Welcome to Ginger 101! In this latest installment of our herbal education, we’re going to explore the culinary, medicinal, and magickal properties of Ginger. Even though many of us will never have the opportunity to grow this wonderful medicine for ourselves, it still holds an important role in our home apothecaries and herbal collections. Keep reading to unlock all of its secrets.
Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome (root) is widely used as a folk remedy and flavoring agent. This is a very warmth loving plant who really doesn’t like getting any where below about 50° F. That means, without a heated greenhouse, most of us in the US are out of luck for growing our own. Which is a shame because ginger has a long history as a culinary, magickical, and medicinal powerhouse.
Ginger graces ancient medical texts from China, India, Greece, and Rome. The traditional use as a colic, morning sickness, and digestion remedy remains the most common use today. Germany’s Commission E suggests it for motion sickness and gastric upsets, and the British Herbal Compendium adds morning sickness to the list. All of these uses are widely supported by scientific literature.
Other Names: snake root, African ginger, black ginger, cochin ginger, Imber, Jamaica ginger, race ginger, rhizoma zingerberis, sheng jiang, Shokyo, zingibain
Composition: Ginger root refers to the peeled fresh or dried root of the ginger plant. Ginger root contains essential oil.
Methods of Administration: tea, tincture, extract, essential oil, fresh, dried, powdered, capsule, candied, culinary, poultice, balm, ointment, steam
One of the oldest spices on record, ginger is unique in that it is used as often in savory dishes as it is in sweet dishes. It also has two very distinct flavor profiles. Fresh ginger is fiery, slightly zesty, and definitely spicy. Dried ginger is a bit more mellowed and infinitely sweeter. Because of this flavor diversity, fresh ginger is most often used in savory dishes and paired with things like onion, garlic, soy sauce, and citrus. In fact, that simple combination makes a great marinade! Dried ginger is most often used in baking and treats. The rebel to this classification is of course Candied Ginger which is not only a tasty treat for your tummy but a tasty treatment for your tummy troubles as well.
- improves liver function
- increases peristalsis in the intestines
- increases perspiration
- promotes gastric juices
- stimulates circulation
- lack of appetite
- menstrual cramps
- morning sickness
- motion sickness
- nausea (chemo-induced)
- nausea / vomiting
- peripheral circulatory problems
- respiratory infections
- rheumatoid arthritis
- spasmodic pain
- SSRI taper/discontinuation
Ginger is recognized as generally safe with a few caveats. It is contraindicated for individuals with hypersensitivity and gall bladder disease. Caution should also be exercised, and use supervised, in individuals with bleeding disorders, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hypotension.
General Dosage: 2-4 g root per day OR standardized capsules containing 250mg (2 capsules every 4 hours)
Migraine Headache: 500 mg by mouth every four hours as needed; no more than 1.5-2 g/day
Morning Sickness: 250 mg by mouth four times a day or 500 mg by mouth twice a day
Motion Sickness (Powdered Root): 1 g by mouth 0.5-4 hours before travel
Nausea, Chemo-induced (Powdered Root): 1-4 g/d by mouth; no more than 4 g/day
Osteoarthritis (Extract): 170 mg by mouth three times a day OR 255 mg by mouth twice a day, No more than 4 g/day
SSRI Taper/Discontinuation: 550-1100 mg by mouth three times a day; no more than 4 g/day
Nausea/Vomiting of Pregnancy: 250 mg powder by mouth four times a day, may take up to 6 g/day
Magickal Associations and Correspondences
Deities – Hecate, Ameretat, Artemis
Zodiac – Aries
Planet – Mars
Element – Fire
Gender – Masculine
Crystals – Citrine, carnelian, pyrite and garnet
Just like its culinary and medicinal attributes, ginger is fiery, spicy, and energizing magickally as well. The magickal properties of ginger have a particular affinity with manifesting abundance and warding away poverty.
Magickal Properties of Ginger
- Hang ginger root in the doorway of birthing rooms as a ward to protect women during childbirth.
- Bury ginger root near the entryway to protect your home.
- Ginger steeped in wine is a potent love potion.
- To deepen a relationship, and move it toward a firmer commitment, bind together two whole ginger roots with a red cord – one with your initials and the other with your lover’s initials carved upon them.
- For long distance healing, place a whole ginger root or ginger root powder on top of the photograph of a loved one.
- For a quick spurt of luck, add ginger to your bath.
- For added energy, eat ginger on Tuesdays.
- Invite good fortune into you home by keeping a small ginger plant in a pot.
- Chew raw ginger or drink ginger tea before doing any magickal work to increase your own energy which will in turn make the spell more successful.
- Ginger is considered an aphrodisiac, so use it in love spells to do with passionate love.
- It will also help to increase your confidence so drink a little ginger tea before heading out on a date that you might be nervous about.
- Use dried ginger to smoke cleanse your home or your tools. It keeps away malevolent energy and drives out any negativity you may have been feeling.
- Place some ginger under your bed in order to ease nightmares and make you feel calmer.
Purchase dried Ginger in the Apothecary!
Explore more magickal and medicinal herbs to expand your herbal education. If you enjoyed Ginger 101, you might enjoy digging deeper into these herbs as well:
Disclaimer: Please note that I am a not medical professional and everything written here is a product of my own research. Don’t take any advice given here over that of a trained doctor. If you ingest any herbs, always make sure that you’re 100% sure that they’re safe. If you’re pregnant or giving to a child, always consult a doctor before ingesting herbs and plant you aren’t familiar with. Magickal instruction and spells are for personal entertainment purposes only. The desired result/outcome cannot be guaranteed as a result of using any magickal item, and should not be used as a replacement for medical/professional assistance.