By Syed Akbar
Many complain of giddiness and vomiting while travelling by bus or train. This is quite common and doctors blame it on "motion sickness". For people, who suffer from motion sickness, morning sickness or chemotheraphy- related problems, the common kitchen ingredient, ginger, is the best herbal and handy cure.
Ginger, technically called Zingiber officinale, has been regarded as a "great herb/ medicine" or "Maha Aushadi" since times immemorial. This rhizome has found its way into all systems of medicine, including allopathy, and is regarded in many communities around the world as a quick herbal remedy for a number of common health problems and conditions.
Scientific studies conducted by several research institutions including the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Nutrition have revealed that ginger contains medicinal properties that control high blood pressure, check ovarian cancer, prevents cancer of large intestine, gives relief from menstrual cramps, constipation, heartburn, cold and flu and migraine, and reduces damage to kidneys in diabetic patients. Ginger has also been found to be anti-inflammatory, anti-flatulent (controls digestive gases) and anti-oxidant (fights cancer).
Ginger rhizome contains proteins (2.3 per cent), fat (0.9 per cent), minerals (1.2 per cent), fibre (2.4 per cent) and carbohydrates (12.3 per cent), besides minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorous. Vitamins like thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The major active components found in ginger are gingerols.
The effectiveness of ginger (940 mg) in motion sickness was found to be equivalent of allopathic drug, dimenhydrinate (100 mg). Ginger administration (1g) prior to elective gynaecological laparoscopy was also
found to be effective in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting.
For quick relief from sore throat and common cold, consume freshly prepared ginger tea. To prepare ginger tea, obtain decoction of freshly cut ginger pieces (10 grams) by boiling them in four cups of water for about 20 minutes. Filter the decoction and consume it. For additional health benefits and taste, you may add honey and lemon juice.
Since ginger has been scientifically proven to fight fungal infections, those suffering from skin problems including athlete's foot can prepare a ginger solution and soak their feet in it. They may also apply it to affected skin. It provides relief from itching and pain. To obtain the ginger solution, add a little ginger to warm water. Once it cools down, put your feet in the solution for about 10 minutes. If your body sweats too much and suffer from body odour, make it a habit to chew small pieces of ginger dried in lemon juice, salt and jeera (cumin seeds).
To fight nausea take "alla murabba" (ginger-jaggery sweet) available in the market.