Although Ginger oil, Ginger root, and all things Ginger are getting a great deal of press lately, it has been used as a medicine for many centuries. The Ginger plant seems to have its earliest origins in India and China but is being discovered in many more texts throughout some parts of Africa as well. Perhaps the first people who came upon this natural growing herb plant picked up that its peppery, spicy smell would make an excellent spice for cooking, but as time went by it would soon be treasured for so much more.
The name Ginger could be a derivative of the word Gingi, which is an area in India. India and all of Asia have been known for their teas and it is believed that Ginger was first used in tea to ease stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. It has been highly sought after in history as well as today for its pain killing properties and as an aphrodisiac. It has also been known to fight malaria and combat depression, as it lifts the mood. Put a little in lemonade as a mood brightener! The Chinese still today use extreme amounts of ginger both in oils and straight root herb in cooking, drinks, etc. for heart health.
In the past Ginger has been used for anything from fractures to rheumatism, to hangovers. Ginger oil is used today for so much more including easing cold symptoms, motion sickness, pregnancy related nausea, pain in muscles and joints, including arthritic pain.
Ginger is one of those rare herbs that have garnered respect by the medical community in recent years. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center, a very prestigious medical school, has since put out much information about the benefits of Ginger on their website and teach much along the lines of alternative herbal medicine. (We are starting to come full circle and getting back to our “Roots”!) I found this on the website for the UMMC (www.umm.edu) “health care professionals commonly recommend ginger to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy. Also used as a digestive aid for mild stomach ache, as support in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and may even by used in heart disease or cancer.” I highly recommend the U of Maryland Medical Center site as a reference for the latest dosages and recipes for both young and old. It can be used for any age after the age of two. And there are limitations as with anything, the key to all health is moderation! Happy Health to all!