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Botanical Name: Zingiber officinalis
Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil.
Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.
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.
In foods and beverages, ginger is used as a flavoring agent.
In manufacturing, ginger is used as for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
One of the chemicals in ginger is also used as an ingredient in laxative, anti-gas, and antacid medications.
Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.