When it comes to ginger, you can call it an entire medicinal chest of Ayurveda because of the range of healing purposes it can be used for. Known as ardrakam or shuntha in Sanskrit, ginger is an abundance of healing properties.
Our grandmothers were not wrong when they recommended a cup of ginger tea or consuming fresh ginger extract for various conditions like headaches, upset stomach, joint pain and more. Well, they were not wrong in showing this much faith in the wonder herb called Ginger. Known as Zingiber Officinale, this herb is native to the Indian and Chinese region. It is often referred to as a root but ginger is actually the stem that grows underground.
Ginger is known to be full of phytonutrients called gingerols and shogaols which are the bioactive compounds providing innumerous health benefits to the ginger. Studies have shown that these bioactive compounds have anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial for many conditions like cold, flu, sore throat, constipation and more!
Medicinal Benefits of Ginger
- Helps in Relieving Nausea and Vomiting
We all have experienced nausea at some point of time and might have taken an over-the-counter medicine. But did you know that since sixteenth-century ginger is being used by the sailors to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by seasickness?
Since thousands of years, ginger has been used as a food and medicine in Indian, Arabic and Asian cultures. The spice trade between Asian and European countries gave ginger the well-deserved recognition in Europe as well. In words of a sixteenth-century doctor, ‘Ginger does well for a bad stomach.’
To counter motion sickness, take one-fourth teaspoon of dried ginger 30 to 60 minutes before travelling or you can make a zesty ginger tea to fight nausea. Simply, follow the steps:
- Boil two cups of water in a saucepan and add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger with one teaspoon of fresh peppermint (2 tsp of dried peppermint if it is not available in the fresh form).
- Bring everything to boil before turning the heat off.
- Strain the herbs and drink the concoction to fight nausea.
- Manage Pain Effectively
Ginger, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, is a well-known antidote for conditions like arthritis, headache and menstrual cramps. It is known to reduce pain and inflammation in the body by building anti-inflammation agents.
- Aids in Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients
There is a sutra (verse) in Ayurveda which dictates that everyone should consume fresh ginger before lunch and dinner as it stokes the digestive fire by evoking the taste buds and getting the digestive juices going, thus aiding digestion. Ginger helps in cleaning the microcirculatory channels increasing the absorption and assimilation of nutrients by the body. It also prevents gas and cramps and settles an upset stomach.
You can chop or grate a few pieces of ginger, add a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon and consume it before lunch and dinner to improve digestion and your gut health.
- Fights Infections like Cold & Flu
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties make it the best remedy for a cold or flu as well. It is known to inhibit rhinovirus that causes these conditions. You can try ginger-cardamom tea by adding two parts of ginger, three parts of cinnamon and one part of cardamom to the tea.
Another well-known ginger tea recipe to fight cold and flu is the famous ayurvedic kadha that you can make at home. Rich with the benefits being provided by the mix of ingredients like clove, cardamom, honey and more, this kadha will not only help you fight cold and flu but will also enhance your immunity to fight these infections in future. Find our quick homemade kadha recipe here.
- Helps You Regain Lost Appetite
Sometimes, you simply lose your appetite because of some reason or other. It could be because you are feeling overly nauseous or you have been on some kind of medication for a long time. Prolonged cold and flu can also make you lose sensitivity in your taste buds and thus, your appetite. Well, worry not as we have a simple solution to this problem. Grate or chop a few pieces of ginger, add a pinch of black salt to it and chew it right away. Let the extracts of ginger flow back to your digestive stream and bring back your love of food!
- Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Ginger in its dry form, also known as saunth in Hindi, can do wonders when it comes to relieving pain caused by the menstrual cramps. Just add one-fourth teaspoon to your tea and relieve yourself of the menstrual pain.
- Combats Respiratory Diseases
Because of the presence of the bioactive compounds called gingerols, ginger is known to fight bacteria and restrict their growth in your body. Ginger can help in fighting conditions like chronic cough and bronchitis as well. Its expectorant nature helps in clearing the mucus that might have built up in your respiratory tract. The easiest way to use ginger to combat respiratory diseases is to take a warm gingery bath. Add one-fourth tablespoon of dried ginger and one-fourth tablespoon of baking soda to your bathtub ready for a warm soak. Stay in for the lukewarm gingery water for about 10-15 minutes to inhale and absorb the benefits of this herb. This quick soak will help you open your lungs, improve circulation and provide warmth.
The Bottom Line
Ginger, altogether, is a multi-usage remedial herb which helps relieve a lot of conditions. Explore more ways to use ginger in your daily life with these quick ginger tea recipes.