Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ginger Herbal Remedies - A Brief History

Ginger herbal remedies (Zingiber Officinale), prepared in the form of herbal teas, herb tinctures and other home remedies, have long been used as natural cures for variety of ailments. The rhizome (under-ground stem) of this herb is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. It is a pale, greenish yellow to white ivory in color, with a pungent, spicy aroma and a peppery,slightly sweet taste. Ginger root has a long, well-documented healing history, dating as far back as 500 B.C.

The Origin of Ginger Herbal Remedies

The origin of the ginger herb can be traced to India. This is because Indian ginger plants have been shown to have the most variable DNA. The name ginger is derived from the Sanskrit word of horn root. This is probably a reference to its knobby like appearance.Ginger was used both as an Ayurvedic medicinal herb as well as a culinary herb, not only in India, but all across Asia.

Ginger in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese herbalists highly valued ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties.It also has diaphoretic properties, inducing sweating and thereby expelling toxins. In China, it was used to expel cold and restore depleted yang. Ginger is considered a natural antidote for a person who has had shell food poisoning.

By far, the most widely known medicinal use of ginger is as an herbal remedy for seasickness. Chinese sailors have long been known to chew on ginger as a remedy for sea sickness.The effectiveness of ginger herbal remedies for seasickness has been borne out by modern scientific research.

Ginger Remedies in Ancient Greece and Rome

The ancient forerunner of our modern-day gingerbread was a Greek digestive aid, which was a piece of ginger wrapped in bread and taken after a heavy meal. In time, the herb was incorporated into the bread and gingerbread was born.

When ginger was introduced into Europe via trade, it quickly became an indispensable spice. It was a popular ingredient in confectionery, as Greek gingerbread evolved into a well-loved, sugary cake.

Ginger was a high item of trade in the Roman empire, and thence to the European countries that were colonized by Rome. Even after the roman empire fell, it remained an important article of trade. In the 14 century, ginger - along with black pepper - became one of the most commonly-traded spices.

Ginger Herbal Medicine in the Middle Ages

In Europe ginger has been widely used significantly since the Middle Ages, when it was a popular ingredient in cake and cookies throughout the lands. The ladies baked ginger cakes for their knights and presented them painted with colored sugar.

In Germany, it was a family tradition a ginger bread house is built every New Year in each house. On New Year, children of the household then take a mallet and break these gingerbread houses and then eat them together with the whole family.

In the Middle Ages, the potted ginger plant were mostly carried across the oceans by the maritime traders, and today, the plant is grown all over the world.

DiDi is a self-professed herbaholic, and has written numerous health-related articles and eBooks for Demand Studios, Suite101 and Bright Hub among other sites. She regularly researches and writes about home remedies at and

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