Part Used: Dried rhizome (Hawaii)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a creeping perennial herb on a thick tuberous rhizome. It is indigenous to southeastern Asia and also cultivated in the U.S., India, China, West Indies and tropical regions. The rhizomes (underground stem) and stems of Ginger have assumed significant roles in Chinese, Japanese and Indian medicine since the 1500s. The Oleoresin of Ginger is often contained in digestive, antitussive, antiflatulent, laxative, and antacid compounds. Besides it has medicinal propeties like peripheral circulatory stimulant, carminative, antiemetic, rubefacient, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, adjuvant, sialagogue, expectorant, antiseptic, etc.
Ginger is used to stimulate the appetite and calm the stomach. In European herbal traditions, Ginger is primarily used to stop nausea and quiet an upset stomach. It is now recognized for helping to treat stomach upset and prevent symptoms of motion sickness. It has been studied for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain-relieving, anti-ulcer, antitumor, and other properties. It is believed that Ginger reduces nausea by increasing digestive fluids and absorbing and neutralizing toxins and stomach acid. It increases bile secretion as well as the action and tone of the bowel. It also has been shown to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets and may thereby reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
As a carminative Ginger promotes gastric secretion and is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, flatulence and colic. It is also a useful remedy in diarrhoea where there is no inflammation. It is stimulant to the gastro-intestinal tract, increasing peristalsis and the tone of the intestinal muscle. As an antiemetic it can be used in cases morning sickness. It is also said to be useful for suppressed menstruation. The fresh rootstock may be chewed to stimulate the flow of saliva or to soothe a sore throat. As a gargle it can also relieve a sore throat. Extracts of Ginger stimulate the vasomotor and respiratory centres.
Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-ginger.html
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/ginger.shtml
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/ginger.htm