Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)-its Therapeutic Uses

Ginger is being investigated for reducing the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Studies in humans have shown that ginger relieves osteoarthritis pain


Author:Dr Ranjeet Singh


Ginger is native to Asia, where it has been used as spice for at least for 4,400 years. Over the centuries, it has become one of the world’s most popular culinary flavoring.s It’s intensely clean, slightly sweet zesty heat is an essential element in everything from Indian curries and Thai stir-fries to gingerbread and ginger ale.

Ginger’s genus name, Zingiber, is derived from the Greek zingiberis, which in turn come from sanskrit word sringabera, meaning “horn shaped.”The reference is to the knobby shape of the plant’s roots or more accurately rhizomes. Its tuberous underground stem are the part of Ginger used in cooking and herbal medicine, in which ginger is prized as an aid to digestion and a remedy for stomach upset, diarrhoea and nausea.

Therapeutic uses of Ginger

  1. Motion sickness
  2. Morning sickness
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Inflammation
  5. Cough and cold

In herbal medicine, Ginger is prized for treating indigestion and nausea. Scientific study has strongly confirmed these traditional use. Many studies in humans have shown that ginger eases nausea and reduces vomiting related to pregnancy, motion sickness and chemotherapy.

A National Cancer institute study found that if patients too 0.5 to 1 gram of ginger for 3 days before and after chemotherapy along with anti- nausea medications, nausea was reduced by additional 40%. The Way ginger relieves nausea is not completely understood, but current thinking is that compound in ginger bind to receptors in gastrointestinal tract that then act to reduce sensation of nausea and to accelerate digestion, thus reducing the time food sits in the stomach.

Ginger is being investigated for reducing the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Studies in humans have shown that ginger relieves osteoarthritis pain in the knees better than placebo but not as well as Ibubrufen.

Sip a cup of hot ginger tea on a cold winter night and you will appreciate the warming properties of ginger as it improves circulation by gently opening blood vessels in the feet and hands. Ginger tea not only warms your toes but also my keep you from getting sick. Compounds in ginger have been shown to destroy many of the viruses that cause the common cold.

How to use ginger?

Fresh ginger tea-

Slice 1 inch of fresh ginger rhizome into small pieces. Simmer in two cups water on low heat for 15 minutes. Strain it, and drink 1 to 3 cups per day for coughs and colds and to enhance circulation.

Dried ginger tea-

Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Ginger powder and steep for 10 minutes. Pour liquid tea off and discard powder. Drink one cup after meals for gas/ bloating or to ease nausea.


Take 250 to 500 milligram 2 to 3 times per day.


Concentrated extracts are typically used for osteoarthritis, use as directed by the physician only.


Adding Ginger to the diet that is safe for young and old. Ginger may cause mild heartburn in some. Pregnant women should not take more than one gram of dried ginger per day. Do not combine high dose of ginger with anticoagulant drugs without medical supervision.

(Reference: National geographic, 36 healing herbs)