Zingiber (Dried Ginger)
What is Zingiber (Dried Ginger)?
Zingiber (Dried Ginger) (Gan Jiang, 干姜) comes from the rhizome of a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and originated in Southeast Asia. As the name suggests, Dried Ginger is the dried ginger root of the plant. It is one of the healthiest and most delicious spices on our lovely planet. Since ancient times, people have been using this herb for both medical and culinary purposes.
There is an old Chinese saying that states that a man cannot go 100 days without ginger. This saying underlines the fact that this herb is famous for its sexual potency benefits and its treatment-like effects on sexual dysfunction.
In China, it is cultivated and produced in areas such as Sichuan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan and Hubei. After the herb is harvested in Winter, they are washed clean, sliced into pieces and dried. Zingiber (Dried Ginger) looks like a flat block, and it is 3 – 7cm long, 1 – 2cm wide, with finger-like branches.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Zingiber (Dried Ginger) falls under the category of ‘Herbs that warm the Interior and/or expel Cold’. This herb is used to tackle Internal Cold with Qi Deficiency as well as Yang Deficiency. Also, with a Hot nature, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can help to restore the yin-yang balance in individuals who have too much Cold in their bodies, such as those who are experiencing Yin Excess or Yang Deficiency.
Pungent in taste, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) tends to promote the circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, this herb targets the Heart, the Kidneys, the Lungs and the stomach.
Functions and Benefits of Dried Ginger (Zingiber)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Zingiber (Dried Ginger) has the following benefits.
Firstly, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can warm our Spleen to relieve Cold syndromes. This herb is one of the key herbs for warming our middle energizer and dispersing Cold from our body. It can thus invigorate the Spleen and reinforce yang in our bodies. Thus, this herb is often used for both excess and Deficiency Cold syndromes.
Secondly, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can restore the collapse of yang to cure syndromes of yang exhaustion. By warming the Heart and invigorating yang, this herb can restore our yang levels, expel interior Cold and unblock the meridians in our body to promote smooth circulation of qi, blood and body fluids.
Thirdly, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can warm the Lungs to regulate retained fluid and water metabolism. For example, it can help to relieve cough and dyspnea that are manifested in the Lungs as accumulation of Cold-retained fluid.
Other than the above Dried Ginger benefits, modern research has discovered that Zingiber (Dried Ginger) also contains high amounts of gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Hence, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) may help to reduce oxidative stress.
Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can also treat many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness. It may help to relieve chemotherapy-related nausea too.
Other than that, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) may also help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, prevent heart diseases and reduce menstrual pain.
How to Use Dried Ginger (Zingiber)
There are many different types of dry ginger uses, be it for its health benefits or for cosmetic purposes.
Zingiber (Dried Ginger) can be consumed fresh, dried, as dry ginger powder, or as an oil, tea or juice. It has many different types of forms, and can be used in many recipes.
A common ingredient, Zingiber (Dried Ginger) is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics as well.
Cautions and Side Effects of Dried Ginger (Zingiber)
Consuming excessive amounts of Zingiber (Dried Ginger) may cause mild heartburn.
With regards to its usage, It is advised that individuals should not consume Zingiber (Dried Ginger) during the later months of their pregnancy, or if they are experiencing bleeding caused by Heat in their blood. Also, do consult your healthcare provider before using the herb during pregnancy.
If you are experiencing Yin Deficiency with internal Heat, you should also avoid this herb too. Examples of the symptoms are night sweating, hot flushes, constant thirst, blood spots under the skin, nose bleeding, blood in faeces or urine.
Some evidence also suggests that Zingiber (Dried Ginger) may interfere with heart medications, diabetes medications, anticoagulants and the blood-thinning drug Warfarin.
Since Zingiber (Dried Ginger) also increases the flow of bile, patients with gallstone should avoid using this herb as well.
Here is a summary for Dried Ginger (Zingiber):
- Herb name (Chinese): 干姜
- Herb name (Pin Yin): gàn jiāng
- Herb name (English): Zingiber (Dried Ginger)
- Herb name (Botanical): Rhizoma Zingerberis
- Origin of species: Zingiber officinale (Willd.) Rosc. (Fam. Zingiberaceae)
- Part(s) of herb used: Rhizome
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Sichuan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei
- Taste(s) & Properties: Pungent; Hot; Administrates the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Heart and Lung meridians
- Actions: Eases symptoms of stomach discomforts, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Shahrajabian, M. H., Sun, W., & Cheng, Q. (2019). Clinical aspects and health benefits of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in both traditional Chinese medicine and modern industry. Acta agriculturae scandinavica, section b—Soil & Plant Science, 69(6), 546-556. [Accessed on 22th September 2022]
Shahrajabian, M. H., Wenli, S. U. N., & Cheng, Q. (2019). Pharmacological uses and health benefits of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in traditional Asian and ancient Chinese medicine, and modern practice. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 11(3), 309-319.[Accessed on 22th September 2022]
Zadeh, J. B., & Kor, N. M. (2014). Physiological and pharmaceutical effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) as a valuable medicinal plant. European journal of experimental biology, 4(1), 87-90.[Accessed on 22th September 2022]
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