The first opportunity I had to experience the impact of this “wonder drug” began in the sixth month of my tenth pregnancy. I started eating fresh ginger raw with meals. The amount I would consume would be equal to a piece of ginger about the size of my thumb or larger, three to four times per week.
Immediately, I noticed my energy level change. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I started walking two miles every day and kept that up throughout the pregnancy. Even the day of birth I walked two miles. I was forty-four years old at the time.
Along with the incredible energy boost, I noticed that when I went up the stairs I no longer became breathless after only ascending a few steps. In fact I could run up our spiral staircase which is fairly long, with no panting what-so-ever!
It became clear to me that ginger was having an effect on my heart and arteries. This was in fact visibly confirmed by the size of the varicose veins I get while pregnant. The size of these veins reduced easily by one-half of their previous size.
Constipation is a common problem for many women during pregnancy. This tendency, which I have also experienced, was no longer a problem while using this volume of ginger. There seems to be a connection between a clean intestinal tract and mental clarity. The mental clarity I benefited from was quite profound. I felt as though I was coming out of a fog.
With the increased stimulation to the circulatory system, the tendency to have arthritic aches and pains diminished to the point of non-existence. The circulatory stimulation also helped alleviate the chronic tendency I have to be cold.
Another unexpected benefit of ongoing ginger usage was the realization that the bronchial cough which stayed with me most of the year, disappeared in the middle of the winter season in which it is always more pronounced.
It took me some time to recognize and make the connection between ginger usage, and the anti-cramping qualities I benefited from during menstruation.
After experiencing such changes in my own health, I decided to use ginger on my family members. My then 7 year old daughter had been dealing with acid reflux since birth. She even threw up breast milk. Her stomach always hurt after eating, and breakfast was completely out of the question. She simply could not eat it because of the pain she experienced. I started giving her small chunks of ginger to swallow when her stomach hurt, and it always alleviated the pain. She even got to the place where she recognized the benefit of ginger and started asking for it. I should have given her a small piece before the meal, but at the time I didn’t realize how this would have allowed us to avoid the problem instead of always having to correct it. She eventually got completely over the problem altogether.
My neighbor, Leslie Beard, started experiencing the same stomach problems her mother had suffered with for years. Her mother had used prescription drugs for the problem long after the recommended time of duration of usage. The side effects were taking their toll on her body. Leslie wanted to follow a more natural route.
“My use of fresh ginger root as a medicinal was prompted by symptoms of nausea, indigestion, and abdominal pain. These symptoms had developed over a period of about three to four months. They progressed from occasional nausea and indigestion, following eating a big meal, to almost constant nausea, indigestion, and intense abdominal pain. I would frequently (two to three times per week) even wake up in the middle of the night with nausea. I had sort of self-diagnosed “GERD” or a stomach ulcer, by reading testimonials and various websites. I also began reading about conventional medical treatments for these symptoms. We had some medicines that family members had used for similar symptoms, and I read the recommendations and warnings (indications/contraindications) for these.
My personal conclusions were that the conventional medications would, at best, only deal short term with symptoms and not the root (no pun intended) problem. SO-O-O.. I consulted a very famous (and cheap) herbalist near my home. She recommended chewing fresh ginger root and pairing that with cayenne pepper. I began that very evening with the regimen: about a “thumb-size” piece of ginger and one capsule of ground cayenne after meals or whenever I felt symptoms. I also had read of the anti-bacterial/anti-parasitic properties of “Smart Silver” (homeopathic colloidal silver), and Echinacea. Since many medical experts have come to believe that ulcers are largely caused by bacteria, I decided to pair the ginger/cayenne treatment with a Smart Siver/echinacea treatment. In other words, I was “going for the KILL!”
I never had used ginger, or cayenne before, so at first I thought the burning sensation caused by them was an enormous bout of indigestion about to set in. After two or three treatments I learned that the burn from the herbs was a good thing and soon would be followed by a calming of my stomach and a general relaxing of my nerves. It was so nice to be able to eat without dreading the aftermath.
After three to four days I discontinued the cayenne, Smart Silver, and echinacea. The ginger seemed to be the most calming and healing component. I continued to chew a piece of ginger after my dinner meal for about four or five more days. By then, almost all pain, indigestion, and nausea had vanished. It has been three weeks since I began the ginger treatment, and during the last two weeks I have used ginger three times ….more as a preventive when I was thinking that the circumstances would have formerly produced symptoms.
I have had no symptoms since the end of that first week. As a very welcome by-product of the use of ginger, I also have noticed a marked decrease in my osteoarthritis symptoms, i.e. less joint stiffness and pain. I also have had an overall increase in energy which could be attributed to just feeling a lot better. I am convinced that ginger was extremely important in the reduction of my symptoms and the actual healing that took place.”
The next person I used ginger on is a client of mine, Sam Thrapp. He was experiencing a great deal of pain because of a kidney stone. He asked me to mail a product to him to help dissolve the kidney stone, but in the meantime he wanted something for the pain. He lives about an hour from me. I needed to recommend something readily available to him. I immediately thought of parsley tea and ginger in tea and as a poultice. I explained to him how to take the parsley tea slowly as not to cramp. I also told him to grate ginger and make an extremely strong fomentation with it. He then dipped his flannel cloth into the strong ginger tea and placed it over the painful area, covered it with plastic and wrapped it to enable it to stay on. He also was instructed to make several cups of tea to drink. The gingers anti-inflammatory properties greatly reduced the pain. He called me later that evening to tell me it had helped him quite a lot. He wasn’t completely pain free but was more than half way there.
One evening I was visiting a local church’s ladies meeting. I had been asked to give a talk on medicinal herbs. This was to benefit me as well. One of my sons, my husband, and I, are all taking a twelve week Master Gardener’s course through our local county extension service. The time I invested in this class, preparing the teaching, driving to and from the meeting etc… can all be counted to my credit towards obtaining my Master Gardner’s diploma. I invited two women from my church to attend this class with me since they were interested in learning more about herbs.
Before the meeting both of these women complained to me about indigestion problems. One of the women had chronic problems in her stomach area while the other one had problems at the base of her throat. I had fresh ginger with me and gave each of them a piece to eat with their dinner. They both reported immediate results. This surprised them since their problems seemed to them to be unrelated. Ginger, being a digestive aid helped both digestive problems.
Another client of mine has recently started a daily habit of ginger consumption because he is looking forward to benefiting from the infertility qualities of this herb. His specific diagnosis was that his sperm did not swim well. This was one of the things I discovered about ginger while writing this paper. He has only been consuming ginger for about a week. I’m looking forward to hearing about his wife’s pregnancy soon!
Finally, my husband Stuart is one of my greatest ginger beneficiaries. He has gone from hating ginger, not even wanting me to use it in stir-fry, to going out of his way to make sure he gets his daily “medicinal” ginger chew. The following is his reflection of how ginger has impacted his health.
“In the last couple of years I have been the guinea pig of sorts for a variety of health regimens that my wife has pursued in the course of her studies. I have been a willing participant and have benefited from everything I have taken. I can positively say that my overall health has improved, with primarily an increase in energy and mental focus. Ginger is one thing that has contributed to this as I have taken it in raw form for sometime. The greatest benefit for me of taking ginger has been the overall effect it has on my energy level and a general feeling of good health.
I also believe that my teeth and gums have benefited from the astringent quality of ginger. I’m convinced that it reduces the buildup of plaque around my teeth. Many people don’t like the taste of raw ginger but I have been motivated by the knowledge of its health benefit and eat it raw 3 or 4 times a week (I also like jalapenos and things hot anyway). I will eat it with a meal and most often after a meal. On a couple of occasions while experiencing stomach discomfort I have obtained immediate relief by eating raw ginger. Ginger has become a regular part of my eating lifestyle and will remain so for the rest of my life.