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Herbal Ginger Powder

Posted on: September 19, 2008

Plant Description

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a knotted, thick, beige underground stem (rhizome). The stem extends roughly 12 inches above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers.

Chemical Composition

The major constituents in Zingiber officinale are the pungent vanilloids, [6]-gingerol and [6]-paradol.  Ginger contains two other phenolic compounds, shogaols and zingerone in addition to [6]-gingerol.  High amounts of iron (54–62 mg/100 g) and calcium (1.0%–1.5%) are found in ginger rhizomes.  The antioxidant, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory pharmacologic effects of ginger are mainly due to its pungent constituents (e.g., [6]-gingerol).

Ginger is now cultivated around the world for the root. Ginger has a unique odor and taste: aromatic and pungent. Ginger has two known active constituents, gingerols and gingerdione. Ginger is a traditional oriental medicine.

The medicinal part of ginger is the rhizome, an underground stem that most people mistakenly refer to as a root. In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, the rhizome has a long-standing reputation as a digestive aid. It is ground up and used in numerous Chinese herbal prescriptions. Ayurvedic practitioners refer to ginger as the universal medicine because it aids the body’s digestive function by relieving gas, bloating, and cramps, says Joseph Selvester, an Ayurvedic herbalist in Gainesville, Florida.

Ginger powder is produced from ginger, cultivated by a small group of committed, marginal farmers who have been traditionally growing ginger. Ginger is commonly used as a spice in cooking, specially in India and China.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Ginger root is widely used as a digestive aid for mild stomach upset and is commonly recommended by health care professionals to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy. Ginger is used as support in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and may even be used in heart disease or cancer.

Motion Sickness

Several studies suggest that ginger may be more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms associated with motion sickness. In one trial of 80 novice sailors (prone to motion sickness), those who took powdered ginger experienced a significant reduction in vomiting and cold sweating compared to those who took placebo. Similar results were found in a study with healthy volunteers. While these results are promising, other studies suggest that ginger is not as effective as medications in reducing symptoms associated with motion sickness. In a small study of volunteers who were given ginger (fresh root and powder form), scopolamine (a medication commonly prescribed for motion sickness), or placebo, those receiving the medication experienced significantly fewer symptoms compared to those who received ginger.

Conventional prescription and non-prescription medicines that decrease nausea may also cause unwanted side effects, such as dry mouth and drowsiness. Given the safety of ginger, many people find it a welcome alternative to these medications to relieve their motion sickness.

Pregnancy Related Nausea and Vomiting

A limited number of human studies suggests that 1 gram daily of ginger may be safe and effective for pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting when used for short periods (no longer than 4 days). Several studies have found that ginger is more effective than placebo in relieving nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. In a small study including 30 pregnant women with severe vomiting, those who ingested 1 gram of ginger every day for four days reported more relief from vomiting than those who received placebo. In a larger study including 70 pregnant women with nausea and vomiting, those who received a similar dosage of ginger felt less nauseous and experienced fewer vomiting episodes than those who received placebo.

Chemotherapy nausea

There is evidence from a few studies that suggests ginger reduces the severity and duration of nausea (but not vomiting) during chemotherapy. Long-term studies should be performed to confirm these results and to establish safety.

Nausea and vomiting following surgery

Research has produced mixed results regarding the use of ginger in the treatment of nausea and vomiting following surgery. In two studies, 1 gram of ginger root before surgery reduced nausea as effectively as a leading medication. In one of these two studies, women who received ginger also required fewer nausea-relieving medications following surgery. Other studies, however, have failed to find the same positive effects. In fact, one study found that ginger may actually increase vomiting following surgery.

Inflammation

In addition to providing relief from nausea and vomiting, ginger extract has long been used in traditional medical practices to decrease inflammation. In fact, many health care professionals today use ginger to help treat health problems associated with inflammation, such as arthritis and ulcerative colitis. In a study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, those who received a ginger extract twice daily experienced less pain and required fewer pain-killing medications compared to those who received placebo. Although there have also been a few other studies of the benefit of ginger for arthritis, one trial found that the herb was no more effective than ibuprofen or placebo in reducing symptoms of OA.

 

Other uses

  • Although it is much too early to tell if this will benefit those with heart disease, a few preliminary studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and prevent the blood from clotting. Each of these effects may protect the blood vessels from blockage and the damaging effects of blockage such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Laboratory studies have also found that components in ginger may have anticancer activity. More research needs to be performed to determine the effects of ginger on various cancers in humans.

·         Prepare Spice tea and ginger tea

·         Prepare pulse and lentil curries

·         Prepare snack, when pickled in vinegar

·         Health benefits of ginger:

·          Acts as a stimulant and carminative

·         Decreases joint pain from arthritis

·         Stimulates  the secretion of saliva

Dosage

Pediatric

Ginger should not be used by children under 2 years of age.

Ginger may be used by children over 2 years of age to treat nausea, digestive cramping, and headaches. Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child’s weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 – 25 kg), the appropriate dose of ginger for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.

Adult

In general, ginger intake should not exceed 4 grams in one day (this includes the ginger obtained through diet such as from ginger ale, ginger snaps, and ginger bread). Usually, food sources contain no more than 0.5% ginger.

Standardized dose: Take 75 – 2,000 mg in divided doses with food, standardized to contain 4% volatile oils or 5% total pungent compounds including 6-gingerol or 6-shogaol.

For nausea, gas, or indigestion: 2 – 4 grams of fresh root daily (0.25 – 1.0 g of powdered root) or 1.5 – 3.0 mL (30 – 90 drops) liquid extract daily. To prevent vomiting, take 1 gram of powdered ginger (1/2 tsp) or its equivalent, every 4 hours as needed (not to exceed 4 doses daily), or 2 ginger capsules (1 gram), 3 times daily. You may also chew a 1/4 oz piece of fresh ginger when needed.

To relieve arthritis pain: Take fresh ginger juice, extract, or tea, 2 – 4 grams daily. Topical ginger oil may also be rubbed into a painful joint. Fresh ginger root may also be placed in a warm poultice or compress and apply to painful areas.

For cold and flu symptoms, sore throat, headache and menstrual cramps: Steep 2 tbsp of freshly shredded ginger in hot water, 2 – 3 times daily. A drop of ginger oil or a few slices of fresh rhizome may also be placed in steaming water and inhaled.

Procedure

  1. Clean the ginger and peel off the skin.
  2. Grate ginger.
  3. Squeeze the juice out of the grated ginger using a cheesecloth.
  4. Mix 1 cup of the ginger juice with 1 cup white sugar.
  5. Heat on high heat until it boils with constant stirring.
  6. Set at low fire with continuous stirring until the mixture turns into powder.
  7. Let cool before transferring to a clean container and seal.
  8. For a fine product finish, grind the powder with the use of a coffee grinder. (optional)

 

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