Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae plant family, and is closely related to Turmeric, Cardamom, and Galangal. It can grow up to 3 feet high and produce 2-5 individual “sections” which can be harvested any time of year. It is the roots of the plant which is commonly used as a spice.
This plant has a very long history of use in various forms both as traditional, and alternative medicine alike, in fact, it is one of the oldest medicinal foods.
Ancient Chinese and Indian healers have made ginger a part of their healing toolkit for thousands of years. Ayurvedic texts credit it as a “Universal great medicine”, old Indian proverbs say that “everything good is found in Ginger” and traditional Chinese medicine holds that it “restores devastated yang energy”.
This isn’t just ancient superstition though. Modern Western Science has confirmed its usefulness for treating a wide variety of conditions.
Ginger can treat Nausea, especially morning sickness. It may also relieve vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It has been known to reduce muscle pain and soreness after a great deal of exercise.
It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects thanks to a compound called gingerols. 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and swelling in the body.
Ginger is very supportive to the digestion process, and has been valued for its digestive aid since the middle ages. It calms overactive stomach contractions, allowing stomach contents to enter the intestines much smoother. It also reduces High Blood Pressure! It also may help reduce migraine headaches, and even may activate a tumor suppressor gene which lowers risk of cancer. Scientific testing of this is still in the process. You can even add ginger to baths and foot soaks, which helps the skin clear and free of blemishes. It may also help fight skin discolouration and aging, both when consumed and topically applied.
Finally, Ginger may help your intimate life. A famous Arab physician Avicenna wrote that ginger “increases lustful yearnings”. This plant actually does appear in the Kama Sutra, and modern studies have confirmed that it increases testosterone.