Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)


Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.

Ginger has an ancient history as a culinary and as a medicinal herb, and has been used in the West for at least 3,000 years.

Ginger was well-known to the Greeks and Romans, who used it extensively. Arabian traders took it to them by way of India and the Red Sea. By the 11th century CE, it was a common trade article from the East to Europe.

Ginger is mentioned by Confucius (551-478 BCE), and in the Koran.

Medieval Europe thought it came from the Garden of Eden.

Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners have relied on ginger for at least 3,000 years for its anti-inflammatory properties, and have used it as a “carrier” herb, one that enables other herbs to be more effective in the body.

Jamaicans and early American settlers made beer from it; and today, natural ginger ales made with fresh ginger are available as a digestive tonic. These should not be confused with most commercial brands of ginger ale as these contain so little ginger that they are nothing more than sweetened soft drinks with no medicinal value.

Key Actions

  • antiemetic/antinausea
  • antispasmodic
  • antiseptic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • antifungal
  • anticlotting agent
  • analgesic
  • antitussive
  • circulatory stimulant
  • carminative
  • expectorant
  • hypotensive
  • increases blood flow to an area (topically)
  • promotes sweating
  • relaxes peripheral blood vessels

Key Components

  • volatile oil (1-3% including borneol and citral – zingiberene has 20-30%)
  • phenols
  • alkaloid
  • mucilage
  • oleoresin (4-7.5% including gingerol, shogaols)