The Natural Life Center
Ginger – Zingiberis Officinalis
The chill of the holiday season is often balanced by the warmth and spice of ginger (Zingiberis officinalis). Native to Asia and grown throughout the tropics, ginger is a very versatile plant with many medicinal and therapeutic uses. You may think of ginger in gingerbread cookies this time of year or in your favorite stir-fry dish. The part of the plant used for herbal or culinary preparations is the rhizome, which can be used either fresh or dried and is also used to make essential oil.
Ginger is a delightfully warm and spicy herb that helps with digestive issues, nausea, poor circulation, muscle and joint pain, cramps, lung complaints, colds, flu and sore throats. As a culinary herb, it enhances the flavor of foods such as gingerbread and pumpkin pie. When cooked with meat, as in curries or soups, ginger aids digestion.
Ginger’s analgesic, anti-inflammatory and circulatory stimulant properties are very helpful in relieving joint and muscle pain. I frequently use the essential oil of ginger in many of my muscle ache and arthritis formulas. My animals and I find ginger to be very useful for these conditions. Its warming properties can also be helpful with cold hands and feet. The next time you are feeling chilled, place a few slices of fresh ginger in your bath or try soaking your feet in some warm ginger tea.
Ginger has a great reputation for helping with nausea and can be used for morning sickness, post-operative nausea and motion sickness. Ginger can be therapeutic for you and your animals if you travel a lot during the holiday season. If you or your pet suffer from motion sickness, try smelling some ginger essential oil or drinking some ginger tea before setting off on your adventure.
It is the season to be jolly but it is also cold and flu season. If you feel you are coming down with a cold or the flu, take advantage of ginger’s therapeutic properties and sit down with some ginger tea to sip, rest your feet in a warm bath of ginger tea, or add some fresh ginger to your favorite soup and get some rest. Wishing you all a healthy and joyful holiday season!
This is general information regarding ginger and essential ginger oil. We encourage you to learn more about ginger through research and see how it can benefit your life. If any condition persists please see a health care professional. Thanks!
Frances Fitzgerald Cleveland is a guest contributor and a professional herbalist and aroma therapist. Her company is FrogWorks, Inc. – Natural Healing with Plants & Essential Oils for You & Your Animals. Visit her website at http://www.ffrogworks.com.