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Ginger is a perennial plant which grows to a height of about four feet. It was introduced into Greece and Europe from Asia by way of Arabia. The commercial ginger was discovered in China by Marco Polo, but had its origins in Malabar and parts of India. From Europe, through Spanish domination, the plant arrived in the West Indies where it was quickly cultivated. The East and West Indies, Africa and China are the chief sources of Ginger. The ginger grown in Jamaica is considered to be superior in quality.
The benefits of ginger are found primarily in its volatile oil. The chief constituents of the oil an aromatic stimulant and a pungent aromatic.
Like other aromatic herbs, ginger is carminative, stimulant, anodyne and silagogue. The Arabian and Greek physicians used it as a condiment, carminative, stimulant, aphrodisiac and stomachic. Its traditional uses (mostly as a tea) have been for indigestion, stomachache, malaria and fevers. Non-medicinally, it has been widely used for flavoring of beverages (ginger ale and ginger beer), as a condiment for candies, pastries and cakes and has been candied and preserved in syrups.
Ginger is an excellent remedy for digestive disturbances. It is highly prized for this purpose in the orient where after-dinner "ginger sweets" are used in the same fashion as our after-dinner "mints." Research of ginger root's ability to ward off motion sickness has resulted in its being marketed in certain preparations as a natural over-the-counter product for which legal claims for relieving motion sickness can be made. Ginger capsules have proven to be just as effective as the drugs commonly prescribed for motion sickness. Ginger will help to alleviate nausea, flu and vomiting, intestinal gas and morning sickness. It is one of the best digestive herbs there is, however, it should be avoided by persons with bowel inflammations such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or diverticulitis.
Like capsicum, ginger will improve circulation (especially in the abdominal area) and promote perspiration. Drinking warm ginger tea and soaking in a hot bath with some ginger sprinkles in a hot bath will help rid the body of colds, flu and other acute ailments.
The juice of fresh ginger is extremely effective in the treatment of burns. Simply apply a piece of cotton soaked in the juice to the burn and hold it in place. It is likely that this same treatment would be helpful for other minor injuries as well.
Many other uses could be cited. In Venezuela a paste made from pounded roots has been applied to the abdomen to relieve menstrual cramps and stimulate the flow. In Costa Rica a ginger decoction is used to relieve sore throats and asthma. It is prepared with honey and used for bronchitis, coughs and fevers. In Argentina ginger tea is used for infected eyes.
Ginger (100 capsules)