Officinal Ginger. Nat. Ord. Zingiberaceae. Linn. Syst. Monandria Monogynia. Hab. Asia, West Indies, and Tropical America, &c.
Med. Prop. and Action. The rhizome or root (off.) is stimuiant and carminative. If the powdered root be snuffed up the nostrils, it causes sneezing and violent irritation; if chewed, it increases the flow of saliva. When taken into the stomach, it causes a sensation of warmth, and excites a general stimulating action in the system. It is said to act as a stimulant of the genital organs, and of the cerebral functions in particular. Active principles, an acrid, volatile oil, and a soft, acrid resin. It is a useful adjunct to strong purgatives, the violence of which it moderates. The tincture is a good form for internal use. Externally, it is employed as a stimulant and rubefacient, the powdered dry root being made into a plaster with hot water.
oz. j.; Syrup fl. oz. vij.). Dose, xxx. upwards.
Dose of powdered Ginger, gr. x. - gr. xx.
Short-sightedness. Dr. Turnbull§ having observed that in short-sighted persons the iris was generally much dilated, when looking at distant objects, considered that this might be remedied by agents which would cause contraction of the iris, thus increasing the length of vision, by permitting the rays of light to enter in a straight line. For this purpose he employed a concentrated tincture of Ginger (one part of Ginger and two of Proof Spirit), which was rubbed over the whole forehead, with a view of acting on the branches of the fifth pair of nerves. "The success of this application," Dr. Turnbull observes, " was remarkable. In many cases it had the effect of doubling the length of vision." In some persons in whom the iris was not much dilated, but very torpid, he applied a tincture of Pepper of the same strength as the tincture of
* Gaz. Hebdom., Oct. 10, 1862. Med. Times and Gaz., Aug. 1,1863.
Gaz. Med. de Paris, June 29,1844. § Med. Gaz., Nov. 15,1851.
Ginger. This was used until the iris had attained a greater power of contraction and dilatation, after which the tincture of Ginger was again applied. "This treatment," he adds, "has, been attended with the most signal success; and persons who were extremely short-sighted, have very soon become enabled to lay aside permanently their concave glasses." He strongly advises the adoption of this treatment.
2876. In Flatulence, Colic, Spasmodic Affections, and in Gout in the Stomach, particularly when these occur in old or debilitated subjects, the tincture (ante), or an aqueous infusion of Ginger, with the addition of a small portion of brandy or wine, may often be administered with evident benefit. A Ginger plaster (ante) placed over the epigastrium, often relieves the pain in a remarkable manner.
Pereira* states that he has often known a Ginger plaster, applied to the forehead, afford much relief. Toothache is sometimes relieved by the same application to the face, and also by chewing a piece at the same time, so as to act on the salivary glands.
2878. Relaxation of the Uvula and Tonsils, Paralysis of the Tongue and Fauces, &c. .These states are often much improved by the local stimulus of Ginger, chewed so as to produce a copious flow of saliva.
cxx. - gr. ccxl. ad Aq. Ferv. fl. oz. vj.), commonly called "Ginger Tea," is a popular domestic remedy. Dr. Graves states that he has certainly seen benefit from its use.
* Mat. Med., vol. ii. Clin. Lect., vol. i. p. 494.