Ginger: An Ayurvedic Medicine Chest
Ginger is used so widely in ayurveda that it is an entire medicine chest in itself. There is an ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion. Not only does ginger stoke the digestive fire, but it also whets the appetite, improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues, and clears the microcirculatory channels of the body. The few situations in which ginger is contraindicated are in cases of hyperacidity, during any form of hemorrhage (including menstruation), vertigo and chronic skin disease.
Other than in these situations, ginger is an excellent spice that can be used daily.
Traditional ayurvedic texts recommend ginger for therapeutic use for joint pain, motion or airsickness and clearing the microcirculatory channels to facilitate better absorption of nutrients and better elimination of wastes. Modern science, by way of worldwide research, ratifies its effectiveness in preventing motion or airsickness, improving digestion, and for its pro-analgesic effect on the joints, particularly in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis.
If you can eat raw ginger, a good way to take it is to dip two or three thin slices of ginger in a little salt and lime juice and have them before a main meal.
If you find ginger hard to eat raw or by itself because of its pungent taste, consider adding two or three thin slices to your vegetables or lentils as they cook. Another way to eat ginger is to sauté some grated ginger in a tablespoon of ghee and add the mixture to warm milk (add sweetener if you like) or desserts or other dishes.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.