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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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(Zingiberis officinalis)

The Rhizome, or root, of this herb is what is used both for culinary reasons and for medicinal purposes.

The properties of this herb include:

Aromatic - These are herbs which have a fragrant aroma and a palatable pungent taste.

Carminative - These are herbs containing volatile oils which help rid the body of gas.

Diaphoretic - These are herbs that increase perspiration.

Stimulant - These are herbs which serve as natural agents in helping the overall function of the body, therefore increasing energy.

The use of the root of this herb affects the joints, muscles, intestines, stomach and general circulation of the body. It is usually taken in the form of an infusion, a decoction, a tincture, a syrup, and powdered capsules.

Ginger is good for bringing heat into the system and helps to stimulate digestion. The tincture, as well as the candied ginger is good for taking for motion and travelling sickness.

When used in laxative formulations, it helps to prevent griping. Ginger is also an aid for treating gas, colds & flu and bronchitis.

Other indicated uses of this herb internally when taken as a n infusion, tincture or powdered capsule would be coughs, cramps, colon spasms, headaches, general nausea, & sinus congestion.

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Ginger, "Zingiber officinale", is true ginger. It is a tender herb that is best grown in pots in our country. Leaf stalks grow up to 2 feet tall, and and grow from thick rhizomes. The leaves are slim, only about an inch or so wide and are about 1/2 foot long and are shiny and bright green in color. The leaves emit a gingery fragrance when crushed. Even though potted ginger plants rarely bloom, flowers grow from spikes on little stalks.

To grow Ginger officinalis yourself, plant in a sunny window indoors, or in partial shade outdoors. Ginger likes very rich, moist soil and likes to be watered and fertilized often. You can plant ginger by starting with a piece of the fresh rhizome from the grocery store. (Be sure it has an "eye" on it - kind of like a potato). Bury it half way in a small pot with fresh, clean potting soil and keep around 70 to 80 degrees until sprouting occurs. Transplant to a larger pot as needed. Even if it is a house plant, it is best to set it outside during the summer months. In the fall, you can harvest the root or bring it indoors. If you bring it indoors, do not water it while it goes dormant through the winter.

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Ginger Bath

1 pound grated ginger
1/2 gallon water

Heat but do not boil the above for approx. 10 minutes. Strain and add to a hot bath.

This bath is used to help promote circulation. In oriental medicine, ginger baths have traditionally been used to treat arthritis, bursitis, and gout.

*Do not use if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions without checking with your doctor of naturopathy first.

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Ginger Marinating Sauce

(For Good Taste! :->)

1 can lemon lime soda
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Marinate your dish in this sauce overnight before cooking!

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Ginger Compress

A ginger compress can be effectively used to relieve pain, improve circulation, and combat inflammation.

2 quarts of water(very hot - not boiled)
5 ounces fresh grated gingerroot.

Make a tea infusion by steeping the grated root in the water. Strain the tea through a cheesecloth strainer. Squeeze any remaining juice out of cheesecloth by twisting the cloth carefully. Dip a cloth into the strained tea and place it over the part of your body you are treating. Cover with a clean, dry towl. Replace when cold, usually every 3 to 5 minutes for 10 to 30 minutes. You can generally stop using the compresses when the skin becomes uniformly flushed, or if a sensation or feelings of relieve are noticeable..

*Once again, I feel the need to state that this data is for informational purposes only, and not meant to treat specific ailments. Always check with your doctor of naturopathy befoer trying to treat an unknown ailment or if you have any questions.

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Ginger Cookie Sticks Recipe

2 cups flour
2 tbspn baking powder
2 tspn allspice
1 stick margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tbspn brewed coffee

Stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In separate bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the eggs, coffee, ginger, & molasses and beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture and stir until well blended. Spray your hands with cooking spray and roll into sticks. Place 2" apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.

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Ginger Liniment

A liniment is a medicated herb liquid, used for soothing strained and aching muscles, as well as sprained and inflamed areas. Cayenne, myrrh, and goldenseal are also herbs commonly used in making liniments.

1/2 whole ginger root, sliced thinly 1 quart of apple cider vinegar

Put the root and the cider together in a tight sealing glass jar and let sit for 7 days (shaking every day). Strain and discard the root and bottle the liniment.

To treat aching muscles or sprains, rub the liniment on the affected areas with your hands, or pat into area with a clean soft cloth or cotton ball.

Just a note: ginger should not just be thought of as a condiment! It has very valuable therapeutic action.

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According to Michael T. Murray, quoted from the book "The Healing Powers of Herbs", the chemical compounds found in Ginger are as follows:

"Starch (up to 50%); protein (about 9%);lipids (6-8%); composed of triglycerides, phosphatidic acid, lecithins, free fatty acids; a protease, or protein-digesting enzyme (2.26%); volatile oils (1-3%), the principle components of which are three sesquiterpenes (bisabolene, zingiberene, and zingiberol); vitamins (especially niacin and vitamin A); and resins. "

His references for these compounds are:

1). Leung A: Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drgus, and Cosmetics. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY 1980. pp.184-6.

2). Tyler V, Brady L and Robbers J: Pharmacognosy. 8th ed, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, PA 1981. pp156-7.

Also, according to Murphy, there does not appear to be any toxicity from the ingestion of ginger root.

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm

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