Ginger: A Universal Medicine

Ginger Root is known as the universal medicine in Ayurveda.

Ginger aids digestion and, and is one of the best herbs for nausea. It relieves spasms and menstrual cramps.

Ginger helps to regulate blood sugar both by stimulating pancreas cells and by lowering lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) in the blood. Ginger is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, which boosts the immune system and naturally increases the body’s energy levels.

Historically, ginger was one of the most respected herbs for joint health, especially for aging joints. Ginger has relatively high calcium and iron content.

Ginger increases peripheral circulation, so is used clinically for cold hands and feet. Being diaphoretic, it treats some symptoms by promoting sweating.

Ginger and Headaches

When you feel a headache or migraine coming on, try taking ginger. Ginger stimulates circulation. Danish researchers suggest 1/8th teaspoon of powdered ginger. Grate fresh ginger or push it through a garlic press. These methods release more of the potent juices than does slicing or chopping.

You could also make a spicy ginger tea by steeping a teaspoon of the grated root in a cup of boiling water for at least five minutes.

How to Take Ginger?

Ginger should not be used by children under 2 years of age. For adults, ginger intake should not exceed 2 to 4 grams per day (this includes the ginger obtained through diet such as from ginger ale, ginger snaps, and ginger bread).

  • For nausea, gas, or indigestion: 2 to 4 grams of fresh root daily (0.25 to 1.0 g of powdered root) or 1.5 to 3.0 mL (30 to 90 drops) tincture daily. To prevent vomiting, take 1 gram of powdered ginger (1/2 teaspoon) or its equivalent every four hours as needed, or 2 ginger capsules (1 gram) three times daily. You may also chew a 1/4 ounce piece of fresh ginger.
  • To relieve arthritis pain: Take fresh ginger juice, extract, or tea, 2 to 4 grams daily; rub ginger oil into painful joint; or place fresh root in a warm poultice or compress and apply to painful areas. You can also consider aromatherapy massage oils to soothe joints and muscles. Soothe and relieve pain and promote faster healing.
  • For cold and flu symptoms, sore throat, headache and menstrual cramps: Steep 2 tablespoons of freshly shredded ginger in boiled water, two to three times daily, or place a drop of ginger oil or a few slices of fresh rhizome in steaming water and inhale.

Want a neat trick for making health-giving ginger easier to grate? Freeze it first.

Rare Side Effects of Ginger

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) gives fresh ginger root a class 1 safety rating, indicating that it is a safe herb with a wide dosage range. Side effects associated with ginger are rare, but if taken in excessive doses the herb may cause mild heartburn. Note: People with gallstones should consult a physician before taking ginger.

Read More: Essential Nutrients