Today we will take ginger for our discussion. Ginger is the most
effective medicine for arthritis. The person who keeps eating ginger
will rarely ever have arthritic symptoms as it prevents the
initiation of both Vatic and Kapha diseases. Those who are unable to
find fresh ginger can take the dry ginger powder.
One of the most prevalent Vatic disorder is encountered after
childbirth. Ginger is an elixir for any mother at this time. Since
ginger is not readily available in all seasons it is better to use
dry ginger and powder it as and when needed. Ginger will appear in
the breast milk of any mother who takes this spice, or its decoction,
for a minimum of two months starting immediately after childbirth.
This means baby will also get the benefits in Kapha and Vata
disorders even into later life, provided baby got ginger through
breast milk throughout.
Tea is the most favoured drink in all of India. Irrespective of the
ages or times of day of those who enjoy it, tea is offered to every
visitor. Gujaratis in India or U.S. or even Canada are very fond of
adding a masala, meaning a powdered mixture, to make tea both very
tasty and very healthy. Most patients with arthritis are told to
avoid tea and coffee at all cost. But is not easy to get rid of these
addictions! So you need to take an equal proportion in weight of
ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and pound them
all together. Do not strain them. When making your tea, you can add
about a ¼ teaspoon of this masala mixture for each cup of tea just
after it starts boiling. You add the sugar and milk later. This is
an Ayurvedic tea which will not cause Kapha and is also a good remedy
for infected throats and by using this tea the voice is able to open
up in volume and altogether increase vigour in the body.
Tea taken in this way will not cause obesity, due to these added
spices. The milk looses its Kapha causing property, and those
suffering from milk allergy can take this milk (without tea powder if
you wish to avoid tea) without any fear of an allergic reaction.
Frequently, when obesity is treated, weight gain occurs in place of
weight-loss! This tea does not add layers of fat and will make body
both healthy and well proportioned. The very process of making tea
offers flavinoids to the drinker while the milk softens the caffeine
content without causing addiction.
Ginger ranks highly amongst herbs used to treat liver disorders in
ayurveda and it is needed to give energy and vigour to the body as a
result of correcting the metabolism. As ginger does not allow Meda
(obesity) to increase, it has been used in Trifala Guggulu, one of the
most well known formulations aimed at reducing obesity. Furthermore,
along with black pepper and pepper longum, it is also used in Medohar
Guggulu, another formulation with the same use. These should both be
used under supervision of a vaidya, as the proportions need to be
changed dynamically, otherwise dizziness and vertigo can be
additional problems. Only Trifala Guggulu is harmless, but it may
cause constipation with overuse. Despite Trifala being laxative in
effect, Trifala Guggulu does not have the same effect and in fact some
people can get constipated if these remedies are used incorrectly.
Despite such difficulties there are never any complaints from
patients to say that there is an increase in obesity while taking
In this author's post on Glycosugars he mentioned uses of jaggery in
herbal remedies. If one takes a teaspoon of cow ghee and about 20 gm
jaggery in a small iron vessel, warms them a little so that jaggery
melts, and then adds ½ teaspoon of ginger powder, mixing them
togetherwill produce a paste. This warming paste, when taken on
empty stomach, is an excellent remedy for frequent coughs, colds and
general swellings. It both increases hunger and also prompts better
Gas and acidity are two prevalent complaints of old age. Today there
are many senior citizens who know ayurvedic remedies too well and
take ginger, licorice and pippalimula powder together everyday to guard
the mobility of the body.
Ginger is a very versatile herb and even a small 40 – 50 page book
would be inadequate to describe its far-reaching impact in health
science. In allergic skin diseases such as Psoriasis or eczema,
ginger is both soothing and preventive.
For those Indians living in villages who may have some medical
plants in their court yards, this author describes a healthy juice
aimed at reducing the incidence of all allergic diseases. Ardusi,
ginger, tulsi, pudina (mint) are all required, it is then necessary
to mix ½ teaspoon of the fresh juice of each herb and add a pinch or
two of saindhava or black salt and a teaspoon of honey and drink this
after mixing well, first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Take tea or coffee as desired after 30-40 minutes, but only if one is
addicted to tea/coffee.. It will give you a clear voice and all old
chronic coughs, panting, breathing difficulties and cardiac asthma
will slowly improve until they are cured.
One remedy which author described in an old post on sciatica (2073,
2829) is very useful for all arthritic conditions too. Many mothers-
in- law know this and pass the details on to their daughters-in-law.
Take 200 ml water, add 1 tsp ginger powder (3-5 grams), slowly bring
to the boil until only 25% water remains and then drink after
straining while adding 5-25 ml castor oil. Start with 5 ml castor oil
only, and go on increasing up to 25 ml, as your constitution will
allow. This is a very effective remedy for arthritis (both osteo and
rheumatic) for disorders of apan vata (which also include nocturnal
emission of semen), and for gulma and bloating etc. It will also
increase blood circulation to the extremities, taking care of
varicose veins and heel pain etc. Try this for 3-6 months, every
morning, and patience pays gradually in the end. So be very patient
and do not be disappointed if at the end of the first month no
benefit can yet be seen.
While many correlate ginger powder with Pitta and acidity, this is
not correct. Ayurveda has many exceptions which one comes to know
only after the familiarity of long experience. The combination of
ginger, black pepper and Pepper Longum is termed `Trikatu" in Ayurveda. Take a pinch of black pepper powder in the hand and inhale
this for clearing a nose block or alternatively inhale the steam
after boiling it in water for the same benefit. Trikatu is used in
many formulations of Ayurveda, like Medohar guggulu which was
discussed here earlier. Many formulations aim at increasing hunger,
improving digestion and tackling gas and bloating, for these try some
trikatu. Acidity is also tackled by formulations which use trikatu.
Here the digestive agni does not only mean hunger but also creating
all dhatus from all the foods we eat. This gives vigor, energy and
weight gain by increasing muscle density and not, as one might have
imagined, by increasing body fat and obesity.
One of the most common uses of ginger is in Gujarati meals. Ginger is
added in Tadka Dhal, and ginger is also served as appetizer offering
a few pieces sprinkled with a little salt and lemon juice. Heavy
meals also will get more quickly digested in this way. Thus ginger
does not cause indigestion but imparts health and balance to
digestion. Some people make a pickle from ginger root pieces and
lemon juice alone, no other preservative is needed. Slightly less
known is the use of ginger for blood purification along with other
After so many uses of ginger this author wishes to bring a special
property of ginger to the reader's attention. It has been found to
treat a great number of ailments effectively including stomach ache,
diarrhoea, and nausea. When it comes to women's health, ginger root
has proven beneficial in helping treat morning sickness with
dosages ranging from 125to 350 mg of ginger root extract per day. [2
Now a new study has just found that ginger root extract may
provide another benefit for women by helping protect them against
ovarian cancer (which is the eighth most common cancer found in women
and the fifth most common cause of death in women from cancer).
In this study, researchers dissolved ginger powder in solution and
applied it to ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory. Not only did
ginger cause the cancer cells to spontaneously die (apoptosis), the
extract also caused the cancer cells to digest or attack each other
For researchers, the value in this study is that "Most ovarian cancer
patients develop recurrent disease which eventually becomes resistant
to standard chemotherapy. If ginger can cause…cell death…it may
circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy."
That is the scientific mindset. They want to use ginger to circumvent
resistance to chemotherapy - but why can chemotherapy not be avoided
altogether? This is the ayurvedic mindset! (First do no harm!) This
study cleared a query in the mind of this author – why should western
women be so very vulnerable to ovarian cancer whereas for Indian
women there is only a negligible risk?
One of the answers appears to be the far greater use of ginger in the
Editing help from Jane MacRoss is gratefully acknowledged.
1. Afzal M, Al-Hadidi D, Menon M, Pesek J, Dhami MS. Ginger: an
ethnomedical, chemical and pharmacological review. Drug Metabol Drug
2 Borrelli, F., R. Capasso, et al. (2005). "Effectiveness and safety
of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting."
Obstet Gynecol 105(4): 849-56
3 Sripramote M, Lekhyananda N. A randomized comparison of ginger and
vitamin B6 in the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. J
Med Assoc Thai 2003;86:846–53
4 Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, Asping U. Ginger treatment
of hyperemesis gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol
5 "Ginger: An Ovarian Cancer Killer" posted on the American
Association for Cancer Research website
Re: 7yo with Addison's Disease