Ginger is a very well-known spice. It is used in almost all cuisines around the world. Texts of Ayurveda immensely price the medicinal properties of ginger. Ginger is used in two forms- raw or dry. Raw ginger is called “Aardraka” and dry ginger is called “Shunti”.
Dry Ginger is light to digest and increases moistness of tissues. Raw ginger is heavy to digest and increases water absorption from digestive tract. This process causes dryness of tissues. It is hot to taste (katu rasa). Dry ginger attains sweetness (madhura rasa) after digestion but raw ginger retains the hot taste even after digestion.
Ayurveda Health Benefits of Ginger:
The health benefits of ginger are explained as follows in ayurveda.
- Based on principles of ayurveda ginger normalises Kapha and Vata. Hence this herb is used in diseases in which Kapaha and vata are prominent. Almost all diseases of vata are treated with this magic spice along with other herbs. It is very use full in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Nagara is another name coined by ayurveda acharyas for this wonderful herb. Since this spice balances vata and kapha it has direct effect on meda or body fat. Dry ginger or shunti very effectively help to reduce body weight. It improves metabolism and increases sensitivity of cells to insulin. Hence this is highly recommended by ayurveda acharyas to include in weight loss diet.
- Due to its weight loss and lowering blood sugar level properties this spice can be included while addressing PCOS/ PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease. (Read Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS /PCOD at Home ) .
- Best way to use this herb for weight loss is by adding to regular tea, using its julienne in salads and fruit platter.
- Ginger exhibits anti-inflammatory qualities. Hence it is useful in joint pain, inflammation of muscles and body pain. Ginger is ground into fine paste and this paste is warmed in steam. This warm paste is applied on painful joints. Dry ginger powder is mixed in warm sesame oil. This warm oil is massaged all over body to relieve body pain.
- Ginger is very commonly used in almost all common diseases of digestive system. Indigestion, flatulence, bloating, nausea, vomiting, stomach colic and haemorrhoids are treated with this herb. Chewing a piece of this herb smeared with powdered rock salt (sendha namak), before meals aids digestion and prevents other problems of digestive system.
- Nagara helps to normalise blood cholesterol and improves blood circulation. Hence it is called as “hridya” or heart friendly herb. Adding grated ginger to salads, fruit juices and vegetable juices is a healthy heart friendly way to use this herb.
- This herb is very helpful in common cold, cough and sore throat. Mix equal quantity of fresh ginger juice and honey. Add a little dab of salt to this. Keep half spoon of this mix on tongue and allow it to slowly get down through your throat. This relieves cough and sore throat. It boosts body immunity and helps body to fight common infections and allergies (Read How to boost immunity Naturally )
- Ginger is a vajikarana herb. It increases sperm count and improves libido. It is best herbal ayurvedic remedy for erectile dysfunction. Almost all preparations used in Vajikarana Therapy contain this herb.
CAUTION: Ginger should not be used in skin diseases, anaemia, urine retention or burning micturition, skin rashes, wounds or in fever. It should not be used in summer and autumn.
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