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Adrak/ Ginger

Adrak/ Ginger is known as the best herb. Ginger is full of medicinal properties that many people are not aware of. According to Ayurveda, daily consumption of adark/Ginger boosts the immunity system. Both fresh and dry ginger have similar actions, but the dry one is mainly preferred to fresh on during summers as per the Ayurveda aspect. Its main uses are nausea, indigestion, asthma, etc.

History of Adrak

In ancient times, ginger is cultivated in Shringeri (a world-famous tourist place) by Adi Shankaracharya and gains its name from the term “Shringavera Giri” (mountains where ginger is cultivated).

Latin Name: Zingiber officinale

Family: Zingiberaceae

Adrak /Ginger Names in different languages:

  • English Name: Ginger
  • Hindi Name: Adrak
  • Bengali Name: Ada
  • Gujarati Name: Adu
  • Kannada Name: Hasi shunti
  • Farsi Name: Anjeebeele, tara
  • Malaysian Name: Halia
  • Marathi name: Aale
  • Telugu Name: Allamu, Alla
  • Tamil Name: Inji, Shukka,Ingee
  • Malayalam name: Inchi
  • Arabian Name: Janjabeele ratab
  • Korean Name: Chinjo, jinjeo, kon-gang, Geon-gang
  • German Name: Ingwer
  • French Name: Gingembre

Sanskrit Synonyms Adrak/ Ginger:

  • Katugranthi– Having nodes and internodes
  • Katuviddi– Have Katu (pungent) taste
  • Shrungavera– Having irritant proper
  • Ushana– Hot
  • Ardhraka– Causes excessive salivation
  • Visha– Absorption is very fast like visha (poison)
  • Shunti– useful in kapha vataja vikara
  • Avaakchathr– bent leaves and are looks like chathri (umbrella)

Other synonyms of Ginger:

Mahaushadha, Vishva Bheshaja, Mahaushadha, Nagara, Rahuchatra, Shrungavera, Vishvaushadha, kaphari, and shoshana.

(Reference- Bhvaprakasha Nighantu- Page no. 14 and Sholka no. 49-50)

This sholka means that synonyms of ginger are adrak, shringvera, katubhadra, and adrika. It is used in constipation, heavy, sharp, hot potency, increases digestive fire, pungent taste, sweet taste after digestion, dry, and balances as well as Kapha dosha. The qualities of shunthi are the same as adrak.

Morphological features:

Ginger is a 2 to 4 feet tall perennial plant with grass-like leaves and is easily adapted to warm climates. Its flower buds are pink and white in a cluster. These flower buds bloom in yellow-colored flowers. The rhizome is of different types may be yellow, red, and white with brownish skin. It may be thick or thin, and both dry and fresh rhizomes are used.

Habitat:

In India, it is native to Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal. Moist, drained, and fertile soil is best for the cultivation of ginger.

Categorization according to classical books:

According to –

  • Acharaya Charaka– Truptigna, Arshoghna, Deepaneeya, Trishna Nigrahana, and Shoola Prashmana
  • Acharaya Sushruta- Trikatu and Pippalyadi
  • Acharaya Vagbhatta– Pippaladi
  • Dhanvantari Nighantu– Pippalyadi, Shoolaprashamana
  • Kaiyadeva nighantu– Aushadhi Varg (Group of medicinal plants)
  • Nighantu Adarsha– Ardrakadi varga

Main Chemical constituents of Ginger:

Zingiberol, Gingerols, Zingerone, Gingerone, Pardol, Bourbornene, B- D- Curcumene, A- Curumene, Citral, D- Borneal, Geranoil, Ginner glycolipids A, B, and C, Gingerone B and C, D- Camphene, Gingerol A and B, etc.

Varieties:

Amarkosha has mentioned that fresh ginger is termed as Ardarka, Shringavera, and dry ginger is termed as Vishwabheshaja, Nagara.

Shunthi and Ardrak by Priyanighantu, Raja Nighantu, Kaiyadeva nighantu, Bhavaprakasha nighantu, etc.

Other Varieties:

Peeled ginger, Limed ginger, Red sand coated ginger, Cochin ginger, African ginger, Indian or Bengal ginger, Jamaica ginger, and Ratoon ginger.

Medicinal properties  Adrak/ Ginger:

  • Rasa (Taste): Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna (Quality): Wet ginger- Guru (Heavy), Teekshna (Sharp), and Rooksha (Dry) and Dry ginger- oily (Snigdha) and Rooksha (Dry)
  • Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion): Madhura
  • Karma (Effect on dosha): Balances Kapha dosha

Wet ginger uses:

  • Hrudya– Congenial for heart and acts as a cardiac tone
  • Deepana– Improves digestive fire
  • Shohaphara– acts as an anti-inflammatory that treats inflammation and swelling
  • Ruchihara– Improves taste and relieves anorexia
  • Kaphahara– Balances cough and treats asthma
  • Svarya– Improves voice
  • Shoolajit– Treats abdominal pain
  • Vibhandhahara– Treats constipation
  • Anahahara– Relieves gas, treats bloating
  • Shwasahara– Treats asthma and other related chronic respiratory disorders
  • Hikkahara– Treats hiccups
  • Kasahara– Treats cold and cough
  • Jihva vishodhana– Cleans tongue and its white coating
  • Vamihara– Treats vomiting

Dry ginger uses:

  • Vrushya– It is aphrodisiac in nature and improves vigor
  • Hrudya– Works as a cardiac tonic
  • Deepana– Improves digestive fire
  • Shophahara– Treats edema, swelling
  • Panduhara– Treats anemia and liver disorders
  • Grahi– Acts as an absorbent that helps to absorb excess moisture from the intestine
  • Vatodara– Treats bloating
  • Amavataghni– Treats rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sheepada– Treats elephantiasis

Therapeutic uses of ginger:

Morning sickness:

Ginger helps to treat morning sickness due to pregnancy. Due to its anti-emetic action, this herb also reduces the severity of vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. It also acts as an appetizer and improves taste.

High Cholesterol:

The imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire) causes indigestion and produces excessive ama (waste products). This results in an accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Ginger being an appetizer and digestive reduces ama and increases digestive fire which ultimately removes the blockage from blood vessels by eliminating toxins and maintains a healthy heart (works as a cardiac tonic).

Dysmenorrhea:

Ginger has antispasmodic and analgesic property that blocks the calcium channels and prevents smooth muscles contraction in the uterus. As menstruation is governed by vata dosha and this herb also has vata balancing property that provides relief in abdominal pain and cramps during dysmenorrhea.

Obesity:

Due to weak digestive fire, there is an increase in the accumulation of ama which causes an imbalance in meda dhatu and results in obesity. Being an appetizer, it improves metabolism and reduces ama, and therefore controls obesity. As per Ayurveda, it balances meda dhatu and hence reduces obesity.

Osteoarthritis:

Ginger has analgesic and anti-inflammatory property that reduces pain as well as inflammation. This disease is caused due to the aggravation of vata dosha and ginger has vata balancing property that gives relief in symptoms associated with osteoarthritis like pain and swelling.

Diabetes mellitus:

Diabetes mellitus is caused due to the aggravation of vata dosha and digestion impairment that leads to the accumulation of ama (toxins) in pancreatic cells and impairs insulin function. Its deepana (appetizer) and pachana (digestive) properties treat digestion imbalance. Being an antioxidant action, it fights against free radicals and prevents complications due to diabetes.

Conclusion:

From this article, it is concluded that ginger has two main varieties, dry and fresh ginger. Both varieties treat edema, anorexia, constipation, cough, cold, and improves voice. But in case of skin diseases, bleeding disorders, fever, burning sensation it should be avoided. During lactation, pregnancy, and in small children, it should be used in low quantity. If used in excess in a sensitive stomach, it causes worsening of gastritis.

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to Adrak/Ginger’s benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume Adrak/Ginger on the basis of this information. Before taking Adrak/Ginger as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 8 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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