WHAT IS GINGER EXACTLY?
Ginger is a spice commonly used in cooking. It is also an important herb that used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In TCM, the technique of processing herbs will significantly change its properties, so doctors can use it based on what the patients’ need.
HOW IS GINGER PREPARED IN TCM?
1. Fresh Ginger – Fresh Ginger has mild warming properties for the stomach, which is beneficial for digestive issues caused by Qi deficiency (low energy). Also, it has properties to dispel cold. In Taiwan, we commonly cook ginger with red sugar to make ginger tea for people who spend a lot of time outside in the cold weather.
2. Dried Ginger – By drying the fresh ginger, it takes away its property of dispelling cold, but increase the warming properties. It can be used in more severe Qi deficiency or Yang deficiency (extreme Qi deficiency).
3. Prepared Dried Ginger – This kind of ginger is pan fried until it is close to being burnt. The process will further increase the warming property of ginger, and also give it the property to stop bleeding.
HOW IS GINGER USED IN TCM?
In TCM, ginger is rarely used alone. Instead, it is commonly used in a formula to balance and increase the effectiveness of a formula. People with heat signs (commonly feeling hot or dry, sweating, not sleeping well at night, etc.), need to take ginger with caution.