Authored by: Emily Cuthbert

Latin Name: Zingiber officinale

Standardized Common Name: Ginger 

Sanskrit Name: Singabera, Adraka- fresh, Sunthi-dry

Other Common Names: Jiang

Family: Zingiberaceae

Parts Used: rhizome

Botanical Description:

Zingiber officinale is a perennial herb growing a knotty, tuberous rhizome which is used for medicine and in culinary. The inside of this rhizome is pale yellow to orange and fleshy. The rhizomes grown horizontally beneath the ground and must be dug up for harvest.  Ginger is native to India and Southeast Asia, are grows best in warm and humid and tropical conditions. The annual growing leaves are lanceolate and grow upwards of 30 centimeters long. Flowers grow off spikes and are wither white or yellow in color. The whole plant grows about 60 centimeters tall and needs rich moist soils.


  • Taste (Rasa): Pungent
  • Potency/Action (Virya): Hot, warm
  • Post-digestion effect (Vipaka): Sweet
  • Doshas: VK- P+


  • Oleo resins
  • Phenolic derivatives
  • Zingiberene
  • Zingiberole
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Pungent principles
  • Gingerols

Contains most of the medicinal properties: 

  • Shogaols
  • Mucilage
  • Starch

Actions: Zingiber officinale has a pungent, stimulating, warming effect on the body with a sweet and nourishing vipaka. The constituents work together to stimulate circulation, digestion and to promote movement in all of the body systems, when used with appropriate constitutions and conditions. Some main actions are:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Rubefacient
  • Antioxidant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Stomachic
  • G.I. Tonic
  • Cardiotonic
  • Stimulant
  • Carminative
  • Expectorant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic

Indications: Indigestion, arthritis, gas, nausea, heartburn, inflammation, upper respiratory tract

Safety/Contraindications: Should not be used in the cause of gallstones. Can increase absorption of other medications. Increases Pitta dosha.

Preparations and Doses:

  • Tea: 1g/cup TID (3x daily)
  • Fresh Herb: 5-10g QID (4x daily)
  • Dry Herb: 2-4 g in TID


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  • susan.mahr Wby. Ginger, Zingiber officinale. Wisconsin Horticulture. Accessed May 10, 2021.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine: from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres; 2020.