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Article: Ginger | Ginger Medical Uses | Zingiber Officinale

Ginger (Adrak) (Zingiber officinale)

Author: Dr. Veena

Classical Name: Shunthi (as it is dry), Nagar, Vishwabheshaj (useful to treat many health problems). English – Ginger (dry or fresh).

Parts Used: Fresh rhizome (Adrak), dried rhizome (Shunthi).


Ginger is a rich source of volatile oil. Zingiberol, zingiberene, phellandrene, and linalool are the important constituents of the oil. The pungent nature is due to gingerols and shogaols.

Various Pharmacological Activities:

Raw Ginger: Laxative and digestive. It is useful to treat bronchial asthma, cough, inflammation, diarrhea, edema, and urticaria.

Dry Ginger: Laxative, carminative, stomachic, rubefacient, aphrodisiac, and expectorant. Useful to treat fever, liver problems, asthma, hiccoughs, colic, diarrhea, anorexia, piles, and abdominal pain. Extremely useful in treating dyspepsia, flatulence, spasms, and colic. In Unani medicine, it is used to treat nervous diseases and boost memory.

Ginger contains an antihistamine factor.
References: Indian Materia Medica, I, 1954, 1310; Wealth Of India, Vol XI, 1976, CSIR, 102.

Anti Inflammatory:
References: Sharma J.N., Shrivastava K.C., and Gan E.K., Pharmacology 49, 314 (1994); Mascolo N., Jain S.C., and Capasso F., J. Ethnopharmacol. 27, 129 (1989).

Reference: Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Revised New Edition 2002.

Increases Gastro-Intestinal Mobility:
Reference: Yamahara J., Huang Q., Li Y., Xu L., and Fujimura H., Chem. Pharm. Bull. 38, 430 (1990).

References: Sharma M., and Shukla S., J. Res. Indian Med-Yoga and Homoeopath. 12, 127 (1977); Mascolo N., Jain R., Jain S.C., and Capasso F., J. Ethnopharmacol. 27, 129 (1989).

Antiatherosclerotic / Hypolipidaemic:
Reference: Sharma I., Gusain D., and Dixit V.P., Phytotherapy Research 10, 517 (1996).

Dose: Powder 500 mg - 1 g.

Clinical Trial:
A clinical trial of Shunthi was conducted on 111 patients with Grahani Roga (gastrointestinal disorder). The effect of the treatment was observed within a short period. The regulation of bowel habits, improvement in general health including anemia and body weight, and improvement in gastrointestinal function were noted.
Reference: DATABASE ON PLANTS USED IN AYURVEDA – Vol 5 Central Council For Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, Department Of ISM&H, Ministry Of Health & Family Welfare (Govt. Of India). Page No 319.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Chew a small piece of fresh ginger. Volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds, gingerols, and shogaols present in ginger help to promote blood viscosity and circulation.
  • To improve appetite, chew a small piece of fresh ginger with a pinch of salt and lemon juice before a meal.
  • Chinese women who have menstrual cramps drink ginger root tea.
  • Take a powder of dried ginger, add a pinch of salt and lukewarm water. This combination is useful for relieving gasses.
  • Chew a small piece of ginger to relieve nausea.
  • For joint pain, take one teaspoon of dry ginger powder with lukewarm water.
  • To relieve abdominal pain, mix one-fourth dry ginger powder in one cup of milk. Drink this once a day.
  • To relieve sour belching, mix one teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and one-fourth teaspoon of kala namak in one glass of hot water. Drink this twice a day.
  • For dysmenorrhea, boil the powder of dry ginger, jaggery, and ashok bark in three glasses of water until it reduces to half. Drink this twice daily after meals.
  • For coughing, take the dry powder of ginger with honey twice a day.
  • Soak five fresh dates in ghee, add ginger powder and a pinch of saffron, then keep this for about one week. Eat one date once a day to relieve fatigue and low libido.
  • For congestion, boil ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and tulsi leaves (contact author for quantity) in water. Drink this twice a day.

External Use:

  • For diarrhea: Take two spoons of ginger juice and apply it to the umbilical region.
  • For the swelling of joints: Make a paste of ginger, warm it, and then apply it to the affected region.
  • For congestion: Take fresh ginger, cut it into small pieces, and add it to hot water. Put a towel over the head and inhale the steam.

Granthokta Preparations Containing Ginger: Trikatu.

Though I have mentioned the quantity of ingredients in some natural home remedies, it is advisable to take the quantity with the consultation of an Ayurvedic physician.