Ginger is a warming circulatory stimulant and body-cleansing herb. It is useful in the treatment of many conditions including sinus congestion, sore throats, edema, digestive problems, nausea, arthritis, headaches, and coughs. Ginger is often used to break up phlegm, reduce fever and chills, balance cholesterol, dry up runny noses, ease muscular pain, increase bile secretions, promote sweating, stop diarrhea, ease abdominal bloating, regulate menstrual periods, and soothe morning sickness.
Ginger is an appetite stimulant and is often used in cooking. It has a warm, fresh taste that is peppery and spicy. (Gingerbread gets its distinctive flavor from ground ginger.) Many oriental dishes use pieces of the sliced root. The scent of ginger is uplifting and comforting.
Ginger is known to stimulate kidney activity, which helps remove toxic wastes from the body. Ginger improves liver function by converting cholesterol into bile acids. Like garlic, ginger can help make blood platelets less sticky.
Ginger essential oil is a good remedy to use on bruises and carbuncles due to its antiseptic properties. Ginger essential oil makes an excellent addition to massage oil, especially when treating arthritis and muscle pain as it greatly increases blood flow to the area. For best results, combine with juniper oil and a carrier such as almond or olive oil.
Ginger is a great herbal remedy for motion sickness and works better than any over-the-counter product. Drink ginger tea or chew crystallized pieces before and during trips. Add cinnamon and honey to ginger tea for a delicious drink.
For cramps and menstrual problems, ginger tea may be used in a compress and applied directly to the abdomen. This treatment also helps relieve bloating and gas.
Traditional Chinese medicine has recommended ginger for over 2,500 years to treat abdominal bloating, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and arthritis. The Chinese people use ginger to warm the stomach, dispel chills, and reduce the toxicity of some other herbs.
Ginger is not recommended in the treatment of ulcers but may help prevent them. Ginger is an aromatic bitter that stimulates digestion and helps keep intestinal muscles toned. The use of ginger eases beneficial fiber and toxic waste materials through the digestive tract, lessoning irritation to the intestinal walls.
Ginger is a bushy, perennial plant that grows up to four feet tall. The plant likes rich, moist soil with good drainage. Native to tropical regions, ginger loves heat and humidity. In North Georgia the plant can be grown in containers and moved indoors during winter. To start ginger, plant a fresh root with sprout end up and one eye just above the soil. Protect from high winds and low temperatures.
* High doses of ginger during pregnancy are not recommended. Inform your doctor if using ginger before surgery. Do not use in large amounts if you have gallstones or ulcers. Always dilute ginger essential oil before use and discontinue use immediately if any irritation develops. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.
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