Ginger Root Herb Profile

Uses and Benefits of Ginger Root

Ginger is one of the oldest and most popular natural remedies. It is also very easy to find in most places and extremely versatile. It is one herb I always keep on hand (I say that a lot….) for its uses in upset stomachs, respiratory issues and even skin problems!

What is Ginger?

It is a root (rhizome to be exact) that grows in many places. According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

  • It is the most widely used and available herbal remedy on the planet, with billions of people using it every day as both food and medicine. A tropical perennial growing to a height of two feet, ginger has lance-shaped leaves and bears stalks of white or yellow flowers.
  • It has long been the subject of fable and literature. For centuries, Europeans obtained it form Arab spice traders, who protected their sources by inviting stories of ginger field located in lands stalked by a fierce people called troglodytes. And Shakespeare wrote in Love’s Labour Lost, “had I but one penny in the world thou shouldst have it to buy ginger-bread.”
  • A versatile herb, it is used either fresh or dried in nearly two thirds of all traditional Chinese and Japanese herbal formulas. Fresh is used to relieve dryness and heat, while dried is used to relieve dampness and chill.

Ginger is widely available as a fresh root in most grocery stores as well as dried and powdered for use as a spice.

Benefits of Ginger:

It has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and is said to help:

  • Soothe digestive disturbances
  • Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
  • Reduce fever
  • Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
  • Stimulate the circulatory system
  • Relieve muscle aches and pain
  • Get rid of dandruff
  • Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
  • Japanese research has found Ginger is effective in lowering blood pressure and cancer risk

Ways to Use:

Herb Profile- Ginger Root Uses and BenefitsGreat for use in teas, tinctures, capsules or in cooking. It is an ingredient in my homemade Digestive Remedy. Other ways to use it:

  • To make tea, simmer 3/4 teaspoon (0.5 to 1.0 grams) of chopped ginger in 1 cup of hot water for five minutes in a closed teapot.
  • Add dried ginger powder or fresh ginger to homemade cough syrup, cough drops or remedies.
  • Capsules can help with digestive troubles or morning sickness
  • Ginger capsules are also often helpful in alleviating menstrual cramps
  • From Nutritional Herbology: “A study in The Lancet (March 2, 1982) showed ginger to be effective in treating motion sickness. Two gelatin capsules of ginger are more effective than 100 mg of dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), an over-the-counter motion sickness remedy. To use ginger in this manner, take two capsules approximately 20-25 minutes before taking off in an airplane or boarding a ship and thereafter every 4 hours.”
  • A few tablespoons of dried, powdered ginger root added to a hot bath is effective in relieving sore muscles or body aches (can also lower fever).
  • Added to foods as a delicious spice.
  • Fresh and dried seem to be equally effective in trials.


There are warnings in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and some medical texts about using ginger during pregnancy, though it is generally agreed that ginger can be used in moderation (always check with a doctor or midwife to be sure). Studies in the late 1990’s found that eating as much as 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw ginger or 5 to 8 tablespoons of dried ginger daily will not stimulate uterine contraction. Excessive use may cause gastro-intestinal upset.

Where to Get Ginger Root

Fresh organic ginger is available in most places and is a great option. For ease of storage, dried ginger root is another great option. I buy dried ginger root in bulk from here.

Recipes with Ginger:

Have you ever used Ginger? How did it work for you? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I love juicing with ginger. I definitely feel healed from the inside out!

  2. One great way to use ginger is with a Ginger Beer Plant. It makes a delicious drink very similar to water kefir just stronger in flavor.

  3. Ginger root is something I always like to have in the house.
    Great in teas, stir fries, smoothies, and anything made in a crock pot.
    Also a great way to “warm up” during the colder months.

  4. My Korean sister-in-law read a Korean book recently that also discussed the powerful detoxifying nature of ginger, it’s ability to promote weight loss with just a cup of the tea every day and no dietary changes, and it’s ability to create regularity. Amazing stuff!

  5. I keep organic ginger slices (the size of quarters) in the freezer so it’s always ready to throw in a smoothie, juicing, recipes, tea, whatever. I never run out. I keep ginger candies on hand for motion sickness and morning sickness. My favorite brand is The Ginger People, and I like the spicy apple flavor. By like I mean it’s ok. I don’t love ginger flavor unless it’s mixed in a recipe. With one candy I can go from go car sick to being able to read in the car! Amazing. Be careful though bc some ginger candies don’t actually have any ginger in them. Like Newman’s Own. So check labels. ginger is also a natural antiviral so when I add it to my morning smoothie/juicing I rarely get sick. I do get tired of it and stop using it, so if I do feel something coming on I start adding the ginger back in.

  6. I use fresh ginger to make tea, in smoothies and juices, in cashew butter sauce (allergic to peanuts) for lettuce wraps. My granddaughters get colds and upset stomachs occasionally and I keep ginger tea for them, they love it! Love your blog/site!

  7. I just recently developed asthma from stuff in my house. I dont have the money to make the air quality better right now, but I can get foods that may help. I currently have lemons, onions, and acv with the mother, and ginger. What all can I do with the ginger root to help my asthma?

  8. I have been suffering from a cough that has plagued me since July ’14. I’ve never been a smoker. Broncoscopy, CT scans, and blood-work revealed nothing. OTC remedies have been useless.
    Narcotic cough remedies work but have the usual drawbacks (I might as well ask for Plutonium!)
    … “you must be attempting to get high on DRUGS!!!”.
    Please kill me now because I have a cough that is making my life a living hell! (and you’re SO concerned you offer to place me in a rehab, cough intact!)
    I’ve always used fresh ginger root in recipes, soups, etc. …etc. …
    I eventually began to enjoy chewing thin slices of raw ginger. I find it stimulating, it pleases my palette, cleanses my breath, and wouldn’t you know it … my hacking cough stopped whenever I chewed a small piece and held it in a corner of my mouth and sucked out the juice. It burns, (in a ‘good’ way) my nose runs, my eyes water, and I’ll be damned… I stopped
    coughing too. I never looked it up as a remedy. I “discovered it” so to speak. It also delivers as an anti nausea remedy. To boot, it isn’t costly. Need I say more.

  9. I want to loose weight , what must I do

  10. We use ginger as a pain med, in our detox baths, and to help with upset stomach. I’ve also used it in fire cider and want to begin incorporating it in my stews as well.

  11. Ginger tea and candy(Gin Gins) helped me make it through the nausea with my first pregnancy. It’s one one of my favorite herbs/spices. My husband makes the most delicious tea!

  12. I would like to loose this belly fat and need to know how tto do it.