Benefits of fresh ginger in Chinese medicine

Ginger, which is the rhizome of Zingiber officinale Rosc., is named Jiang in Chinese language. Fresh ginger, which is called Sheng Jiang in Chinese, is commonly used as a spice and a herb in China.

Fresh ginger is pungent in taste and is slightly warm in nature. It has effects on the meridians of lungs, spleen, and stomach. The common dosage of fresh ginger is 3 to 10 g, and it is always cut into slices for a decoction.
Ginger can fuel the body’s fire which damages Yin, so a person who suffers from pathogenic heat or the deficiency of Yin should avoid the use of ginger.

Relieving cold caused by pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold

When pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold stay in the superficial position of the body, it may lead to a cold. Fresh ginger can induce sweating which is an important method to expel pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold, so fresh ginger is always the first herb used in Chinese families for relieving cold caused by pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold.

For treating a mild cold caused by pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold, Chinese people like to make a simple decoction of fresh ginger, sometimes together with brown sugar, and Cong Bai (the white bulb of Cong) may also be added. Cong is Allium fistulosum L. and is also a common spice in China.

However, as the efficacy of fresh ginger is not strong, in Chinese medicine fresh ginger more often takes an assisting role in combination with Gui Zhi and Qiang Huo for inducing sweating and expelling pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold.

Warming stomach

When pathogenic cold stays in stomach, or there is the deficiency of the Yang of spleen and stomach, the person may feel cold and pain in the area of stomach, and suffer from loss of appetite and vomiting. Fresh ginger can warm stomach, improve appetite, and relieve pain and vomiting. It may be used together with Gao Liang Jiang and Hu Jiao for treating the cold syndrome of spleen and stomach. If the Qi of spleen and stomach is deficient, fresh ginger can be used together with Ren Shen and Bai Zhu.

Top herb for relieving vomiting

In Chinese medicine, the normal state of stomach Qi is moving downwards, and vomiting is caused by the abnormally upwards moving of stomach Qi. Fresh ginger does not only warm stomach, but also restores the normal moving state of stomach Qi. Therefore, fresh ginger is called the top herb for relieving vomiting.

For treating vomiting caused by the cold syndrome of stomach, fresh ginger can be used together with Gao Liang Jiang and Bai Dou Kou.

For treating vomiting caused by the retention of phlegm and dampness, fresh ginger can be used together with Ban Xia. The recipe Xiao Ban Xia Tang, recorded in Jin Gui Yao Lue, one of the most important books of Chinese medicine, only uses Ban Xia and Sheng Jiang.

Together with herbs which are cold in nature, the warm nature of fresh ginger is weakened, while fresh ginger still has the efficacy of relieving vomiting. Therefore, fresh ginger can be used together with Huang Lian, Zhu Ru and Pi Pa Ye for relieving vomiting caused by the hot syndrome of stomach.

The juice of fresh ginger is used for processing some herbs like Ban Xia and Zhu Ru, in order to enhance the efficacy of relieving vomiting.

Dissolving sputum and relieving coughing

Fresh ginger can warm lungs, dissolve sputum and relieve coughing. When pathogenic wind and pathogenic cold stay in lungs, the person may cough with a lot of sputum, fear cold, and suffer from headache. In the case, fresh ginger is used together with Ma Huang and Xing Ren, for example, in the recipe San Ao Tang.

When pathogenic dampness causes the stasis of Qi, spleen Qi can’t effectively perform the function of transporting water, and it causes the retention of more phlegm and dampness. Phlegm and dampness may spread to lungs and lung Qi can’t perform the functions of purifying and driving downwards, leading to coughing with a lot of white sputum. In this case, fresh ginger is used together with Chen Pi and Ban Xia, for example, in the recipe Er Chen Tang.

Detoxifying fishes, crabs, Ban Xia and Tian Nan Xing

Fresh ginger can be used for treating food poisoning caused by fishes or crabs as it detoxifies fishes and crabs. Fresh ginger can detoxify some herbs like Ban Xia and Tian Nan Xing, so it is used for processing these herbs.

Peel and juice of fresh ginger

Peel of fresh ginger is pungent in taste and cool in nature. It can restore the harmony of the spleen’s functions, and then boost transporting of water and removing of edema. It is used for treating edema, the decrease of urine, and the difficulty of urinating. Its dosage is 3 to 10 g for making a decoction.

The juice of fresh ginger has the similar effects as fresh ginger, and it is better at dissolving sputum and relieving vomiting. It can relieve numbness, swelling and pain of throat and tongue caused by toxic effects of Tian Nan Xing and Ban Xia. And it is also used for treating serious vomiting which causes difficulty of swallowing. The juice of fresh ginger may be mixed with Zhu Li, the liquid from fresh bamboo through roasting, for treating sudden faint caused by stroke. The juice of fresh ginger is taken after mixing with water, and its dosage is 3 to 10 drops.

REFERENCE:

Zhong, Gansheng. (2016). Chinese Materia Medica. China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

NOTICE:

Some medicinal materials are not allowed to use in the EU. The knowledge of the article is based on the conditions of China. The actual use of medicinal materials in the EU complies with the regulations of the EU.

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