Person holding mug with sliced ginger

Ginger Rhizome – The Universal Medicine

Essential Facts about Ginger Rhizome

Names

  • Botanical: Zingiber officinale
  • Sanskrit: Vishwabheshaj or vishwaaushadha, meaning Universal Medicine
  • Hindi: Adarakh (fresh) and Sounth (dry)
  • English: Ginger

Energetics

  • Rasa (taste): Pungent, sweet
  • Guna (qualities): Heavy, dry, piercing
  • Virya (action): Warming
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Sweet
  • Dosha (constitution): Pacifies kapha

Habitat

Ginger is native to Asia, but it is cultivated throughout world in tropical regions.

Plant Description

Ginger is a perennial plant that grows up to 3 to 4 feet. It produces pink and white flowers in a cluster. Ginger rhizomes vary in color and can be yellow, white and red with light brownish skin.

Parts Used 

The rhizome, or horizontal, underground stem.

Nutrients

Ginger contains gingerols, a-curumene, citral, D- camphene, geraniol, zingiberenes, and zingerone among other compounds.

Medicinal Uses of Ginger

Ginger rhizome is a very common ingredient used in Ayurvedic formulas. Ginger rhizome’s health benefits are wide-ranging, making it a useful supplement for many people. The following are some of the more well-known ginger rhizome health benefits.

Supports Agni and Digestion

Above all, ginger is known for its ability to support agni or digestion, and ease digestive ailments. Specifically, ginger stimulates appetite and eases bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. One digestive problem that ginger is especially effective at treating is nausea. Specifically, studies indicate it’s particularly good at reducing pregnancy-related nausea and nausea resulting from chemotherapy and surgery.

In Ayurveda, supporting agni results in numerous benefits, including a healthier immune system.

Reduces Inflammation and Pain

Numerous studies have shown ginger rhizome has natural anti-inflammatory properties which can help treat a range of conditions. In some studies, ginger rhizome has been shown to reduce soreness resulting from intense exercise. Others have indicated it can reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.

According to studies, people who take ginger rhizome to treat osteoarthritis typically need less medication than those who do not.

Guards Against Heart Disease

According to one study, participants who took ginger on a regular basis for a period of 12 weeks experienced an average drop of 28% in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio. They also experienced an average reduction of 23% in oxidized lipoproteins. Because these are both risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, researchers believe this indicates ginger rhizome helps guard against it.

Additional Benefits

These are by no means all of ginger rhizome’s health benefits. There’s also evidence to indicate it reduces cholesterol levels, treats menstrual pain, and may even aid in the prevention of some cancers.

Usage and Dosage of Ginger Rhizome

An easy way to enjoy ginger rhizome’s health benefits is to start using it in your cooking. Ginger enhances the flavor of most dishes. You can also consider consuming Chyawanprash daily. Chyawaprash contains ginger as well as a variety of other botanicals and spices that support health and reduce disease.

 

Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)