Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, or underground stem, is widely used as a spice and traditional medicine. It has a pungent aroma and a spicy, slightly sweet flavor. Ginger has been cultivated for thousands of years and is native to Southeast Asia.

How to Use Ginger

Ginger is valued for its culinary versatility and potential health-promoting properties. It can be enjoyed in various forms as part of a balanced diet including; fresh, dried, powdered, as a tea, juice or oil. It is a versatile ingredient in cooking, adding depth of flavor to both savory and sweet dishes, including curries, stir-fries, soups, teas, and baked goods.

In addition to its culinary uses, ginger has a long history of medicinal use. Its use in traditional medicine continues to be explored for its potential therapeutic effects.

Ginger Herbal Tea

Ginger root can be made into herbal tea, known in the Philippines as salabat. It’s used as a home remedy for indigestion, nausea, and to ward off colds, flu, and sore throats. Drink this tea to ease gut inflammation and boost your liver health.

Active Ingredients in Ginger Root

Ginger contains bioactive compounds such as gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone, which are believed to contribute to its potential health benefits.

Health Benefits of Ginger Root

Ginger has been well researched and many of its traditional uses confirmed. It is a warming remedy, ideal for boosting the circulation, lowering high blood pressure and keeping the blood thin in higher doses. Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy.

Ginger is also a well known remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps.

Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.

Ginger as a Stimulating Herb

This stimulating herb is also warming to the system. In her book ’10 Essential Herbs’ author Lalitha Thomas describes the properties:

The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes (quite similar to the chemical action of turpentine) and an oleo-resin called ginger oil. These two, and other active ingredients in ginger, provide antiseptic, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating, and mild constipation relief qualities along with a potent perspiration-inducing action that is quite effective in cleansing the system of toxins.

Below we will explore these health benefits in more detail:

Ginger as a Digestive Aid

Ginger root is a medicinal herb used primarily for the treatment of dyspepsia (discomfort after eating). This includes the symptoms of; bloating, heartburn, flatulence, indigestion and stomach cramps. It is also considered helpful as a digestive, due to its antispasmodic characteristics.

Ginger for Nausea Relief

Ginger is a well-known remedy as a preventative for nausea and vomiting, particularly during motion sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy or surgery. It may help reduce nausea by acting on the digestive system and central nervous system, stimulating saliva production, promoting gastric motility and reducing inflammation in the digestive tra

Results of laboratory studies as well as from small studies conducted among seasick sailors or ship passengers, found that ginger generally has more effectiveness for relieving motion sickness than placebo (or sugar pills). Several comparisons between ginger and prescription or nonprescription drugs have been conducted for relieving the nausea of pregnancy, but results are inconclusive.

In some of the studies, similar effectiveness was seen between ginger and the prescription drug, while other studies found less or no effectiveness for ginger as compared to the drugs. In general, no adverse effects were noted from using ginger, for either the mother or the developing baby.

Ginger has also been used in folk medicine to treat minor gastrointestinal problems such as gas or stomach cramps. Recent studies may confirm that ginger directly affects the gastrointestinal tract, helping to improve muscle tone and to prevent abnormally rapid and strong intestinal contractions.

Ginger as an Anti-inflammatory for Pain Relief

Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation and pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle soreness, fevers, headaches, toothaches and menstrual cramps.

Ginger for Arthritis and Rheumatism

A few small studies that have been conducted in humans have shown some promise for supplemental ginger in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and tendonitis. If a person has exercised too much or suffers from arthritis or rheumatism, ginger has been known to ease inflammation of the joints and muscle tissue due to its tremendous circulation-increasing qualities.

Ginger for Immune Support

Ginger is rich in antioxidants and may help support the immune system by combating oxidative stress and inflammation. It is anti-viral and is well known for speeding up recovery from coughs, colds and sore throats especially when taken as warm ginger tea with honey and lemon.

Ginger for Heart Health

Research suggests that ginger may have benefits for heart health, including lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels and improving circulation. Studies demonstrate that ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver. It may also aid in preventing internal blood clots.

Anti-Cancer Effects of Ginger

Ginger root was recently the subject of a startling new research report presented at The American Association for Cancer Research conference in Phoenix. In the study, ginger actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that the herb was able to fuel apoptosis or the death of the cancer cells.

Ginger has been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer. But it had not been shown to halt the progression of cancer until now. However, more research is required to confirm this.

Ginger to Improve Complexion

Due to its tremendous circulation-increasing qualities, ginger is thought to improve the complexion.

Ginger for Anxiety

Ginger can be used to reduce nervousness. With its anti-inflammatory, gastrointestinal-soothing and anti-emetic properties, it may help alleviate nervousness and anxiety. Ginger’s ability to reduce inflammation, calm the stomach, relieve nausea, and potentially modulate the body’s stress response can contribute to a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Ginger for Diabetes

Ginger shows potential benefits for individuals with diabetes, including improved blood sugar regulation, anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant activity, digestive support, and cardiovascular health.

However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and optimal use in diabetes management. It should be used as part of a comprehensive approach and under the guidance of a healthcare provider, especially for individuals using diabetes medications.

Where to Buy Ginger

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Ginger Root Herb Notes / Side Effects

Avoid taking ginger in acute inflammatory conditions. Although there is some evidence that ginger may actually be helpful in gastritis and peptic ulceration, care is needed in these conditions as any spice may exacerbate the problem.

Avoid therapeutic doses of ginger if taking anti-coagulant therapy such as warfarin and seek advice if taking medication for heart problems. High blood pressure should always be monitored by a healthcare professional. Do not use if suffering from Gall stones.

Latin Name

Zingiber officinale

Common Names

Black ginger, Canton ginger, Cochin ginger, Common ginger, Garden ginger, Gingembre, Imber, Jamaican ginger


Anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-viral, carminative, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, diaphoretic, digestive, lymph-cleansing, mild laxative, perspiration-inducing, warming.

Indicated for

Arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, lowers blood cholesterol and blood-pressure, helps prevent internal blood clots, coughs and bronchitis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, improves the complexion, tendonitis, nausea, wind, colic and irritable bowel, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, anxiety, toothache, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion, gastrointestinal problems such as gas or stomach cramps, helps to combat skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *