Latin Name – Zingiber officinale Sanskrit name – Sunti (dry ginger), Ardraka (fresh ginger). It is also called mahoushadham and viswabhesha, highlighting its enormous and widespread medicinal usage. It is a slender perennial rhizomatous herb,grown all over India.
Dry ginger is katu (pungent) in taste, laghu (light) and snigdha (unctuous) in guna (property), ushna (hot) in potency and madhura (sweet) in vipaka (post-digestive transformation). It pacifies kapha and vata doshas. Charaka Samhita, the wellknown classical Ayurveda text, has classified it under dipaniya, improving the digestive fire, sitaprasamana, anticold, trptighna, antisatiating, stanyasodhana, purifying breast milk, purisa sangrahaniya, gives form to faeces and arsoghna, anti haemorrhoidal groups. Dry ginger is one of the three ingredients often used in the preparation of medicines by Ayurvedic practitioners. The mixture is called trikatu – meaning three pungent ingredients, viz. Sunti, maricha (pepper) and pippali (long pepper). The mixture of these, in equal parts, in powder form, works well when given with honey in rhinitis, rheumatic conditions, obesity and tumours.
It is used for abdominal pain, anorexia, heart diseases, oedema, indigestion, arthritis, atonic dyspepsia, chest congestion, chronic bronchitis, cold extremities, colic, colitis, common cold, cough, diarrhoea, difficulty in breathing, dropsy, fever, flatulence, disorders of gallbladder, hyperacidity, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, morning sickness, nausea, rheumatism, sore throat, throat ache, stomach ache and vomiting. Ginger forms an important constituent of many Ayurvedic formulations like Nagaradi kashayam, Ashta Vargam kashayam, Dadimashtaka choornam, Taleesapatradi choornam, Ardraka gulam, Soubhagya sunti andArdrakasavam, to name a few.
Cultivation : It is used for abdominal pain, anorexia, heart diseases, oedema, indigestion, arthritis, atonic dyspepsia, chest congestion, chronic bronchitis, cold extremities, colic, colitis, common cold, cough, diarrhoea, difficulty in breathing, dropsy, fever, flatulence, disorders of gallbladder, hyperacidity, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, morning sickness, nausea, rheumatism, sore throat, throat ache, stomach ache and vomiting. Ginger forms an important constituent of many Ayurvedic formulations like Nagaradi kashayam, Ashta Vargam kashayam, Dadimashtaka choornam, Taleesapatradi choornam, ArGinger, melons, cucumbers, turmeric, etc can be cultivated as an intercrop with other trees like gooseberry, drumsticks or even in coconut plantations. Ginger rhizomes are used for planting. Select best rhizomes free from pest and disease. The best time for planting ginger is during the first fortnight of April, after pre-monsoon showers. For irrigated ginger, the best-suited time for planting is middle of February (for vegetable ginger). Plant rhizome bits of 15 g weight in small pits at a spacing of 20 x 20 cm to 25 x 25 cm and at a depth of 4-5 cm with at least one viable healthy bud facing upwards.
Ginger (1 part) with jaggery (2 parts) and sesame seeds (4 parts) are to be finely ground together. The intake of this mixture reduces nausea, cough, and respiratory difficulties. It also improves taste perception and reduces kapha dosha. Ginger juice can be given with honey for cough, with rock salt for constipation, with lemon juice for loss of appetite and with onion juice for diarrhoea. Rasnadi choornam mixed with ginger juice is applied on the forehead to relieve headache; even dry ginger paste with a little water can be applied on the forehead . Arrowroot powder, sugar candy and ginger (1 part each) with hareetaki (3 parts) (chebulic myrobalan), which is made into a fine powder, are good as diet for patients with haemorrhoids, especially for fissures in ano. Curry leaves (6 parts), hareetaki (4 parts) and ginger (2 parts) are to be prepared as a decoction and given to patients suffering from intestinal colic, dysentery and associated fever. It is especially good for improving digestion. Ginger powder with one-fourthpart rock salt, mixed with ghee, is good for gulma. Curry leaves, rock salt and dry ginger ground and mixed with ghee, administered at night along with rice, relieves gulma. Ginger with drumstick bark as decoction helps to relieve intestinal colic.
Guduchi (Giloy) 1 part, trikatu (long pepper, pepper, ginger) 1 part as powder or medicated jam, added with sugar candy or jaggery, is an excellent remedy for chronic rhinitis. Puffed rice, bala (country mallow), vilwa (bael root), ginger and milk prepared as a decoction is good for oedema, abdominal bloating or discomfort during pregnancy. Chemical composition: Capsaicin, Curcumin 6-shogaol; Galanolactone, 6-gingerol; Benzaldehyde; Borneol; Caffeic-acid; Camphor; Eugenol; Ferulic-acid; Gingerol; Myrcene; p-cymene; Quercetin, Myricetin; Salicylates; Vanillic-acid; Zingerone Caution: Because of its ushna (hot potency) and teekshna (sharp/penetrating) properties ginger is to be used with caution in summer and for skin manifestation especially vitiligo and bleeding disorders.
1. Ethanol extract of Zingiber officinale showed strong antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli which causes complicated urinary tract infections. 2. Gingerol has good activity against cisplatin-induced emesis possibly by inhibiting central or peripheral increase of substance P and NK(1) receptors. 3. A standardized multiplant Ayurvedic drug (RA- 11) (It is a combination of Withania somnifera, Boswellia serrata, Zingiber officinale, and Curcuma longa) is currently used to treat arthritis. A drug trial demonstrated the potential efficacy and safety of RA- 11 in the symptomatic treatment of OA knees after 32 weeks of therapy.