Ginger is one of those truly powerful herbs with powerful health benefits. We love using it in our teas and tisanes to boost their health effects.
A member from the Zingiberaceae family which also contains turmeric and cardamom, ginger is a tropical, aromatic, perennial herb that is widely cultivated in many tropical countries. The part used is its fleshy rhizome, often mistakenly referred to as a root. One of the top twelve spices most consumed in the United States, the main producers of ginger are India, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Thailand.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda (the traditional system of healing in India), and is believed to affect lung, spleen, heart, and stomach meridians. Traditional uses include treating diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Fresh ginger is valued as a diaphoretic and aids in expelling toxins.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and strengthens the immune system. Ginger is well known for treating nausea and motion sickness and can reduce bloating by increasing absorption of food. It can reduce muscle pain and soreness, is very effective at reducing menstrual pain, and helps with osteoarthritis. There is also some evidence that ginger may improve brain function and protect against Alzheimers’s disease and help prevent cancer.
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