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HOMESPICES /GINGER

Ginger
Alternate Names: African Ginger, Ardraka, Black Ginger.
Part used:
Root.

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Zingiber Officinale is a common ingredient in the Indian kitchen. It is known as Adrak in many parts of the country. This perennial herb has an underground branching system. The leaves and the rhizomes of the plant have peculiar fragrance when they are cut.

The sun dried Adrak plant has been repeatedly mentioned in the medicinal history of India and China. The Sanskrit name of the plant is Singabera. This plant has been called a maha aushadhi or great medicine in the Vedic Period. Galen a great physician is said to have used this medicinal plant to relieve defective humors in the body. He also used it to relieve patients suffering from paralysis and also on patients who were detected to have phlegmatic imbalances in their body. Other physicians across the world used this medicinal plant as an aphrodisiac, a carminative and also as an anti flatulent.

An in depth study of the plant showed that it contains moisture, protein, fat, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. The mineral and vitamins that the medicinal herb contain are phosphorus, calcium, iron, carotene, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin as well as Vitamin C. The calorie count of the Zingiber Officinale is 67.
The composition of the plant varies with the kind of region, agro climatic, relieving, drying , storage and packaging conditions. It is important to note that the dried cracked and crushed medicinal plant contains viscid oil which has a pungent flavor and whose odor lasts for a very long time.

  • Digestive disorders:This extremely useful herb is used to relieve patients suffering from dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, spasms, colic and other stomach problems. Chewing a piece of ginger regularly can help in relieving problems of excessive secretion of saliva, volatile oil and diastase enzyme. Half a teaspoon of ginger juice mixed with fresh lime juice and honey can be helpful to relieve nausea, vomiting as well as problems of indigestion.
  • Cough and Cold:The herb is used to relieve cough. The juice of the ginger mixed with honey taken 3 to 4 times and day is beneficial for this purpose. Ginger tea is prescribed to be used for relieving fever associated with cold.
  • Respiratory Disorder:Fresh ginger juice with a cup of fenugreek and honey makes a good diaphoretic mixture to relieve sweating and reducing fever in patients suffering from influenza. It is known to act as an expectorant in relieving asthma, cough and tuberculosis.
  • Impotency:The herb is known to be an effective aphrodisiac. Half a teaspoon of its juice with honey and boiled egg taken for a month can tone up the sex organs. It relieve impotency, premature ejaculation, involuntary seminal discharge and also spermatorrhoea.
  • Menstrual Disorders: A piece of ginger with a cup of boiled water must be used to relieve menstrual problems. This decoction can be sweetened with sugar and consumed 3 times daily for relieving painful irregular menstruation.
  • Ache and Pain: This plant is an excellent pain killer. Ointment made of ginger can help in relieving head pains. It can be applied on the gum and near the ear to relieve pain in the gum and ear respectively.
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