BEFORE you have to go to the doctor. Generally speaking, people who begin taking blood thinners such as warfarin are not given the chance to ever come off these drugs: They continue taking them year after year until they die, after the drugs have had irreparable side effects. Not all doctors have this approach, fortunately, but many do.

Recipe for Ginger Tea

Powdered Ginger: This can be used to make a healthful tea. One teaspoon of powdered ginger can be used per cup of boiling water. Let the tea stand for ten minutes before drinking.

Freshly Grated Ginger Roots: However, the very best ginger tea is that which is made from the fresh grated root. Make sure that the ginger is fresh, with no mouldy bits on it.
Grate between half a teaspoon to a small teaspoonful of ginger into a cup. Grating ginger releases more of the healthful properties into the tea than if you simply chop it. Pour over boiling water and let the tea stand for 10 minutes. Strain and drink.

The juice of half a lemon and a small teaspoon of honey may be added to the tea for extra health benefits. Added lemon juice and honey is recommended especially if you are treating a cold or the flu. Adults can drink between 4 to 6 cups of ginger tea per day when treating a cold or flu. Children between five and 12 would take only half this amount.

Ginger Tea Bags: Alternatively, you may buy ginger tea bags to use instead of making the tea fresh from ginger roots. This method is not as good, nor is it as pure as using fresh ginger, as tea bags themselves contain small amounts of formaldehyde and other chemicals which are used in their making. Fresh ginger, dried powdered ginger or crystallized ginger roots are the best forms to use. Fresh grated ginger probably contains slightly more goodness than powdered ginger.

Crystallized Ginger Roots: One or two pieces of crystallized ginger may be finely chopped or grated to make a tea.

Ginger Beer: This is another way to gain health benefits from drinking a ginger ‘brew’. A 350 ml glass of natural ginger beer can be taken instead of tea. Remember the sugar content in ginger beer, though: You would not consume as much ginger beer as you would ginger tea, because of the high sugar content in ginger beer. Best to alternate your tea drinking with a little ginger beer.

Health Benefits Of Ginger

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Ginger is one of the most popular of the culinary spices. It is an extremely versatile spice, with uses in recipes which range from a curry ingredient of the East to gingernut biscuits in the West.

GINGER ROOTS are also valued for their many and variousl medicinal uses and are materia medica of the Ayurvedic science of health. Ginger root is related to the spices cardamom and turmeric and has similar health benefits as these two spices.However, ginger has to be the most popular of the spices because of its wide ranging uses.

THE USE OF GINGER ROOT in the kitchen, and as a healing herb, like turmeric and cardamom, dates back at least 5000 years.
The active ingredients of ginger which give it its flavour and medicinal properties are gingerol and shogaol. These compounds make ginger an effective fungicide and antibiotic-like medicine. Gingerol and shogaol also help to negate the effects of some poisons. These compounds have a very beneficial effect on the stomach and the digestive process.

The chemical compounds found in ginger roots do not affect the beneficial prostaglandin chemicals which serve to strengthen the lining of the stomach. This is why ginger has such an uncontested reputation for treating all those discomforts of the stomach such as indigestion, nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, heartburn, peptic ulcers, and flatulence and wind. It is also a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger is also effective in many cases, of preventing migraines and severe headaches.
Ginger roots are best used as a prophylactic for these conditions, rather than wait for the conditions to strike. This means that ginger taken regularly, either in the cooking or as ginger tea, is the best way to prevent stomach complaints and migraines.

Ginger has many other uses as a healing herb: It can be used to ease arthritic pain, to improve circulation, to reduce blood clots and thus lower the risk of heart attack. Ginger lowers the blood pressure and lowers cholesterol. Ginger thins the blood which helps to prevent blood clots. Ginger can be used as a pain reliever for toothache, vertigo, as an antispasmodic to relieve menstrual cramps, for sore throats, to promote sweating when needed, such as in a treatment for the common cold and flu.

Ginger can be used as a dry powdered ginger, taken in a capsule, as freshly chopped root, or taken in a preserved form as in crystallized ginger. Ginger tea can be made from either the fresh root or from powdered ginger.