Ginger (Adrak in Hindi) is a flowering plant of Zingiber officinale whose rhizome (root) is widely used as a spice or a natural medicine. It is originated in the lush tropical jungles in Southern Asia. Dry ginger (sonth in Hindi) is the dried form of ginger which is basically used in many home remedies to cure different health problems. India is the largest producer of ginger at present. The ginger plants grown in India show the largest amount of genetic variation.
Ginger is a main spice of Indian kitchen and used in many cuisines. Its nature is hot and fragrant. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste and mature ginger rhizomes (popularly known as dry ginger or sonth) are fibrous and nearly dry; flavor of both ginger (adrak & Sonth) is somewhat different. Dry ginger provides numerous essential nutrients in high content, particularly the dietary mineral manganese. It has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of hundreds of diseases from cold to cancer. (1)
Health Benefits of Ginger and Dry Ginger:
1. Adrak for Indigestion or Dyspepsia:
Ginger or ‘adrak’ is very good for digestive system. It is used in various Ayurvedic medicines of digestive disorders. To cure indigestion, take grated ginger with rock salt before half an hour of lunch and dinner. (For more details, read- ‘Remedies for indigestion (Badhajmi)‘.
Similarly, dry ginger (sonth) also helps to release stomach gas; it also gives relief in bloating or flatulence –
- Grind 25 gm sonth to make fine powder.
- Then, add some black salt and asafoetida (heeng) powder in it and mix well to store in a jar.
- Whenever you feel uneasiness due to stomach gas, ingest 1 tsp of this powder with lukewarm water.
In case of flatulence (afara), use of sonth powder with lemon juice gives relief. Whenever you feel flatulence, mix 1 tsp of sonth powder with one spoon of lemon juice and ingest with lukewarm water. Follow this home remedy regularly for 10 days to get better results.
2. Dry Ginger for Cough & Cold:
Ginger is good to cure cough and cold too.
b. Similarly, decoction of dry ginger powder and jaggery (gur) also helps to cure cold and cough. Simply, boil 1 tsp of sonth powder and some jaggery in a glass of water till it remains 1/4th; then sieve it and sip like tea.
c. Or boil 1 tsp of sonth powder in a cup of water till it remains half, add some mishri and drink lukewarm after sieving.
3. Dry ginger for Sore Throat:
Ginger has anti inflammatory properties that helps to clear sore throat. Take it with honey for soothing sore throat and clear voice. You can even give it to small children but the dose should be half. (For more details, read ‘Remedies for sore throat‘).
Alternatively, you can do gargles with dry ginger water. Add 1 tsp powder in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle with this water twice a day to clear throat.
4. Ginger for Nausea:
To control nausea or vomiting, take ginger (adrak) with onion (pyaj). Mix one spoon ginger juice, half spoon of onion juice, and some honey and ingest it. It is a good home remedy for nausea that has no side effect.
(For making juice, crush or grate ginger or onion and strain juice.)
5. Ginger for Stomach-ache:
To cure stomach-ache, ingest ginger juice & mint leaves juice (one teaspoon each) with a pinch of rock salt. It cures stomach-ache within minutes.
6. Reduces Gums swelling:
For gum’s swelling and toothache, take 4 gm dry ginger powder (sonth powder) with water. It helps to reduce gum’s swelling.
7. Ginger for Fever:
Ginger decoction is also good to control fever. To prepare decoction, boil some (5-10 gm) crushed ginger and mint leaves in a cup of water till it reduces to half. Then strain it and drink lukewarm. You can repeat it as per requirement. Though there is no side effect of this remedy but if the fever is high or not controlled, it is better to consult doctor.
8. Cures Influenza or flu:
In influenza or flu, ginger tea shows good results; drink it 3-4 times in a day. For preparing ginger (adrak) tea, use black pepper seeds (kali mirch), basil (tulsi) leaves and clove (laung) with ginger in boiling water; then filter it and consume.
9. Dry Ginger for Weakness:
In fact, dry Ginger helps to regain strength after long illness. Grind equal amount of sonth, bel (quince) ki giri, green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) and dates (khajoor) to make powder. And take 10 gm of this powder at evening with milk regularly for some days.
10. Controls Loose Motion:
Ginger (adrak) is good to cure loose motion also. Boil some crushed ginger (adrak) in a cup of water and drink it thrice a day. Even by applying ginger juice externally around belly point, loose motion will be controlled easily.
11. Ginger & Dry ginger for Arthritis:
Ginger and dry ginger both are very good to cure arthritis because of its anti inflammatory properties. (2) You can use it in following ways-
(3) Dry ginger decoction (Read details in “How to use ginger for knee pain”)
(4) Dry ginger with Chebulic Myrobalan (Chhoti Harad) & Celery: (read “Ajmoda, harad & Sonth” for detailed recipe).
12. Dry Ginger for Post Delivery Recovery:
Women use sonth with jaggery (gur) as a traditional remedy for recovery after delivery. It is in use since ancient era- from the time of our ancestors and quite effective too.
13. Frequent Urination Disorder:
If someone is facing the problem of frequent urination (bahumutra), take 2 spoons of ginger juice with sugar or honey for 2-3 weeks.
Similarly, to get relief from painful urination, drink milk with dry ginger powder and mishri.
14. Dry Ginger for Ribs Pain:
Dry ginger (sonth) water gives relief in ribs pain too; try it if you are having ribs pain. (For more details- read ‘Dry ginger kadha for Ribs Pain”
15. Reduces Muscular Pain:
Because of its anti inflammatory effect, ginger can reduce muscle pain after intense physical activity. (3) Whenever you have pain in your neck, head and other muscles, apply paste of dry ginger on the affected area. Grind dry ginger and make paste by adding some water. Warm up this paste on heat for few seconds and apply lukewarm on the affected area. It is a good home remedy for muscular pain; you may feel burning in starting but finally get rid of pain.
Excessive use of ginger may cause heartburn, nausea, or bloating especially dry ginger powder (sonth). Pregnant ladies should not be use it because it may cause harm to the fetus or increase bleeding.
Ginger and dry ginger are easily available in market. Other required ingredients can also be purchased from grocery shops or super markets.
All the information given above is only for knowledge purpose; it is not the substitute of medical treatment. All the above said ingredients are safe; we use them in our day to day life. But if someone is allergic to any ingredient, don’t use it.