There are many plants that are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. These plants are sometimes more well-known for their use in foods, even though their medicinal value is enormous. The plant that we are going to talk about today is well-known and used all over the world.
Ginger, although it is probably used in food more in Asia than in the West, is one of those famous plants that fit into the above category. The scientific name for ginger is “Zingiber officinale”, and as an essential oil it is usually derived through steam distillation. As a medicinal and culinary herb it is the root portion of the plant that is used. It is an extremely versatile herb as it can be used in so many different forms, and for so many different purposes. Since the beginning of written history and before, ginger has been well loved by the ancient Arabs, and then the Chinese, Indians, and Greeks. It is now used in every single country in the world!
The next time you get a stiff neck from sleeping incorrectly or from sitting at your desk for too long of a period of time, try ginger to relieve your symptoms. You can use any form of it you like and still get great results. It can be used as a mashed pulp, an essential oil, or just by squeezing the juice out of the root and applying it directly over the painful area. Shortly after applying it, you will feel a hot, almost burning sensation, which will tell you that the ginger is doing its job. This is because of its strong circulation enhancing properties. Thus, in the same light, if you suffer from circulatory problems you can apply ginger topically to any area that needs it. That is one reason why it is so effective for varicose veins as well.
Ginger is also great for arthritis and rheumatic pain. Any muscle pain that you might have can be easily dealt with using ginger. The essential oil of ginger can also be added to practically any cream and used directly over painful muscles. Ginger is even great for sprained or injured parts, and can be used directly on bruises as well, for quick relief.
Ginger is probably most well-known for its anti-nausea properties. If you ever suffer from an upset stomach, or the feeling of nausea, you need to look no further for a cure. Pregnant women who are suffering from nausea may also use ginger, but caution should be used in this case, and always remember less is more. Ginger is one of the best known and loved remedies for all kinds of digestive upsets. It is good for gassiness, colic pain, and more! Ginger has been used for this purpose for centuries, and is still one of the best, if not THE best solution. That was how ginger ale got started. Now ginger ale is one of the best selling soft drinks, and practically every company has a version of it. Originally though, ginger ale, and another version, called ginger beer (although it isn’t alcoholic) were made by hand, and used at home or sold in backwoods stores.
If you need to detoxify your body, ginger is one of the best ways to do it. It is great for cleansing the liver too. It is said to be great for the memory.
If you have a sore throat, ginger is just what the doctor ordered. There is a wonderful little ginger remedy that is called crystallized ginger. It is a kind of method of taking thin slices of ginger and covering and drying them with sugar crystals. They taste good, and are good for you. Ginger has known anti-bacterial, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory properties, which is one of the reasons that it is so great for problems like tonsillitis, sore throats and coughs. Because it is so warming, it can also be used for colds and the flu.
Along the same lines, ginger is great for any kind of congestion in the body. Thus, for chest congestion, ginger is a great cure. You can take it internally, or use it externally for quick relief. Those who suffer from bronchitis, especially chronic bronchitis will do well to try ginger, instead of those chemical drugs that are out there in the market today.
Some people even claim that ginger is an aphrodisiac, and so, if you are lacking in the “amore” department, try ginger, you have nothing to lose, and you just might be really “excited” over the results!
Ginger, although it is generally thought of as being native to Asian countries, is now readily available everywhere in the world. Although you will find a variety of species, with some being hotter or milder than others, they are all medicinally great for your health. So, you can choose whichever one you prefer.
The most concentrated form of ginger is definitely the essential oil, but if you can’t find it available in your area, there are many other forms to use. Although ginger is used in a dried, powered form for some cooking purposes, the fresh form of ginger is the best form for medicinal purposes. So, go to your supermarket and get some ginger! Use it in your foods, and use it for whatever ails you too!