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Ginger

(S) Sunthi, Nagara (dry), Ardraka (fresh)

(C) Can jiang (dry), Shen jiang (fresh)

Part Used: rhizome

Energetics: pungent, sweet/heating/sweet VK- P+

Tissues: works on all tissue-elements

Systems: digestive, respiratory

Actions: stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, carminative, antiemetic, analgesic

Indications: colds, flus, indigestion, vomiting, belching, abdominal pain, laryngitis, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches, heart disease.

Precautions: inflammatory skin diseases, high fever, bleeding, ulcers

Preparation: infusion, decoction, powder (250 to 500 mg), fresh juice.

GINGER is perhaps the best and most sattvic of the spices. It was called vishwabhesaj, "the universal medicine:' As such, it was prepared by adding fresh ginger juice to ginger powder, mixing it in a mortar and pestle, until it became a thick jam, whereupon it was rolled into pills. The proportion of juice to powder was upwards of 4 to 1. Two pills, about the size of a pea, were taken three times a day. With honey, ginger relieves Kapha; with rock candy it relieves Pitta; with rock salt it relieves Vata.

Dry ginger is hotter and drier than fresh. It is a better stimulant and expectorant for reducing Kapha and increasing Agni. Fresh ginger is a better diaphoretic, better for colds, cough, vomiting and for deranged Vata.

The uses of ginger in digestive and respiratory diseases are well known. It is also good in arthritic conditions and it is tonic to the heart. It relieves gas and cramps in the abdomen, including menstrual cramps due to cold. Externally, it makes a good paste for pain and headaches.

   
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