Ginger is my root of choice this week because of it's healing properties and it's also one of the very first things I teach my students how to use. Why?
Because ginger is a very versatile little root and if you use too much of it the side effects can be hilarious but relatively safe. (except to pregnant women)
Ginger affects and can stimulate soft muscle tissue, this makes it good for settling a bad stomach, getting rid of constipation, easing menstrual cramping, shortening or scheduling the menstrual cycle (you can use it to restart your period as close as one week after your last one. great for planning vacations) , shortening menstruation (my shortest was 3 days), fresh ginger is known for aiding in easing respiratory ailments.
it is also a decent anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, anti viral aphrodisiac, ...*digs out my herb book and jaw drops*
I don't actually know everything about this plant as it has 2 large pages with small print dedicated to it while others herbs in this book only have a few paragraphs. The book in question is hand written by a long deceased auntie of mine.
Though I do know that if you are pregnant you should not have too much of it. My auntie wrote less than 1 gram a day but I would be on the safe side and say not to touch it at all while pregnant. If it affects smooth muscle tissue of your womb then best not to mess with it while carrying a baby.
I mostly use it for it's digestive and menstrual help as those happen to be the most common upset I'm faced with.
When teaching students I warn them about the pregnancy danger but after that they are usually encouraged to find out other uses on their own. (yes I also warn them to turn safe search on. Though I forgot with one person and they now blame me for images they cannot get out of their head.) Most of these students then go on to give themselves explosive diarrhea. The kind you get from eating too much spicy food.
Now to back up my auntie's knowledge I have done research on my own and loved the book "The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine" by Brigitte Mars, A.H.G.
I cook with it and am even as I write this sipping on some ginger tea to help my menstrual cramping.
It's a great over all root and I wish more people knew what to do with it and have it on hand.
Blessed Be ya'll