– Ginger

ginger-1191927_960_720The ginger plant originated in the lush tropical jungles of China and India and has been cultivated since before written historical records began. The earliest written medical books of both of these countries discuss ginger and its many uses in great detail. Asian ginger has a tan shiny root and can be found in nearly every Asian food store and in many mainstream supermarkets.

Traditionally used in Asia for colds and flu and is excellent for reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and preventing internal blood clots. Additionally, The Pomo Indian women of California were known to drink it each month the week before their period was due to Induce menstrual flow and possibly natural abortion. The Chinese use their variety as a primary herb for headaches, facial nerve pain, and sinus congestion.

ALSO KNOWN AS:
Zingiber officinale, Asian/African/American ginger, asarum canadensis, aristolochiaceae.

WHERE IT’S FOUND: Grows all over the world.

WARNING LEVEL: Moderate risk associated with use.

LAST MENSTRUAL CYCLE: If your last menstrual cycle started about 4 weeks ago.

POSSIBLY TOXIC: Can affect the heart. Contains thujone.

UTERINE AND HORMONAL EFFECTS:

  • Ginger is an emmenagogue, which means that it stimulates blood circulation to the pelvic area and uterus and helps to stimulate menstruation.
  • Research has shown that ginger is a powerful thromboxane synthetase inhibitor. (It can potentially affect testosterone binding in the fetus.)

IS USED FOR:
Morning sickness, motion sickness, digestive aid, easing menstrual cramps, counteracting and eliminating gas, diaphoretic properties.

HOW IT’S PREPARED:

  • Ginger Root Decoction: 1 – 2 oz. (28 – 57 g) sliced fresh root to 2 cups (500 ml) water. Simmer 20 minutes. Take 1 cup (250 ml), two to three times a day, on an empty stomach for up to six days
  • Ginger Tea: Use one ounce of fresh chopped ginger root per pint of hot water. Cover it tightly and let it sit for an hour or two at most, strain off the liquid and drink 4 cups a day. Also, use in cooking to add flavor to meals.

POSSIBLE SIDE-EFFECTS AND SIGNS OF TOXICITY:
Sleepiness, confusion, dizziness, irregular heartbeats, large amounts can cause uterine bleeding, as well as miscarriage.

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