Mahesh is an author. HIs ebook 'The Mystic Yogi' is available on Amazon Kindle. He is a firm believer in Ayurveda and its healing power.
Ginger (scientific name: Zingiber officinale) is an incredible modified stem, which is used as a spice and Ayurvedic medicine for treatment against various diseases since ancient times in India. Known for its multipurpose usage and benefits, it holds an important place as a crop with high medicinal values. According to Charak Samhita and Shushruta Samhita, the ginger herb is very effective for protection against various diseases. Originated from Southeast Asia, its usage spread as a warm delicious spice to other parts of the world through ancient Greek and Roman rulers, as well as traders. Now, it is widely acknowledged as a crop containing vitamins, proteins, minerals, including iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc, and bioactive compounds with high nutritional values and healing properties.
Ginger (family name: Zingiberaceae) has anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, antiviral and analgesic properties that make it the most commonly used spice in the kitchens all over India. It is used to improve digestion, cure cough, and the common cold, prevent nausea, provide relief from joint pain, and for several other health benefits. Dry ginger is rich in anti-oxidants and promotes the digestive fire. It is used as an appetizer for improved digestion and aphrodisiac for various sexual disorders.
Applying ginger paste on the body helps in alleviating foul smell, heaviness, drowsiness, itching, and anorexia. It is a great appetizer and its juice is very beneficial in constipation.
1. Ginger has Anti-Emetic Properties
Grind a few pieces of ginger and onion and take their juice to prevent vomiting and relief from nausea. Similarly, chewing ginger post-surgery can help overcome nausea. It is equally effective for pregnant women and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to get rid of nausea.
2. Provides Relief in Cough and Common Cold
Grind a few pieces of ginger and take its juice with honey. It could also be taken with jaggery and is very effective against dry or wet cough. It could also be boiled with water and sugar to make ginger tea, which is a common practice in India in the winter season.
3. As an Appetizer and for Regulating Alimentary Canal
Regular intake of a few pieces of ginger with salt before eating helps in increasing the appetite. The enzymes in ginger are very helpful in treating gastric problems. It also kills the harmful bacteria present in the alimentary canal and aids in digestion. A mixture of ginger, ajowan caraway, lemon juice and rock salt taken after eating helps in improving digestion. The improved digestive system also helps in reducing diabetes.
4. For Glowing Skin
Boil few pieces of ginger with water and take regularly. It softens the skin and leads to a glow in the skin. Similarly, a mask of ginger with honey and lemon juice applied on the face enhances the skin texture.
5. For Improved Memory and Healthy Heart
Ginger is very effective against various cardiovascular conditions, as it has a bioactive compound gingerol, which is an anticoagulant (a blood thinner). Thus, it reduces cholesterol and maintains blood pressure that keeps the heart healthy. Regular intake of ginger with boiled water improves blood circulation and keeps the brain active and healthy.
A Note of Caution: As ginger has anti-coagulant property, people with hemophilic conditions or other bleeding disorders are advised not to take it without consulting a medical professional.
6. Reduces Muscle Pain
Eating 2-3 small pieces of ginger with salt on a regular basis for 2 weeks helps in alleviating muscle pain. In case of pain in a tooth, a piece of ginger with salt should be placed in the tooth for 2-3 weeks. It will help reduce the pain. Similarly, taking ginger with ghee helps strengthen bones and provides relief from joint pain.
7. Anti-Inflammatory in Nature
Ginger is also anti-inflammatory due to the presence of gingerol. A mixture of sugarcane juice with ginger juice and mint juice in small quantities helps reduce chest and stomach inflammation.
8. Improves Vocal Cord/Sore Throat
Regular intake of ginger ground with green chili in small quantity sharpens larynx for improved speech. Similarly, a tea of ginger with honey and lemon cures the problem of sore throat.
9. Reduces Mouth Odour
Eating ginger also helps in alleviating bad mouth odor by stimulating the enzymes in saliva that break down the substances causing bad odor.
10. Has Anti-Carcinogenic Properties
Ginger is considered to be a better option than chemotherapy, as it contains anti-carcinogenic compounds, including 6-gingerol, 6-shogaol, paradols, and zingerone, which destroy cancer cells and these cells start damaging themselves. It is also beneficial in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
11. Reduces Acidity
Take small pieces of ginger with black salt half an hour before eating. It will kill the acidity-causing pylori bacteria and increase the bile juice for digestion, thus helping in reducing acidity.
12. Improves Menstrual Cycle
Regular intake of 1 tablespoon of ginger boiled with sugar and water helps in regulating the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals causing muscle contractions to help uterus shed its covering, and thus improves menstrual cycle and reduces stomach pain.
13. Cures Stomach Rumbling
Taking ginger or ginger tea helps reduce flatulence and rumbling sounds in the stomach.
14. Strengthens Liver and Immunity
Regular intake of fresh ginger juice with lemon before going to bed is very effective as a detoxifying agent by cleaning the waste and toxic elements in the liver, colon and other organs of our body. It strengthens the liver by protecting the liver from free radical damage and fat accumulation, boosts the body’s metabolism, and improves immunity.
Significance of Ginger in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, the human body is composed of five elements, including space, air, fire, water, and earth, and there are three doshas (biological energies) - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha - in human mind and body. Vata represents space and air and it is the energy of movement and force in the body. It relates to body functions, such as breathing, talking, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, menstruation, food assimilation, bowel movement, and urination. Pitta represents fire and water and is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body. It relates to mental feelings, such as joy and anger, and its imbalance causes inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever. Similarly, Kapha represents earth and water and is the energy of formation and lubrication in the body. It relates to body fluids, such as mucous and lubricants, and its imbalance causes obesity, sinus, and congestion. Ancient sages like Acharya Sushruta and Maharishi Charak from India knew the great importance of ginger as a miraculous herb for pacifying Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas in the human body and mentioned it to be Vishwabhesaja (the universal medicine) and Mahaoushadhi (the great medicine). Hence, incorporating ginger extracts or ginger tea in our daily routine can have a positive effect on our overall health.
- Ayurveda 101: The Three Doshas- Vata, Pitta, Kapha
- Ginger: Health benefits and dietary tips
- 8 Incredible Health Benefits of Ginger | The Chopra Center
- 11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
- The health benefits of ginger | BBC Good Food
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Mahesh Chandra Gaur
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on February 11, 2020:
Hi Mr. Soni, I am pleased that my article is of some value to you. Thanks for your visit and comment on my hub.
Rajinder Soni from New Delhi on February 10, 2020:
I can eat raw ginger and I do it when I have some stomach issue or when I have sore throat. It is very spicy and hits right on the diseased area and can solve the issue in a few minutes. Otherwise at our home we put a lot of ginger in our recipes and it helps us keep our bloating or gas problem at bay. Thank you so much for sharing this unique article and I will keep on following your articles as I am your fan now.
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on January 21, 2020:
Hi Mr. Muralikrishna, yes ginger is very effective in cough and cold. I also keep chewing it with honey in winter whenever I feel itching on my throat. Thanks for your valuable comments.
Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on January 21, 2020:
Hi Mahesh, Your detailed article on ginger is very useful for the common man. I too like ginger remedies listed by you. In fact, while going on tour to hill stations, I suggest carry pieces of ginger rhizome. If you feel suffocation, due to cold, chew and swallow ginger, your body gets warmed up and blood circulation becomes normal and you overcome suffocation.
If there is itching throat my children love to add dry ginger powder to normal tea and drink. Alternatively, it can be had with honey also. you can buy ginger powder online. https://www.amazon.com/Simply-Organic-Certified-1-...
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on January 21, 2020:
Hi Awl Golf, yes, I also prefer ginger tea, as it is good for health and soothes my taste buds. Thanks for your time and comments.
Awl Golf on January 20, 2020:
Ginger has so many benefits, I don't even know. Ginger is very useful in everyday life. I use ginger in my tea, in the food for a good taste and we also use ginger as a salad.
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on January 20, 2020:
Hi NIks! Yes, ginger is rich in antioxidants and boosts the immunity. Thanks for sparing your time and commenting.
Niks from India on January 20, 2020:
I already know how important ginger is. But your article put a light on ginger's significance which educated me. I loved the photos of ginger too. Ginger is indeed a very powerful food item in boosting the immune system. Waiting for more articles filled with Ayurvedic knowledge.
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on January 19, 2020:
Thanks, Himanshu for visiting my page and your comments.
Mahesh Chandra Gaur (author) on January 19, 2020:
Yes Prantika, I also like ginger tea very much. It's my constant companion in winter. Thanks for your time and comment.
Himanshu Bisht on January 15, 2020:
Nice informative content. Ayurveda is surely a thing to look for.
Good job Mahesh to bring light on the benefits of Ginger.
Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on January 15, 2020:
Ginger is an important ingredient of my diet and I like it very much. Ginger tea or ginger slices help me a lot when I catch cold. We use ginger either as slices or as pastes in many dishes. Drinking ginger tea while watching the rain boosts my mood. After a long day, a cup of ginger tea refreshes me. It tastes good and has medicinal values and therefore better to include it in the diet in whichever form it is preferred.