Ginger is a plant with leafy stems and yellowish green flowers. The ginger spice comes from the roots of the plant. Ginger is native to warmer parts of Asia, such as China, Japan, and India, but now is grown in parts of South American and Africa. It is also now grown in the Middle East to use as medicine and with food.
Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea caused by HIV/AIDS treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
Other uses include pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, respiratory problems,migraine headache, bronchitis, and diabetes. Ginger is also sometimes used forchest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain, discontinuing use of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), anorexia, to stimulate breast milk, as a diuretic, and to increase sweating. It is also used to treat cholera, bleeding, bacterial bloody diarrhea, baldness, malaria, inflamed testicles, poisonous snake bites, and toothaches.
Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain. Ginger extract is also applied to the skin to prevent insect bites.
In foods and beverages, ginger is used as a flavoring agent.
In manufacturing, ginger is used as for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.