GINGER (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)

Zingiberaceae family perennial herb, up to 1 m high; underground rhizome, branched and digitiform from where sheath covered stems grow. Leaves are alternate, sessile, smooth in pale green and lanceolate, very sharp at the apex. Flower stems, usually leaf-less, are shorter than leaf stems and have a very few flowers. Each flower is surrounded by a thin bract and located in the axil of large, greenish-yellow, obtuse bracts that are found all tightly packed at the end of the flower stem, forming altogether an oval-shaped sprig. The flower is asymmetric and presents a tubular calyx, one half split by one side; the yellow-orange corolla is composed by a tube which is divided at the top into three oblong linear lobes and rounded at the edge. 6 staminodia displayed in two lines. The outermost inserted in the corolla opening with two back, small and cornaceous staminodia and the internal purple petaloid, spotted or divided in three round lobes. The lower ovary has a crest-shaped stigma. The fruit is a capsule.

Ginger is a plant native of tropical Asia and has been used as a medicinal plant in the western countries for 2,000 years. It was used by Greek and Romans and it played an important role in the trading world of Middle Ages. In China it is also a plant used since ancient times. The word ginger comes from the Sanskrit and means ‘horn-shaped’.

Part used
The rhizome.

Internal use
> Digestive disorders: nausea and vomit, lack of appetite, slow digestion, dyspepsia, flatulence, meteorism, intestinal colic, diarrhea, halitosis, etc.
> Prevent and treat motion and travel sickness (seasickness in train, ship, automobile, airplane, etc.).
> Hyperemesis gravidarum (nausea and vomit due to pregnancy). 
> Post-surgery nausea and vomit.
> Respiratory disorders: cold, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis, bronchitis.
> Vertigo.
> Diabetes.
> Atherosclerosis prevention.
> Rheumatic pain, inflammatory and febrile rheumatism.

External use
> Osteoarticular inflammation, myalgia, muscle contracture, neuralgia, odontalgias, lumbago.

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