Lots of people know ginger – it’s a common kitchen herb that adds a little bit of heat and zing in cooking. It’s lovely warming nature is obvious when eaten.

Another thing you probably know about ginger is as a treatment for nausea, especially for motion sickness and morning sickness.

It has a long history of use as both a food and medicine since ancient times. Ancient Greece considered ginger to be an antidote against poisons and to help with digestion.

During the 14th century, one pound of this healing herb was worth the same as a sheep in England. Evidently, ginger has been a valuable herb for a long time!

Herbal Actions

Curious as to the qualities that make ginger so useful? There’s more than a few of them:

  • Anti-emetic – helps to reduce nausea and vomiting; it helps to settle the stomach. 
  • Carminative – reduces flatulence and bloating, helping to ease gastrointestinal strain and reduce intestinal spasms.  
  • Digestive stimulant – helps to support and stimulate the production of digestive juices and supports the function of the digestive tract.
  • Peripheral circulatory stimulant – helps to improve blood flow to the peripheries, all the way out to the fingers and toes.
  • Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation

Ginger: Usage

The most common use of this herb is for digestive complaints.

Those who take it for dyspepsia and motion sickness often notice an effect almost immediately, with improvement occurring within 30 minutes.

With motion sickness specifically, it is recommended that you take ginger 30 minutes before travel and that you take it every 4 hours while you are travelling.

It is also a lovely herb to add into a mix for someone with menstrual issues. It can help with any nausea or digestive upset.

Additionally, it’s warming nature and stimulation of blood flow help to reduce any painful congestion that may be present.

Any Safety Issues?

Ginger is generally very well received be everyone who takes it.

However, there are some considerations that do come up. If you have gallstones, gastric ulcers or reflux you might be better off talking to someone before you start taking ginger.

Too much might make your symptoms worse so it’s better to have a chat with someone who knows ginger a little better first.

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   She began studying Naturopathy when she was 18 years old and has practiced in both Melbourne and rural Victoria.  She has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as […]

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