What is Gan Jiang?
(scientific name: Zingiber officinale Rosc
), is the dried rhizome of Zingiber. It is also called dried ginger
or white ginger according to Compendium of Materia Medica. In traditional Chinese food culture, dried ginger is often used as both medicine and food within a limited range of use and dosage.
Dried ginger is flat and in bulk shape, with finger-like branches, 3-7cms’ long and 1-2cms’ thick. The surface is grayish yellow or sometimes light grayish brown, rough, with longitudinal wrinkles and obvious links. There are often remnants of scale leaves on the branches, and there are stem scars or buds on the top of the branches. The texture is solid, the cross section is yellowish white or sometimes grayish white, powdery or granular, and there are obvious ring patterns on the inner cortex. Vascular bundles and yellow oil spots are seen scattered there. Specific aroma emitted, spicy in taste.
Dried ginger slices are irregular longitudinal or oblique shaped, with finger-like branches, 1-6cms’ long, 1-2cms’ wide, and 0.2-0.4cms’ thick. The outer skin is grayish yellow or sometimes light yellowish brown, rough, with longitudinal wrinkles and obvious links. The cut surface is grayish yellow or sometimes grayish white, slightly powdery, and many longitudinal fibers can be seen there, some of which are hairy. The texture is solid and it is fibrous in the cross section. Specific aroma emitted, spicy taste.
Growth environment of Gan Jiang
Gan Jiang is widely cultivated in central, southeastern and southwestern China.
Harvest and processing of Gan Jiang
Harvested when stems and leaves are beginning to wither and turn yellow from October to December. Rhizomes are dug out, stems, leaves and fibrous roots removed. And then wash and dry in the sun or at low temperature.
Remove impurities, soak it in water for 3 to 6 hours, then take it out and slice or cut it into small cubes, and finally dry in the sun.
Take ginger slices, put them in a pot and stir fry with strong fire until they foam and bulge. The outer skin is burnt yellow, and the inner is yellow. Spray a little water, take it out, and finally dry it in the sun.
Take dried ginger slices, put them in a wok, heat with strong fire, fry until it is burnt black outside, and brown inside. Spray a little water to extinguish the sparks, continue to fry for a little while, then take it out, dry in the sun. At last, sieve off the debris.
Store it in a cool dry place, away from moths.
How to reproduce Gan Jiang?
Climate and Soil
Slightly inclined terrain, well-drained sandy loam with sufficient sunshine for growing Ganjiang is preferred.
Plough and Sow
Deep plow 40-50cm in mid February and remove weeds. At the beginning of April, plow again, then level and trench.
In the first ten days of March, dry the ginger in the sun for 2 to 3 days, then spread it on the bamboo fence in the greenhouse, heat it up with a medium fire which is set at about 20 or something degrees to promote germination. After about 3 to 4 weeks, when the seedlings are about 1 to 1.5cms’ long, dig them out and cut into small pieces, then plant them back between the time of Qingming and Grain Rain. The row spacing is better at 45 to 50cms’ wide, and the hole 10 to 15cms’ deep. One at a time, the buds are upward, and organic fertilizers, like manure, plant ash, are applied after planting.
Gan Jiang TCM
Dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale Rosc.
Acrid in taste, warm in nature.
① The Classic, "Spicy, warm."
② Bie Lu, "It's hot, non-toxic."
③ On the Properties of Medicine, "Bitter and acrid."
Enter spleen, stomach, lung meridian
Gan Jiang has the effects of warming the middle and expelling the cold, returning to the yang and unblocking the meridian, removing dampness and dissolving phlegm, warming the lung and eliminating the retained fluid.
Gan Jiang is used to treat coldness and pain of heart and abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea, cold extremities and weak pulse, retained fluid inside the body and coughing thus caused, anemofrigid arthralgia, yang deficiency and nasal bleeding and hemafecia.
Contraindicated in patients with yin deficiency, internal heat and blood heat. Pregnant women should take it with caution.
Dried ginger should not be used together with Scutellaria baicalensis, as its medical efficacy may be affected.
Dried ginger contains volatile oil, mainly including Zin- giberene, Phellandrene, Camphe- ne, Gingerol, Zingiberone, Zingiberol, Shogaol, Borneol, Citral, Zingerone and etc.
Meanwhile，Gingerdione and Gingerol can be extracted from the dried ginger.
(1)For abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea caused by excessive coldness in the spleen and stomach, Gan Jiang can be used alone by grounding into powder, or it can be used together with aconite and galangal. Take Erjiang Wan for example.
(2)For heart and kidney yang deficiency, coldness in the extremities, and Yang deleption syndrome caused by faint pulse, it can be used together with aconite. Using it in this way can not only restore yang and save the inverse, but also reduce toxicity. Take Sini soup for example.
(3)Dried ginger has a strong effect of warming the lungs and eliminating the retained fluid. It can be used together with ephedra and asarum, Xiaoqinglong Decoction for example, for treating coldness, cough, asthma and excessive phlegm.
Gan Jiang benefits
After fresh ginger’s harvesting, it is processed and cleaned, and the slices are sun-dried or dried at low temperature. Spicy and hot, acrid in taste and warm in nature, it is good at warming the interior and dispelling coldness, warming the lung and dissolving phlegm. As a result, it is used to treat epigastric cold and pain, vomiting and diarrhea, chronic cough and asthma due to lung coldness, excessive phlegm, clear and thin.
1.Warming the middle and dispelling the cold
According to Shen Nong's Materia Medica, dried ginger is acrid in taste and warm in nature, and it mainly enters the heart, lung, spleen, stomach and kidney meridian. It can be used to treat symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea caused by spleen and stomach deficiency and cold pain in the abdomen.
2.Warming the lung and eliminating retained fluid
Dried ginger enters the lung meridian and can be used to treat coughing caused by lung coldness and asthma syndrome. It is often compatible with asarum and schisandra.
Dried ginger enters the heart and kidney meridian, which can be used to treat symptoms like cold limbs, weak pulse, and dripping cold sweat caused by the Yang deleption syndrome.
Gan Jiang side effects
Taking dried ginger in moderation under the guidance of a doctor will not cause side effects to the body. But because dried ginger is hot in nature, if it is taken too much or for a long time, it is likely to cause irritation to the stomach, causing stomach pain, stomach burning and other discomfort symptoms. It may also cause strong irascibility, resulting in dry mouth, sore throat, Irritability, bitter mouth and other discomfort symptoms.
In normal times, it should be noted that patients with yin deficiency and internal heat and blood heat should avoiding taking dried ginger, so as not to aggravate the patient's conditions.
How to take Gan Jiang?
Decoction, 3~10g, or made into pills, powder
Take appropriate amount, decocted for washing; or ground into powder for applying.
Put an appropriate amount of dried ginger and tangerine peel into boiling water, boil for about five minutes, remove the residue, brew with tea bags and drink.
How to choose Gan Jiang?
Medical property distinguish
Dried ginger is flat and in bulk shape, with finger-like branches, 3-7cms’ long and 1-2cms’ thick. The surface is grayish yellow or sometimes light grayish brown, rough, with longitudinal wrinkles and obvious links. There are often remnants of scale leaves on the branches, and there are stem scars or buds on the top of the branches. The texture is solid, the cross section is yellowish white or sometimes grayish white, powdery or granular, and there is an obvious ring pattern on the inner cortex. Vascular bundles and yellow oil spots are seen scattered there. Specific aroma emitted, spicy in taste.
It is best to choose those which are solid in texture, looking yellowish white and sufficiently powdery at the cross section as well as giving out strong aroma.
How to buy Gan Jiang?
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