Zingiber. Zingiber officinale.

Botanical name: 


Volatile oil, resin, starch, gum, gingerol.
Extractum Zingiberis Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Ginger. Dose, from ten to thirty minims.
Oleoresin Zingiberis, Oleoresin of Ginger. Dose, from a half to one minim.
Tinctura Zingiberis, Tincture of Ginger. Dose, from fifteen to sixty minims, diluted with water.
Infusum Zingiberis, Infusion of Ginger, prepared by adding a teaspoonful of powdered ginger to half a pint of hot water. Drunk at once, it acts as an emetic and diaphoretic.

Physiological Action—This agent is mentioned in but few therapeutic works, although it occupies an important place, and should not be neglected. It is a profound and immediate stimulant, an active diaphoretic, an anodyne in gastric and intestinal pain, and a sedative to an irritated and overwrought system when there is extreme exhaustion. An infusion of the powder drunk warm produces immediate but mild emesis and active diaphoresis.

AdministrationGinger is an emergency remedy. In every case in which brandy or whisky is given to produce an immediate stimulating influence, the tincture of ginger can be given with even better results. From half a teaspoonful to a teaspoonful will produce greater stimulation than half an ounce of brandy. It may be stirred into half a glass of cold water, but is much more immediate in its action if given in hot water. The tincture does not produce emesis.

Therapy—The agent stimulates the stomach actively, producing, a pleasing sense of warmth. It overcomes flatulence and quickly relieves flatulent colic. In atonic conditions of the stomach and intestinal tract, it stimulates the structure to renewed activity and materially assists in the restoration of normal tone. It relieves pain from any cause except inflammatory action, when this remedy must be avoided.

In acute colds the entire train of symptoms may be aborted in a single night, by advising the patient to take a hot mustard foot bath at bedtime, while the body, prepared for bed, is wrapped in warm blankets. During the foot bath the patient should drink a glass or two of hot water, each of which contains half of a dram of the tincture of ginger.

Acute inflammations may be aborted by this course. In dysmenorrhea, ovarian neuralgia and uterine pain from any cause at the menstrual epoch, this agent is reliable. If given at the beginning of an hysterical attack it will often abort the attack, and produce quiet and restful sleep.

Its influence as a rubifacient is slow and by no means as satisfactory as mustard, and it is now seldom used as a counter-irritant.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.