GINGER : Sunthi, Zingiberis officinalis - Zingiberaceae
Rasa (taste) : Pungent, Sweet
Virya (action) : Heating (fresh is Warm and dry is Hot)
Vipaka (post-digestive effect) : Sweet
Guna (quality) : Fresh : Unctuous and Heavy - Dry : Dry, Heavy and Penetrating.
Dhatus (tissues) : All tissues
Srotas (systems) : Digestive, Respiratory, Circulatory
Fresh= Diaphoretic, expectorant, carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-emetic.
Dry= Stimulant, carminative, anti-spasmodic, emmenagogue.
Destroys toxins, digestive, enkindles the digestive fire, removes piles, reduces feelings of cold
Clears cold-fresh increases peripheral circulation and causes vasodilation and sweating. It clears ama from plasma and blood. Fresh is more peripheral, Dry is more centrally stimulating and warming. Dry may be of benefit in cardiac disorders due to increasing circulation and potential blood-thinning properties when used at a high dose.
Used as an ama clearing, toxin digesting anti-inflammatory in arthritis (amavata) in many traditional Ayurvedic formulas (Triphala guggulu, Yogiraj guggulu).
LUNGS : Clears phlegm in Kapha Vata coughs and colds.
Warms the digestive system, increases agni and the secretion of digestive enzymes. Useful in nausea-morning, post-operative and travel sickness-, flatulence, griping. Specific activity against E. coli and Shigella bacillus.
Used in menstrual cramps- hot fresh ginger tea.
· Fresh will not aggravate pitta as much as dry Ginger
· Also known as vishwabhesaj, the universal medicine benefiting everybody and all diseases (if you can say all in Ayurveda!). This is the herbalist's best friend.
· Fresh is better for calming an aggravated vata and for sweating. It is harder to digest, better as a laxative than dry Ginger.
· Dry, being Hot, is better for stimulating agni and clearing kapha, it dries water in the colon (grahi) but is still removes constipation as its penetrating quality 'breaks-up' (vibandhabhedani) impacted faeces.
· As it increases digestion of nutrients it may also increase assimilation of pharmaceutical drugs.
· The anti-inflammatory action is a very good example of the prabhav or 'unique effect'. Its post-digestive quality is sweet. This means that its long term effect is anti-inflammatory and nourishing whilst its initial activity is warm and stimulating to digestion. It actually blocks inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxane
In high pitta with heartburn, fever etc.
Not more than 2g/day of dry ginger in pregnancy.
According to the Commission E monograph even fresh is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Apply care and treat according to the pattern presented.
Caution in High Blood Pressure, Ulcers, Skin diseases with inflammation.
Fresh : 1 - 5g per day
Dry : 1 - 2g per day