Herb of the Week

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger

This will be the first post in a series that could go on forever.  I am going to post on herbs once each week.  I have been neglecting this blog and the 2 people who have ever read it.  So, here goes…

Ginger, Zingiberis officinale or Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens, is a root vegetable that has been cultivated for at least 3000 years.  It was originally native to Southeast Asia and is related to turmeric and cardamom (which will be written about in future posts.)

First of all, ginger is useful in relieving nausea and vomiting as seen in the April 2005 Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The study also showed that it was safe to take ginger during pregnancy.

Another study showed that ginger relieved nausea caused by chemo theraphy by 40% in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study funded by the National Cancer Institute.

In the study, 644 cancer patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. They were given a placebo, 500 mg of ginger, 1,000 mg of ginger, or 1,500 mg of ginger in addition to antiemetic medication to prevent vomiting. The participants took the ginger for six days, starting three days before the start of their chemo cycles.

Those who took 500 mg to 1,000 mg of ginger a day had the best results. This was rated on a subjective scale from not nauseated to extremely nauseated. 500 mg of ginger is equal to a quarter teaspoon of ground dried ginger.

Ginger has anti inflammatory properties. Ginger has compounds in it known as gingerols (clever name, no?) These substances are very helpful in protecting from free radical damage and in this study from the February 2005 Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine it was shown that ginger combated the production of the pro-inflammatory chemicals that were produced by the body’s own cartilage and immune cells.

I’m going to try to keep the word count down on these posts as I don’t want to bore you with the details. But how do you incorporate more ginger in your diet to combat the gastrointestinal disturbances and/or the inflammation that may afflict you, the reader? I’m glad you asked. 🙂

Here are some links to one of my favorite celebrity chefs, Martin Yan and his recipes:

Forest Garden Stir Fry
This recipe also contains garlic and chili peppers which I will write about in weeks to come. These herbs also have potent health benefits.

Mrs. Yan’s Weekly Chicken Soup
This recipe also contains garlic but also ginkgo nuts (if you want to use them) and Chinese Wolfberries (gou qi zi) which I definitely will be writing about later as they are one of the best antioxidants found in nature.

This recipe looks really good, I’m going to have to have the Missus make it:
New Beijing Lamb
This recipe contains ginger, garlic, and vinegar. I will write about vinegar sometime later.

Here is a recipe from Chef Ming Tsai:
Gingered Beef with Leeks and Asparagus
The leeks and asparagus are also very good for you as well. I will get to them in future posts.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions for me.

The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). The article is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician. The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as individual medical advice.

2 Responses to “Herb of the Week”

  1. Angela Woods Taylor Says:

    Dr. Eric,

    Hey, any idea where you can purchase the gingko nuts and wolfberries?
    I was thinking about making the chicken soup recipe.

    Thanks,
    angela

  2. doctoreric Says:

    Angela,

    You can go to St. Louis “Chinatown” which is on Olive Blvd, it is just a bit east of I-170.

    Dr. Eric

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