The Wonderful treaure of Healing Herbs from India, Ayurveda, esteems Ginger as the most valuable herb with excellent medicinal properties. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) known as Gingembre in French, Ingwer in German Zanzabil in Arabic & Persian texts and fresh variety as known as Ardhrakam in Sanskrit or Adrakh in common Indian texts, is cultivated in many parts of India on a large scale in the warm moist regions, chiefly in Madras, Cochin & Travancore and to a somewhat less extent in Bengal & Punjab. The dried rhizomes of ginger are known as Shunthi or Maha-oushdham in Sanskrit and Sonth in Hindi texts. Possessing excellent medicinal values, Ginger & Dried Ginger powder have been regarded as a Wonder Cure in all Ayurvedic texts. The scraped and dried rhizomes as well as the green ones are used in many Ayurvedic remedies.
Ginger contains an oleo-resin Gingerine and an essential oil Gingerol and acts internally as an aromatic, carminative, stimulant to the gastro-intestinal tract, stomachic, sialagogue & digestive. Ginger also acts as a local stimulant and rubefacient when applied externally. According to Ayurveda, dried varieties of Ginger are ushna-veeryam (hot potency), Laghu-snigdha-gunam (mild & oily), katu-rasam (acrid taste), madhur-vipakam (sweet after effect) and fresh varieties ushna-veeryam, guru-ruksha-teekshan-gunam (heavy, dry & pungent property), katu-vipakam (acrid after effect), and is valuable as a suppressant & remedy for vitiated Kapha (phlegm) & Vatta (air) disorders. Ginger stimulates nerves, heart & circulatory system, and is useful in all Vatta disorders and in hepato-splenomegaly & other liver disorders, bilious disorders, jaundice, oedema, abdominal disorders, flatulence, loss of appetite, constipation, and as a liver regulator, digestive, restorative, and also as an anti-inflammatory agent. Ayurveda considers Ginger as a pungent herb par excellence, as it does not have the concentrated irritant pungency of chillies, which can sometimes be too strong, yet it is irritant enough to challenge the muscles & blood vessels & wake them up. It also challenges the internal organs, particularly the digestive system, where ginger is said to awaken the agni, or metabolic fire. Symptoms of low agni include poor digestion, poor absorption, poor circulation, wind, constipation, poor resistance, a tendency to cold & influenza, congestion, body odours & obesity (all latter because there is insufficient fire to balance the water). All of these problems are precisely those which ginger treats.
An ancient recipe of potentiated Ginger, peeled & dried under shade, is finely powdered and later on macerated with fresh Ginger juice and processed similarly for seven consecutive days, and dried under optimum conditions, ground and filtered through muslin cloth to make it fibre free. The magical effects of this recipe in all common ailments like Coughs, Colds, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Vomitings, Stomachaches & Spasms, Constipation, Bowels unattended by fever, Indigestion, Sore-throat, Asthma, Hoarseness & Loss of Voice, Diarrhoea, Nausea, Loss of Appetite, Piles, Chronic Rheumatism & Arthritis, Headache, Toothache, Fainting, Senselessness and what not, ideally regarded GINGER as a WONDER CURE. Being aromatic & pleasantly pungent, Ginger can be used regularly for the prophylactic management of or as an insurance for all of the mentioned ailments. Ginger, in its ancient references, has been called as Maha-aushidhi (a Great Medicine) and used as a carminative and anti-fermenting medicine. Ginger is esteemed for its flavour, pungency, aroma and medicinal value. Even Greek Physicians, like Galen, Aviceena, Pomose etc. have been using Ginger, in various forms, to rectify the imbalancement of morbid functions of body, treatment of paralysis caused by phlegmatic imbalancement, treatment of gout and gouty arthritis and even as an aphrodisiac. The calorific value of Ginger has been rated 67. Also useful for taste & appetite as a food-seasoning spice for all kinds of foods and can be added to Tea.
The use of Ginger as a regular spice reduces the risk of indigestion, flatulence, dyspepsia, hyperacidity etc. caused due to heavy intake of non-vegetarian and fried fatty foods. Ginger strained after boiling with water, and by adding fresh lemon juice and a pinch of rock salt can also be used as an appetite stimulant, if taken just before meals. This recipe cleans the tongue, throat, increases the appetite and produces an agreeable sensation. Ginger, mixed with honey and hot water, can also be used as an excellent remedy for non-specific coughs & colds. Ginger boiled in water with fennel seeds and mixed with honey is an excellent diaphoretic mixture which increases sweating to reduce fever in influenza. It also acts as an expectorant in bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough and phthisis. Ginger in paste form with little water can also be applied locally as a pain-reliever in headache & toothache. Half teaspoonful of Ginger with honey and half-boiled egg, given once daily at night for a month, tones up the sex stimulating centres and helps to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea. The similar recipe of Ginger added with boiled milk, also helps to cure female-frigidity.
In a nutshell, wonderful multipurpose recipes can also be self-created with Ginger for a wonderful cure of any ailment. For regular use, the Vedic texts suggest a dose of 1/2 to 2 grams of dried Ginger powder with honey two to three times daily. Imagine the majority of Ayurvedic remedies contain ginger in one or other form as an effective portion of the complex herbal formulations. Quoting the Divine Wonder Curing properties of Ginger, it is even said that Ginger alone can make even the illiterate person as a successful physician.