Working with Wild Ginger
Wild ginger is not related to common ginger but is in the birthwort family, Aristolochiaceae. Several species grow commonly throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, and there seems to be little difference in therapeutic effects between them. The plant has a warm, spicy flavor, reminiscent of ginger, but is a little more bitter and acrid.
The leaves are a strong emetic, and the whole plant contains aristolochic acid, a known mutagen and kidney toxin. However, several Chinese species have been used for over 2,000 years with little concern, as long as the traditional uses and dose are followed. If in doubt about using this herb, consult a qualified Chinese or western herbalist.
Wild ginger is used in teas and tinctures in small amounts (1-3 grms/day) for up to 10 days to warm the "defensive vitality" or immune force in the outer layers of the body to dispel viral infections and increase blood circulation. The rhizome is a potent immune stimulant. The herb is indicated in colds and flu when a person has body aches and pain, chills, and low fever, but no sweating–especially after exposure to cold wind and dampness. It can also help resolve nasal mucus discharge in colds and flu, especially when it is free-flowing and clear (not yellow or green and thick, which indicates pathogenic heat).
Conditions treated with Wild Ginger
The information given here is designed to help you make informed choices about your health. The information is drawn from numerous sources—both traditional medicine practice, from the clinical experience of many herbalists currently practicing, and supported by decades of scientific research from the author. The research most consulted includes human clinical trials that help to determine the most effective and safe herbs for various needs, the best doses, and types of preparations.
The information offered in this database is not intended as a substitute for any that may have been prescribed by your health practitioner or physician.