Ayurveda calls ginger the “universal medicine”—it is good for so many ailments! Ginger is pungent, heating, and invigorating for digestion and circulation, but not as stimulating as other hot condiments such as chiles, onions, or garlic. Modern studies have confirmed that ginger supports immunity, reduces inflammation, and maintains good digestion.
Ginger is available in three common forms: fresh, dry (as root or powder), and sunthi/shunthi (Ayurvedic cured dried ginger). Fresh ginger is quite heating, and it is medicinal for colds, cough, congestion, vomiting, indigestion, constipation, flatulence, cramps, and arthritis—thus, it is most balancing when you’re feeling Airy or Earthy. Ginger powder is best when you’re feeling very Earthy because of its heating and drying properties.
Nowadays regular dry ginger is often mistaken for sunthi, but the classical Ayurvedic texts draw a clear distinction between the two: regular dry ginger is simply the dehydrated version of the fresh root—it is very drying and heating; sunthi, on the other hand, has been cured before dehydration and is a lot less drying and heating—this small difference in processing the same ingredient leads to different physiological interactions! When mixed properly with other spices, sunthi is the best form of ginger for when you’re feeling Fiery and in the summer. It is also very effective in increasing breast milk for nursing mothers. I purchase my sunthi from www.chandika.com.
Ayurveda recommends avoiding ginger during hot summer days and for people with these conditions:
- Chronic skin disease
- Jaundice, hepatitis, or weak liver
- Hemorrhage (ginger is a blood thinner)
- Fever due to chronic ulcer
- Burning sensation in the body