Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ginger Herbal Medicine

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is widely used in the Philippines as a spice and also an herbal medicine.

Ginger has been revered in Indian and Chinese civilizations for over 5000 years for its powerful health imparting properties. In fact, Indian ginger is said to have the most potent medicinal properties.

Ginger plants can grow to about 1 meter tall. Ginger rhizomes are the most important part and most widely used for foods and medicine. Although they grow underground, they are swollen stems, not roots like what we are thought to believe. Ginger plants also have flowers which are purple with a cream blemish based. These flowers sprout directly from the rhizomes.

Fruits - red in color. Each has three chambers containing several small black seeds. Ginger plants that are cultivated in commercial plantations don't usually bear fruit.

When cooking, ginger gives an aromatic and exquisite taste to foods. Most Filipinos drink “salabat” or ginger tea, which has been known to stimulate digestion. It also has a good effect on the circulatory system as it makes the platelets less sticky. It can also be used as mouth freshener, or when you are in a voice lesson, or a singer, ginger can help you improve your golden voice.

Other health benefits of ginger:

  • · Effective for reducing the severity of nausea even in cases of pregnancy.
  • · Ginger tea can help relieve menstrual cramps.
  • · It has anti-inflammatory properties that can lessen the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • · Can be used to treat flu and colds

· Ginger is contraindicated in people suffering from gallstones as the herb promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder.

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