Herb of the Month December – Ginger

Ginger – Zingiber Officinale– a warming, stimulating and pungent herb – just what we need to off-set the cold and damp of winter.   Good to add to soups, stews and casseroles.

A slice or two of fresh ginger in hot water has a warming affect, helpful to take at the onset of a cold, it induces sweating and helps bring down a fever (this is known as a diaphoretic action).

Increases circulation, creating a feeling of warmth throughout the body.  High doses can have potential blood thinning qualities.

Helps to alleviate nausea.  Good for the type of indigestion also known as dyspepsia. It is the kind of indigestion that leads to a feeling of fullness after eating.  This can happen when we eat too much, too quickly or when there are low levels of stomach acid. In this kind of situation food will not be digested well and will often then cause problems further down the digestive tract, such as colicky pains and flatulence.

Helps to clear phlegm in productive colds and coughs.  Though not the best choice a dry and irritating cough.

Helps to relieve menstrual cramps, particularly when added to chamomile tea.

A couple of drops of ginger essential oil added to an egg cup full of almond oil and then rubbed on tense cold muscles will quickly warm them up and ease spasmodic pain.

Dosage around 1 to 5 grs per day.

Caution – especially with high doses:

If suffering from heartburn or peptic ulceration or gallstone problems.

When taking Wafarin and other blood thinning drugs,

If pregnant or breastfeeding, limit intake to less than 2gms a day.