Ginger – Zingiber officinale

Ginger root
Ginger root

Hot, moist, lightly shady…those are the basic conditions one must have to grow Ginger…much like that found in Southeastern Asia, India, West Africa and in the Caribbean. Other plants that like similar conditions are bee balm (Monarda didyma), mitsuba (Cryptotaenia japonica), and angelica (Angelica archangelica).


Ginger is one of the oldest spices found in the records. Found in all the early medical texts, found as early as 3000 BC in the Greek. The Greeks and Romans used a lot of ginger. European records show it dating to the 11th century. It appears to have arrived in England and was reported on by the 11th century herbalists there. The primary holy book of Islam, the Koran (Arabic, al-Quran) contains text which indicates that ginger is considered both a spiritual and a heavenly herb.


Ginger has a range of actions in the body, cholagogue (stimulates the release of bile from the gall bladder) and hepato-protective (protects the liver), possible stimulation of peristalsis and stomach secretions, a reduction in fevers, coughing, spasms, and reduction of the prostaglandins that increase smooth muscle contractions. Topically it is rubefacient (increases circulation to the area).

One of the ways my daughters used ginger as teenagers was for menstrual cramps, whether in capsule form or a warm cup of tea, ginger sooths the long muscle cramping. It has also helped with motion sickness issues on more than one occasion.

Ginger has also been a very popular addition to cooking as well. It can be made into candy, tea, Ginger beer, and in Chinese and Indian cuisines seasoning dishes made of seafood, mutton and vegetarian. It can also be used as a flavoring in cookies, crackers and cakes.


In magic Ginger has been used to attract money and also in success spells. If a spell is cast after eating ginger it has more power, since the ginger has heated you up. This is especially true of love spells!

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