The fresh or dried tuberous root is used to make ginger products, usually capsules, but fresh and candied forms are popular. Oil is also extracted from the root.
Traditional Chinese medicine has valued ginger as a tonic for digestion.
Ginger may offer substantial protection to your heart and circulation because of its ability to support normal blood clotting.
Ginger is taken to prevent travel or motion sickness.
It is also used to reduce the pain and stiffness in knee joints and osteoarthritis.
Ginger has many other actions such as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer and anti-spasmodic.
Traditionally, ginger has been used to make you sweat. This helps bring down high temperatures in colds and flu.
Ginger oil is used as a warm-up rub for cold muscles, and in creams for muscle aches and rheumatism.
The normal dose to prevent travel sickness is 200 to 300 mg. Traditional teas use 3 to 9 grams of fresh ginger.
Ginger for travel sickness should be started two days before travelling and continued throughout the journey.
Ginger is generally safe. Minor side effects include belching, heartburn and stomach upsets.
Don’t take ginger if you are pregnant or have gallstones.
Regular use can affect the absorption of iron and fat-soluble vitamins, and some prescription drugs such as digoxin and phenytoin.