The cultivation of herbs are broaden in Malaysia for its many uses. Herbal is used as daily supplement and also alternative medicine. Alternative medicine, while having an ever growing trend in our society, is not intended to replace modern medical. More than that, the Malay society used the herbs as delicacy and spice in their cook.
Ginger or its scientific name Zingiber officinale, is one of the herbs that is widely use as flavouring in food not only by the Malay society but also others in Malaysia. Ginger is a knotted, thick, beige underground stem or in science we call it rhizome. The stem extends roughly twelve inches above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers. Ginger is easily found because it is easily planted and doesn’t need much care where it grows in fertile, moist and tropical soil. Apart from using ginger in cook, ginger continues to be valued around the world in medicinal uses.
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The efficiency of ginger in treating various diseases are known not only through traditional methods, but also proven by modern medical experts. In alternative medicine, ginger is used as a tonic or ointment. It is widely used to treat arthritis, diarrhea, and lack of energy, headache and fever. In addition, ginger helps digest food, regulate the heart of the cold and foul mouth odor. Other than that, taking ginger could prevent from nausea or dizziness and also motion sickness.
In additional to the many benefits, it is also good to know that there are no known drug side effects. Ginger does not interact with any other nutrients or drug in the body and ginger in all forms are very safe to take.
GINGER – USES BASED ON SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
The use of ginger in medical purposes have been tested in humans or animals. However, safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy
Preliminary studies suggest that ginger may be safe and effective for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy when used at recommended doses for short periods of time ( less than five days ). However, some research discourage large doses of ginger during pregnancy due to concern about mutation or abortion. Additional research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of ginger during pregnancy before it can be recommended for longer periods of time.
There is mix evidence that ginger has no effect on motion sickness, while some other reports noting that ginger may reduce vomiting. More studies are needed comparing ginger to other drugs used for this purpose.
Nausea due to chemotherapy
Initial research reports that ginger may reduce the severity and length of time that a patient feels nausea after chemotherapy. However, some research reports no significant effects. Numerous prescription drugs are highly effective at controlling nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and the available options should be discussed with the patient’s medical oncologist.
Nausea and vomiting after surgery
Some human studies report improvement in nausea or vomiting after surgery if patients take ginger before surgery. However, other research shows no difference. Additional studies are needed before the use of ginger before surgery to help with nausea and vomiting can be recommended.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease of the joints, especially the weight-bearing joints that develops when the linings of joints degenerate, leading to lipping and spurring of bone, pain, and decreased mobility and function. Ginger has historically been used for arthritis and rheumatism. A preliminary trial reported relief in pain and swelling among people with arthritis who used powdered ginger supplements. More recently, a double-blind trial found ginger extract (170 mg three times a day for three weeks) to be slightly more effective than placebo at relieving pain in people with OA of the hip or knee. In another double-blind study, a concentrated extract of ginger, taken in the amount of 255 mg twice daily for six weeks, was significantly more effective than a placebo, as determined by the degree of pain relief and overall improvement.
GINGER – USES TRADITIONALLY
Ginger, as well as other spice plants, apart from being used in cooking, Malay communities usually use it as an ingredient in traditional medical practice. Among several health problems can be overcome by using ginger is :
Tired and weak body
After some work hard, our body will be tired especially at the joint and muscle. One way to overcome this problem is by using ginger. The method is by using a thumb size ginger, crush and mix it with coconut oil as much as three spoons, stir it until it mix well. Before go to sleep, put the mixture at the affected joint or muscle.
Cleaning and destroying blood clots in the body
According to the practices of the Malay community in Sabah, ginger soup, mixed with young chickens has been effective in restoring energy and also destroy and remove blood clots in the body, especially for new mothers who give birth. Practice it during abstinence or at least for 30 days.
Reduce fat in body
Ginger is an important ingredient in traditional practices for losing weight. To reduce fat in the body, take three pieces of ginger, crushed with a little fennel seeds, cumin seeds and some black pepper until finely. The mixture then was put into half cup of warm water. Sieve and mix it with a glass of warm water again. Drink half cup morning and half cup in the evening. Practice it always to see the results.
Women’s menstrual problem
The problem can be treated by using ginger. Take two parts of ginger’s stem and tamarind leaves. Crush both of them and mix with half glass of boiled water. After that, sieve and add a bit of salt. If continuing drinking the medicine, this problem will disappear.
Removing phlegm and mucus in the throat
Phlegm and mucus in the throat make us feel uncomfortable. A little crushed ginger mixed with a little rock sugar drink with hot water could help. Drink the medicine repeatedly until the mucus and phlegm is gone.
GINGER AROUND THE WORLD
Ginger has become an important ingredient in the product mix of most specialty food stores and supermarkets not in Malaysia alone, but also other countries around the world. Whether fresh, dried, or in some other distinct form, it fits into almost every section of the store, from food products to exterior use products. Here are some countries that make use of ginger’s benefits.
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In the West, the powdered dried ginger root is made into capsules and sold in pharmacies for medicinal use. While in Burma, ginger and local sweetener made from palm tree juice ( htan nyat ) are boiled together and taken to prevent flu. In china, ginger is included in several traditional preparations. A drink made with sliced ginger cooked in water with brown sugar or cola is used to treat cold. Besides that, people in Congo also make use of ginger’s benefits. The ginger is crushed and mixed with mango tree sap to make juice.
In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache, and consume when suffering from cold. It is also used with lemon and black salt to treat nausea. Indonesian use ginger as herbal preparation to reduce fatigue, reduce wind in the blood, cure rheumatism and control poor dietary habits. In Philippine, “salabat”, a traditional health drink is made for breakfast by boiling chopped ginger and adding sugar which is good for sore throat. Ginger is use to prevent motion and morning sickness. It is proven safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is sold as dietary supplement in the USA. In Peru, ginger is sliced in hot water as a cure for stomach ache.
Ginger was processed as crystallized fruit as MARDI’s effort to commercialize the benefits of ginger. This product can be eaten as dessert. Crystallization is a method of preserve with sugar. The proses is done by absorption of sugar into the fruit slowly. In addition, ginger also has potential as a variety of food products such as beverages, sauces, jams, use in making cakes, biscuits, and more.
Ginger Essence Lotion Mustajab pioneer product is a product of the World Herbs which are used 100% of ginger extract and mixture of herbal ingredients specially formulated to assist and expedite the removal of fat and cellulite on the hips and tummy for a slim return. It also can help pain problems by women and good for cold.
This ginger-based beverage products produced by Penang Tanjung Company used to treat colic and upset stomach, help to digest food, and can control bad breath. Ginger juice helps to remove mucus and phlegm for those who had cough.Ginger can increase the metabolism of blood to the organs. The mixture of this product with honey that is rich with glucose and fructose made it a quality product.
This flattering Korres Ginger & Vitamins Foundation SPF 10 made from Italy not only makes complexion look beautiful, but also good for skin for it is formulated with ginger extract and also vitamins C and E. Ginger extract helps soften the skin and aid in detoxification.
Side effects due to ginger are rare when used as recommended. However, some people that are sensitive to the taste may experience heartburn. People with a history of gallstones should consult a doctor before using ginger. Short-term use of ginger for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy appears to pose no safety problems. However, long-term use during pregnancy is not recommended. A doctor should be informed if ginger is used before surgery as the herb may increase bleeding.
The quality of the original rhizome must be the primary concern for the person using supplements of ginger in their diet. At the same time, the ginger herb is a valuable supplement in a variety of supplemental forms, but the value of the rhizome and the supplemental quality will be less if the original material is old, shriveled, was moldy or chemically treated in anyway. In such cases, the quality of the ginger will obviously not yield the herbal values comparable to a herbal ginger product created using fresh and organically grown rhizomes. All in all, ginger is one of the best herb-based medicine to be consumed.
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