Ginger

Latin:  Zingiber officinalis

Family:  Zingiberaceae

Parts Used:  Root

Taste/Energetics:  Heating, drying, stimulating

Properties:  Carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, diaphoretic, expectorant, antimicrobial, anti-emetic

Actions: Outside of garlic, ginger may be the most helpful and versatile herb in your kitchen cupboard.  Ginger is helpful for bloating, digestive upset, cramping, as an antimicrobial and expectorant at the onset of a cold or flu, and is very helpful as a warming circulatory stimulant and analgesic that helps reduce arthritic and neuralgic pain.

For those who feel tight, cold, stagnant, heavy and listless, ginger will warm, move and release tension in your system.  Ginger is commonly added to Chinese herbal formulas to help potentiate the other herbs and invigorate and circulate them in the system.   Ginger has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as well for similar reasons  to stimulate gastric fire (“Agni”) to help digest food and absorb nutrients better.

Poor digestion and a feeling of being tight, stuck and stagnant in the body are commonly connected to feeling of depression, lethargy and sadness.  Ginger is one of the best herbs for reducing depression by stoking our internal digestive fire, warming us up and improving circulation.

Dosage:  A couple teaspoons a day in teas, meals and beverages. Tincture 1-3 ml to 5 x/day.

Contraindications:   It is a heating herb and sometimes too strong and heating for someone who already runs hot and dry.

Further Reading:

Ginger monograph  by Rosalee de la Foret

Ginger monograph  by Matthew Wood

Ginger monograph by Elise Krohn