Ginger – part 2
One of the main benefits of the herbal ginger remedy is its ability to stimulate the circulatory system. The herb also helps in bringing an increased flow of blood to the surface of the skin; this singular property makes the ginger a very important herbal remedy for the treatment of conditions such as chilblains and to treat impaired circulation along the hands and feet of patients. The herb also effectively helps in controlling elevated or high blood pressure as it directly affects the circulation of blood. Perspiration in the body is increased by remedies made from the ginger and at the same time, the herb helps in bringing about a reduction in elevated body temperature during fevers.
In China the fresh ginger and the dried ginger are used as two distinct and different herbal remedies. The Chinese system of medicine suggest the use of fresh ginger for the treatment of fevers, to treat headaches, and to alleviate the pain and discomfort of aching muscles in the body. At the same time, the dried ginger remedy is used for the treatment of internal colds, and for physical symptoms such as cold and clammy hands, a weakening of the pulse rate, and a pale or white complexion in patients.
The effectiveness of a hot ginger compress on various topically treated disorders cannot be compared to other herbal compresses, ginger compresses are used to treat muscular aches and pains, they are used in the treatment of joint stiffness, in the topical alleviation of abdominal cramps, in the treatment of kidney stone attacks, to treat stiffness in the neck, to treat neuralgia in different parts of the body. The ginger compresses can also topically treat toothache, they can be applied on the external body to treat bladder inflammation, they can be used in the treatment of prostatitis and extreme tension in the body. At the same time, disorders such as nausea, accumulated intestinal gas, and colic can also be treated using herbal remedies made from the ginger. Cases of motion sickness in women and especially, pregnancy related morning sickness can be treated using ginger remedies. The antiseptic qualities of the ginger endow it with great and extremely beneficial effects to deal with all manners of gastrointestinal infections; the remedy can effectively treat certain types of food poisoning as well. As with all herbal remedies and despite its effectiveness, bear in mind that a lot of time, significant effort, a lot of patience and a changed lifestyle on the part of the patient are requirements to make the treatment a complete success.
The value of the ginger as an herbal medication lies in its pungent and warming properties – which are essential to treat a lot of conditions. The herbal remedies made from the ginger have a very stimulating effect on the functioning of the heart and the circulation of blood in the body, the ginger helps in creating a feeling of warmth and well-being. The herb restores vitality and physical fitness; ginger is particularly effective in those individuals, who tend to deal badly with the cold during winter. Perspiration in the body is promoted by drinking the hot ginger tea, this tea also helps in reducing elevated temperatures during a fever and it helps in clearing away catarrh in the body. The remedies made from the ginger have a stimulating effect and affect an expectorant action inside the lungs, this result in the clearing of phlegm and helps relieve catarrhal coughs and related chest infections in different patients. The digestion is also aided by herbal remedies made from the ginger as the herb has a wonderful warming effect over the digestive system. The intestines as well as the stomach is invigorated by herbal remedies made from the ginger, the ginger herbal remedies also help in the stimulation of a weak appetite and at the same time, they enhance the process of digestion – the ginger encourages secretion of different digestive enzymes inside the stomach. The stagnation of food particles in the intestinal tract and the consequent accumulation of metabolic toxins can be cleared away using herbal remedies made from the ginger. The action of the ginger based remedies thus tend to have a very far-reaching effect in the body of patients, and this result in a beneficial increase in the general health and vitality of the person – besides obviously enhancing the total immunity of the body.
The ability of the ginger to alleviate nausea and vomiting is famous, and whatever the cause, such sensations are easily dispensed with when the ginger remedies are used by the affected individuals. The herbal remedies made from the ginger also help in settling the stomach; it aids in soothing the symptoms associated with indigestion and helps in calming wind and flatulence. The relaxing and pain-relieving effects of the ginger are particularly relevant to disorders in the gut, where the remedy aids in relieving colic and spasms, it helps soothe abdominal pain, it helps the person in dealing with abdominal distension and flatulent indigestion. Ginger also helps in relieving griping induced by the presence of diarrhea due to infection. Menstruation is promoted by ginger, and the remedy is also useful in dealing with various other disorders affecting the uterus, the ginger remedy is also very effective in alleviating delayed or scanty periods as well as blood clots associated with the menstrual cycle. In women, remedies made from the ginger can be used to help relax the muscular spasms and in relieving the pain present during ovulation and during menstrual periods. Remedies made from the ginger are recommended as an herbal tonic to invigorate the reproductive system as a whole by many herbalists. The clotting and thinning of blood is also inhibited by remedies made from the ginger. The ginger remedies also help in lowering the elevated blood pressure and can help individuals with high cholesterol problems. Ginger remedies have a tendency to heat up the body and due to this effect, herbalists suggest that individuals who do not tolerate heat well, such as people with gastritis or peptic ulcers avoid the remedies made from ginger.
Other medical uses
Habitat and cultivation
The ginger is a native plant of Asia, however, at the present time, the ginger is cultivated throughout the tropical regions of the world. The dividing of the rootstock is the usual way by which ginger is propagated around the world. Ideal habitats for the ginger are areas of fertile soil and the plant requires plenty of rain. When individual plants become ten months old, harvesting of the rhizome takes place and most of the rhizomes are removed at this stage. The harvested rhizome is washed, often soaked, and it is also sometimes boiled and peeled in preparation for storage – most of it is, however, used fresh after washing.
A lot of research has been carried out on the various herbal properties of the ginger. The herbal therapeutic benefits of ginger are mainly due to the presence of volatile oils and the high oleoresin content. A compound known as gingerol is an acrid chemical constituent of the ginger, and this chemical compound is the agent responsible for the hot taste of ginger and is also one of the reasons that ginger possesses stimulating properties on the body. Compared to the chemical constituents found in the fresh ginger rhizome, the compounds known as shogaols, which are formed as the plant dries, are greater and stronger irritants and far more acrid.
All cases of morning sickness can be very effectively treated using herbal remedies based on ginger. During the 1990’s the herb was studied during trials at the one of hospitals in London, these studies found that the herbal remedy made from ginger proved far more effective in relieving postoperative nausea than many conventional medications.
At least 70 per cent of patients in a trial in China, who were given herbal ginger remedies, recovered from the bacillary dysentery – thus the herbal remedy was extremely effective in treating such disorders.
Dosages for the majority of users is about 2 – 4 grams of the dried ginger rhizome powder, these are usually repeated two to three times every day during the treatment period. Doses of an herbal ginger tincture taken at single doses of 1.5 – 3 ml thrice every day are also normal during treatment. People under treatment for nausea, are usually given single doses of approximately 250 mg each, once every two to three hours, this is for a total dosage of 1 gram every day of the treatment period. Ginger can also be used as a preventative medication against motion sickness, it is normal for susceptible individuals to take ginger tablets, ginger capsules, or the liquid ginger herbal extract at least two days before the planned trip or journey to preclude the arrival of symptoms associated with motion sickness.
Side effects and cautions
When used in the recommended doses, the side effects of ginger are rarely felt. This may not be true for all individuals, and some individuals may be very sensitive to the taste of the herb or they may experience symptoms such as heartburn when using the ginger. Ginger can be taken by individuals with a history of gallstones only after careful consultation with a nutritionally oriented doctor as side effects are possible. No safety issues seem to exist in the short-term use of ginger to treat the nausea and vomiting during a term of pregnancy. At the same time, the use of ginger as an herbal remedy in the long-term during the pregnancy is not advised as regular use can trigger side effects in the woman. The use of any ginger remedy by the patient before surgery must be made known to the doctor and the surgeon must be informed if the patient intends to undergo any form of surgery, this step must be taken to counteract the possible post anesthesia nausea in the patient.
How it works in the body
Muscles in the stomach are relaxed by phenolic compounds in the ginger; the presence of these chemical agents may also explain the ability of ginger to greatly ease the discomfort associate with travel and symptoms of motion sickness. Vomiting and retching sensations can be reduced by taking the fresh or dried, form of the ginger rhizome. Additionally, the phenolic compounds present in the ginger also act as a sedative and have a painkilling effect on the tissues of the stomach. This action of the compounds helps in reducing the over activity in the gut of patients. The ginger oil also possesses antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions and can help the individual deal with various stomach infections. The ability of the ginger to protect the liver is thought to be a property conferred by the gingerols alone. Ginger is also beneficial to the overall functioning of the cardiovascular system, and the ginger is believed to reduce cholesterol levels in patients, the ginger also increases the rate of blood flow in people suffering from a sluggish circulation. Vomiting is eased in the Chinese system of medicine, where the fresh rhizome is used as an herbal agent to warm the stomach. It is used to fight off colds, to fight off persistent chills and coughs, particularly those, in which there is a lot of phlegm produced, and for in those which result in bloating. At the same time, dried ginger rhizome is used in the treatment of painful sensations in the abdominal region. According to the Chinese system of medicine, ginger has acrid and warm properties and induces these effects on the body.
- Fresh root:
- DECOCTION – This form of the herbal ginger remedy can be used in the treatment of chills and phlegm rich colds in different patients, the doses can be prepared by adding 1 – 2 slices of the fresh rhizome in a cup of water, this must be simmered for about 10 minutes. For extra taste, pinch of cinnamon can be added to the liquid and the decoction can be cooled, strained and then drunk.
TINCTURE – The herbal ginger tincture can also be used in the treatment of various disorders, patients must take 2 -10 drops of the tincture per dose to stimulate and warm the circulatory system. The herbal ginger tincture can also be used in the treatment of persistent flatulence; it can be used to beat indigestion, and to alleviate nausea in patients.
- Dried root:
- CAPSULES – This form of the ginger remedy is convenient and easy to use, doses can include 1 – 2 x 200 mg ginger capsules, once before any journey to prevent the onset of motion sickness during the trip. Women can take 1g doses for the treatment of morning sickness during the term of pregnancy.
DECOCTION – Dried ginger in combined form with other herbs is used in the Chinese system of medicine as a restorative remedy for inducing yang or spleen energies, it is also used in the treatment of abdominal fullness, to treat nausea, and in the reduction of excess phlegm.
- Essential oil:
- MASSAGE OIL – This form of the ginger herb can be used in the treatment of various disorders, for the treatment of lumbago and rheumatism add 5 – 10 drops of the ginger oil in 25 ml of almond oil to make a topical application. The essential oil of the ginger also combines well with the oil of the juniper or the eucalyptus oil and these can be used as well.
OIL – To treat flatulence in patients, about 1 – 2 drops of the oil placed on a sugar lump or in half a teaspoon of honey can be taken, this treatment is also useful in dealing with menstrual cramps in women, it can be used in the treatment of nausea, or to treat various stomach disorders.