But, while ginger may seemingly do everything, to get the most benefits of ginger root you’ll need to understand how to match ginger’s warming and spicy qualities with a specific person.
It probably won’t surprise you that Ayurveda calls ginger the “universal medicine.” It has been used for centuries and is still one of the most popular herbs of our time. It has been widely studied with positive results for a variety of issues, making it one of the more accepted herbs in Western medicine.
This article will examine the many health benefits of ginger and its effectiveness. Please pay special attention to the energetic qualities of ginger so that we can move away from thinking of it as a simple substitute for pharmaceuticals and towards a clearer understanding of the myriad health benefits of ginger. By understanding the energetic of herbs, we can better match the herbs to the person making them more effective.
let’s look at its energetic qualities.
Ginger is a warm to hot herb with a tendency towards dryness. Fresh ginger is considered to be warm while dried ginger is considered to be hot.
What does it mean for an herb to be heating and drying?
Ginger is a great herb to experience energetics firsthand. If you sip hot ginger tea, you’ll feel the heat from the tea warming up your core. An interesting experiment is to try a tea made with fresh ginger and one made with dried ginger.
You could skip the tea altogether and munch on a slice of fresh ginger. You’ll notice its spicy heat.
Ginger is not only warming; it is also aromatic and dispersing. You’ll notice fairly quickly after sipping your hot ginger tea that the heat in your core is spreading to your limbs. If you drink a really strong ginger tea, you may even feel the heat escape through your skin. This is a great reminder that energetics are often circular. In this case, excess heat creates a secondary coolness.
Ginger also stimulates fluid loss through various body secretions such as sweat or mucus. Because of this, ginger is considered drying.
Let’s now take a look at how ginger’s energetics play a role in the health benefits of ginger.
Ginger is a strong ally for various types of pain. A lot of times the herbs we use for pain have very specific mechanisms of action. Because of this, we have to carefully choose
which herb to use for specific types of pain. For example, if there is pain due to muscle tension, we use an antispasmodic herb like valerian or kava.
Ginger may relieves pain through its anti-inflammatory actions, blood-dispersing actions, and by relieving pain caused by coldness. It can also relieve the cramping pain experienced with diarrhea or with menstrual cramps.
Ginger prevents cancer. Researchers have found out that ginger is able to combat quite a few of the cancers common to man. Included in the list is lung, prostate, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, colon and skin cancers. In particular, ginger has been discovered to induce cell death in ovarian cancer.
Ginger can be used for many different complaints during an upper respiratory infection. In fact, if you only had one herb to choose from during a cold or the flu, ginger may be the one, especially when there are signs of coldness and dampness.
Ginger tea: Though it has a spicy flavor, ginger works brilliantly as a sore-throat remedy. It helps flush out toxins from your body and boosts your blood circulation. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help kill bad bacteria. So, grate some ginger root in in a warm, soothing cup of tea. Sipping ginger tea, sucking on ginger pastilles, or having a spoonful of ginger-infused honey can bring relief to you sore throat. It’s also antimicrobial, helping to prevent further infections.
Ginger is diffusive and stimulating and is perfect for getting congested mucus flowing again. A strong ginger tea can relieve congested coughs and stuffy sinuses. Ginger can also be used externally over the chest to relieve congestion.
Feeling cold? A strong cup of ginger tea can warm you up from the inside. This is helpful for the onset of a cold or flu, especially when you have a feeling of chills or is experiencing shivering. Ginger is strongly antimicrobial and inhibits a variety of infections. It aids in ear infections and fungal infection on the skin.
Ginger supports heart health in several ways.
A lot of heart disease in the US is a symptom of an underlying metabolic problem such as insulin resistance or diabetes. While a holistic approach needs to be taken for these imbalances (personalized diet, interval exercise/functional weight training, healthy sleep cycles, etc.), ginger has been shown to reduce blood glucose and inhibit the inflammation associated with these metabolic imbalances.
Ginger has also been shown to modulate cholesterol to healthy levels. (A lot of people’s “high” cholesterol problems also stem from inflammation and metabolic disorders.)
Researchers studied 95 people with blood fat problems (high “bad” LDL cholesterol, high total cholesterol, high triglycerides, and low “good” HDL cholesterol). They divided them into two groups: one group took 1,000 mg of ginger, three times a day; the other group took a placebo. After 45 days, those taking ginger had a greater drop in LDL and a greater increase in HDL. – Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, and Debora Yost, Healing Spices
Ginger contains antifungal compounds called gingerol and shogaol and anti-inflammatory agents. Studies show ginger can inhibit the growth of C. albicans. In one study, an antifungal cream with added ginger was more effective at relieving yeast infections than the antifungal cream without ginger.
Ginger is commonly added in small amounts to large formulas. By increasing circulation through dilating blood vessels, it helps to deliver the herbs throughout the body more quickly. It is estimated that over half of Chinese formulas include ginger.
Ginger increases the potency of herbs and pharmaceuticals if added to a protocol, inhibits bacterial resistance mechanisms in pathogens, stimulates circulation, and reduces the toxicity of endotoxins and pollutants. It dilates blood vessels and increases circulation, helping the blood, and the constituents in the blood from other herbs, to achieve faster and more effective distribution in the body. Stephen Harrod Buhner, Herbal Antibiotics.
Ginger is one of our best polycrest herbs in that it can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of conditions. Because of its heating and drying qualities, it is best used for people with signs of coldness and dampness. Ginger especially affects the respiratory system, digestive system, and circulatory system. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory shown to decrease pain for those with chronic inflammatory pain such as arthritis.
Aeschbach R, Loliger J, Scott B. C, Murcia A, Butler J, Halliwell B, Aruoma O. Afzal M, Al-Hadidi D, Menon M, Pesek J, Dhami M. S.