Ginger is a common ingredient in many cuisines, but did you know this well-loved ingredient is also a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)? It is used in multiple forms; the technique used in processing it will changes its properties, thus making it suitable for a range of different ailments.
What forms of ginger can be found in TCM?
Fresh ginger has mild warming properties for the stomach, which is beneficial for digestive issues caused by Qi deficiency. It has properties to dispel cold, which arises from imbalances in the body.
By drying the fresh ginger, it takes away its property of dispelling cold, but increase the warming properties. It can be used in more severe Qi deficiency.
What does ginger help with?
Fresh ginger is a natural antibiotic. It works to dispel wind-cold, as well as induces sweating in order to clear the pathogen. It can be used alone or in combination with other herbs for synergistic effect. Want to strengthen your body to avoid catching the bug? Drinking ginger tea helps if you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick, or as a general preventative during the flu season.
Nausea and Vomiting
In TCM, the core of digestion consists of the spleen and stomach. When these organs are imbalanced, it can result in nausea and vomiting. Drinking ginger tea can warm the organs, restoring balance to the gastrointestinal system. As above, it can also be combined with other herbs to address certain underlying causes.
Lung Issues and Coughing
The warming effect of fresh ginger can benefit the lungs, too. When phlegm builds up and disrupts the flow of Qi in the lungs, ginger can be an excellent palliative to dispel cold and stop coughing.
Ginger’s warming properties have been known to increase the heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure. This can be very beneficial for the lungs and heart, as well as to aid with low blood pressure. Of course, caution should be taken for those with high blood pressure, though!
When bleeding is the result of deficiency or cold — characterised by dark, thin blood — dried ginger may alleviate the issue. It can be especially beneficial for women who suffer from hypermenorrhea and abnormal menstrual bleeding. Prepared dried ginger, which is pan fried until it is close to being burnt, helps with this.
Dispels Cold and Dampness
Cold and dampness are specific conditions in TCM that arise from certain imbalances within the body. These can often manifest as a feeling of heaviness, cold or pain in the lower body. Dried ginger can help to cure these imbalances and restore order to the body.
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