Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an herbaceous perennial (flower plants that live more than two years) and a rhizome (grows underground). It comes from the Zingiberaceae family of plants, which includes turmeric and cardamom.
The history of ginger dates back over 5000 years when India and Chinese medicine started using it as a tonic for many ailments. Although ginger originated in Southeast Asia, it has a long history of being cultivated in many other countries.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, ginger is a superfood, being tri-doshic (suitable for all doshas) when it is fresh. Still, in its powdered state, it is very heating for the Pitta dosha. Below is there energetics:
Fresh: Pungent & Sweet Taste/Warming in nature and with the overall qualities of being unctuous, heavy, and sattvic.
Dry: Pungent and sweet taste/heating in nature and its over qualities are dry, light, mobile and penetrating.
The bio-medical actions of ginger include: anti-Inflammatory, antiarthritic, lung tonic, appetizer, antiemetic, antispasmodic, carminative, burns ama (toxins), decongestant, detoxicant, digestive, galactagogue, sialogogue, spleen-tonic, stomachic and vasodilator.
Ginger is particularly useful for digestion, respiration, and the joints. It is believed to destroy ama (stored toxins), enkindle the digestive fire and secretion of digestive enzymes, prevents nausea, stops hiccups, clears phlegm in the lungs, alleviates coughs, colds and breathing difficulties, reduces inflammation, improves circulation, relieves menstrual cramps and is believed to help with congestive-type cardiac disorders.