The use of ginger dates back to 500BC in China. A safe and versatile herb, ginger was highly traded by the Greeks and Romans and was among the first spices to find its way to Europe. It was a favorite of Confucius and he claimed never to be without it when he ate.
Traditionally it was used to treat nausea, stomach ache, diarrhea and bleeding but in the 12th century, St. Hildegard claimed ginger had aphrodisiac properties. The shape of ginger also resembles that of the human digestive system and was noted in the “Doctorine of Signatures”.
The active constituents can vary depending on the origin of the plant. The constituent gingerol is useful in the prevention of abnormal blood clotting by inhibiting platelet aggregation. Gingerol also stimulates the death of Lukemia cells.
Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory. It is useful in preventing and treating migraines and headaches while also easing the nausea that may accompany them. It is a good treatment for Crohn’s Disease, again, because of the anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the excessive production of pro-inflammatory Leukotriene B4 that occurs during Crohn’s. Taken in herbal form, ginger helps protect he stomach from the toxic effects of alcohol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Commonly used to help treat motion sickness and vertigo, try taking either 1000mg of the herb at least 30 minutes before travel or by doing an aromatherapy inhalation before and during travel will help ease nausea and dizziness. Ginger essential oil is contraindicated in pregnancy and should not be used for morning sickness. However, the herb can be taken 4 times a day at 250mg each for relief.
While ginger increases or stimulates the appetite, it also increases the body’s Basal Metabolic Rate which facilitates weight loss in people who are obese. It also stimulates the body’s production of energy. Among other digestive system “perks”, ginger cleans the colon, alleviates flatulance and helps with indigestion. It is also a great tonic that helps stimulate, energize and strengthen the body.
One of my favorite blends for muscle aches and to add “heat” to an area is Black Pepper and Ginger in a Peanut oil base. Try 2 drops Ginger and 2 drops Black Pepper oil to 2 Tbs of a carrier oil such as peanut or almond oil.
SAFETY NOTE: There is a noted contraindication to taking the herb with the prescription drug Warafin(a blood thinner). Ginger may potentiate the anticoagulant effects of Warafin and cause bleeding. Avoid Ginger Essential oil while pregnant.