(zingiber officinale)

Article by Kaniz F. Shah

Botanical Name: zingiber officinale
English Name:  ginger
Hindi Name:  adrak
Popular Name(s): ginger root
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum/Division: magnoliophyta
Class: liliopsida
Order: zingiberales
Family: zingiberaceae (ginger)
Genus: zingiber
Species: z. officinale roscoe
Parts Used: root (rhizomes), Chopped ginger is used to treat "wet" conditions like infections, powdered ginger is used for "dry" conditions like allergy, asthma.
Habitat: South China, Asia, West Africa, Caribbean
Height: 3-4 ft.
Taste:  pungent
Odor: spicy, sweet, woody, sharp
Effect / Energy:  warming
Extraction method: steam distilled from rhizomes
Blends with: all spice and citrus oils, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, rosemary
ph: 5.6-5.9


Best essential oil for manifesting

Psychological Properties:

      revives, uplifts

Subtle Properties:

      promotes physical energy, love, money, courage, confidence and manifestation of the heart & soul; strengthens the will, attracts prosperity

Associated with:

      Archangel Ariel and the lynx


GROUND GINGER: very high in vitamin B-6, niacin, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
FRESH GINGER: good source of vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium and potassium.

1,8-cineole, 6-gingerol, 6-shogaol, 8-shogaol, acetic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, arginine, ascorbic acid, beta-bisolene, beta-carotene, beta-pinene, beta-sitosterol, boron, caffeic acid, camphor, capsaicin, chlorogenic acid, curcumene, gingerols, sesquiphellandrene, zingiberene, resins, starches, fats, proteins.


Antiseptic, laxative, antioxidant, pain relieving, stimulant, tonic, diaphoretic, antiviral, warming

Plant Description:

Ginger is a rhizome known particularly for its knotted root, which is thick, juicy with tan colored skin. The flowers are white, yellow, pink to scarlet and the leaves are long, slender and glossy. It is commonly used in cooking and is in almost every Pakistani and Indian dish not only for its delicious taste and aroma but also for its health benefits. Ground ginger has higher amounts of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B-6, niacin, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.  Ginger is a tropical perennial growing to a height of two feet.  It has long been the subject of fable and literature. For centuries, Europeans obtained ginger form Arab spice traders, who protected their sources by inviting stories of ginger field located in lands stalked by a fierce people called troglodytes. And Shakespeare wrote in Love's Labour Lost, "had I but one penny in the world thou shouldst have it to buy ginger-bread." Ginger is used either fresh or dried in nearly two thirds of all traditional Chinese and Japanese herbal formulas.


  • Teas, tinctures, encapsulations, in herbal formulas, cooking. 
  • To make ginger tea, simmer 3/4 teaspoon (0.5 to 1.0 grams) of chopped ginger in 1 cup of hot water for five minutes in a closed teapot
  • To treat asthma, use an alcohol-based tincture rather than a teas

Health Benefits of Ginger

  • Fresh ginger is used to relieve dryness and heat
  • Dried ginger is used to relieve dampness and chill.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine call ginger "rescue devastated yang," a condition in which invading cold or infection has reached the interior of the body.
  • Ginger warms the energy channels and stops bleeding, especially uterine bleeding.
  • A detoxifier, always included in formulas with potentially toxic herbs such as aconite, acorus, and pinellia.
  • Digestive support:

    In India and Pakistan, a tea is made from ginger and fennel to soothe upset stomachs and aid digestion. It is also beneficial for colic, diarrhea and flatulence (gas).
  • Heart Health:

    The Chinese made tonics from ginger to strengthen the heart. Ginger has also been used to help with problems such as angina.  Ginger is known to decrease the activity of plate-activating factor (PAF), a clotting agent that creates the clot that can result in heart attack of stroke. Ginger's ability to reduce PAF activity also makes the herb effective against allergies and asthma. PAF, which stimulates the inflammation seen in allergy and the bronchial constriction seen in asthma becomes more active when fat is consumed. Dried ginger, especially dried ginger tinctures, can offset this effect. In a clinical trial in India, the consumption of 5 grams (5 teaspoons) of dried ginger per day for seven days reversed blood lipid elevation caused by daily consumption of 100 grams (3-12/ ounces) of butter.
  • Colds & coughs:

    Ginger is useful in helping to relive coughs, sore throats, catarrh (mucus), colds, chills, tonsillitis, congestion, sinusitis, morning sickness and nausea. In Pakistan and India, ginger tea made from a few slices ginger, ½ a lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper and honey (as a sweetener and it kills some harmful bacteria) is made to soothe colds, flu and coughs. Ginger is a diaphoretic, meaning it helps you perspire in order to reduce high fevers. The old wives made a tea of ginger with elderberry or mint to relieve motion or morning sickness.
  • Infection Control:

    Ginger's effects against infection have also been confirmed by laboratory science. One ginger compounds kills cold viruses at a concentration of less than one part per million, a concentration to that found in raw ginger. Ginger contains a chemical called zingibain that dissolves parasites and their eggs. This antiparasitic effect is put to use preparing sushi. Sushi is traditionally eaten with pickled ginger, and ginger extract have been shown to kill the anisakid worm, a parasite sometimes carried in raw fish, within sixteen hours. In addition, ginger tea effectively treats schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease increasingly prevalent among tourists returning to North America, Australia, and Europe from lesser developed areas of the tropics.
  • Relieves cramps:

    Ginger and ginger oil is often used to relieve cramps and nausea associated with PMS or pregnancy.
  • Arthritis Relief:

    Ginger relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis by stopping the immune system's production of inflammatory leukotrienes.  A compress made of Strongly brewed ginger tea or shredded boiled ginger is applied to the joints and muscles to relieve rheumatism and arthritis. Ginger in tea can also help in arthritic pains.
  • Motion sickness & Morning Sickness:

    Travel with candied ginger or a snack made with ginger to prevent nausea and motion sickness.  It also helps with morning sickness.

Other benefits:

  • Ginger helps prevent infections and contagious diseases, enhances the memory and helps relieve muscle aches and pains and sprains.
  • Ginger can protect the lining of the stomach from alcohol damage, which aggravate existing ulcers and promote the development of new ones.

  • Ginger is especially useful in small doses in pregnancy. Some babies are born breech, that is, feet first instead of head first. Chinese researcher report that simply applying a ginger paste to a specific acupuncture point results in a 77-percent correction of breech births, compared to a 52 percent correction in women in the control group who had their babies turned manually.
  • Ginger is also an age-old remedy for morning sickness.
  • When used in herbal formulas, ginger protects the body from carcinogenic effects of valproic acid (Depakote), a medication commonly prescribed for migraine and seizure disorders.
  • Ginger inhibits cholesterol production in the liver, which makes up to 85% of the cholesterol in circulation in the blood stream.

Ginger for the Skin and Hair:

Ginger is often added to shampoos for its fragrance and massage oils for its pain and tension-relieving properties. It is a natural detoxifier and is good for the skin and body wraps.


This article is for informational purpose only. Ginger and ginger oil are not a treatment for any disease or condition. They are generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Repeated use can be sensitizing. Avoid direct sunlight for 3-6 hours after use. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.

Although there are warnings in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and some medical texts about using ginger during pregnancy, ginger used in moderation, that is 3/4 teaspoon up to three times a day, poses no risk to mother's or baby's health. Studies in the late 1990's found that eating as much as 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw ginger or 5 to 8 tablespoons of dried ginger daily will not stimulate uterine contraction. Excessive use may cause gastro-intestinal upset.


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6. Book “Herbal Encyclopedia” by Doctor Hakeem Hari Chand
7. Classification:

Article last updated 7/29/2020