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3. THE HERBAL CORNER - * Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

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Did you know that the GINGER herb is useful for:

	* preventing motion sickness and vomiting?
	* improving digestion and appetite?
	* fighting coughs, sore throats, colds, flu, and fevers?
	* reducing cholesterol?
	* relieving migraine headaches?

Characterized by delicate yellow blooms rimmed with purple, Ginger not only is a valued culinary seasoning but also is considered a remedy for a range of ailments. Discovered by practitioners of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the ginger root was originally thought of as a digestive aid. Today, both Chinese and Western herbalists believe it relieves motion sickness and dizziness and improves digestion. Ginger may also help to relieve menstrual cramps. Its active constituents are gingerols (a combination of volatiles oils and resin), which soothe the abdomen and relieve excess gas. Gingerols are also responsible for Ginger's characteristic aroma and explain its therapeutic properties. Some Western studies show that Ginger may help prevent heart disease and strokes by reducing internal blood clotting and lowering blood pressure.

Ginger, also known as Jamaican Ginger, African Ginger, or Asian Ginger, is available as fresh or dried root, liquid extract, tablets, capsules, or prepared tea. Candied Ginger can be found in most Oriental food markets. There are no reports of severe toxicity in humans from using Ginger, but recent pharmacological studies indicate that very large overdoses might carry the potential for causing depression of the central nervous system and cardiac arrhythmias. Ginger is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's list of herbs generally regarded as safe. Some people have complained of heartburn after taking Ginger to combat motion sickness.

Herb Listing - Index

Please note: the information contained herein has been compiled from various sources. The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We make no claims, either expressed or implied, that any treatments mentioned in this newsletter will cure disease, replace prescription medication, or supersede sound medical advice.

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