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Ginger

Chinese Ginger | Sheng Jiang
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

BOTANICAL NAME

Zingiber Officinale

USES

People feel the effects of eating fresh ginger root most (and most immediately) in their stomach. That’s why it’s most frequently used to relieve nausea and prevent vomiting, while also regulating metabolic/digestive upset and soothing stomach pain. More specifically, it’s popular for treating nausea associated with pregnancy. Chinese ginger root (and its derivative supplements) pose no known risk of side effects or adverse events during pregnancy. However, pickled ginger may be easier for a pregnant woman to eat as its effect is more moderate.

In addition to helping relieve nausea and prevent vomiting, Chinese ginger root may also help with a variety of other digestive issues. This includes heartburn and indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Ginger varies in its effects depending on whether is fresh (sheng jian) or dry (gan jiang) Dry ginger is generally considered much hotter.  Chinese medicine describes fresh ginger as warm and spicy, going to the Lungs, Spleen and Stomach.  It is classified as an herb that helps you sweat out Wind Colds (respiratory infections with little to no fever.) Dry ginger is hot, spicy and going to the Heart channel as well. Dry ginger is categorized as an herb that warms the interior and expels cold.

PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION

Fresh grated or powdered Chinese ginger root are the two most common preparations for (oral) medicinal use. Though some find the skin unappealing and choose to peel Chinese ginger root before using it, this thick outer layer is home to some of the most potent essential oils and other beneficial elements in the herb. As a result, it’s super important to most TCM uses.

That said, the digestive health benefits of eating Chinese ginger are so strong that even candied ginger and baked (real) ginger goods still provide some of the same advantages. If the flavor of fresh Chinese ginger is too strong, creating a grated ginger heat pack for topical use can also have some noticeable effects on bodily (especially abdominal) pain, and Chinese ginger essential oils are useful for aromatherapy as well as in topical applications.

PRECAUTIONS

There are few known or severe side-effects associated with Chinese ginger’s medicinal applications. It may cause skin irritation for some people,  interact with blood-thinning and anticoagulant medications, as well as anti-diabetes and antihypertensive medications. Generally avoid using the essential oil in pregnancy (and never ingest it) as that form is too strong.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Chinese ginger.

 

REFERENCES

Bode, Ann M. “The Amazing and Mighty Ginger.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970

Chen, John, Chen, T &  Cramton, L. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology Art of Medicine Press, Inc. City of Industry, CA USA. 2003. 1327 pp ISBN: 0-9740635-0-9  http://aompress.com/herbology

“Everything You Need to Know About Ginger.” Www.theepochtimes.com, 22 Mar. 2018

“Ginger: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD

Li, Huijuan, et al. “Ginger for Health Care: An Overview of Systematic Reviews.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, 5 June 2019

Nikkhah Bodagh, Mehrnaz, et al. “Ginger in Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials.” Food Science & Nutrition, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 5 Nov. 2018,

Prasad, Sahdeo, and Amit K Tyagi. “Ginger and Its Constituents: Role in Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer.” Gastroenterology Research and Practice, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015

Seladi-Schulman, Jill. “Ginger Oil: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 May 2019

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