In Chinese mythology, there is a group of legendary Taoist called the Eight Immortals. The leader is Lu Dongbin (吕洞宾), who practiced Chinese medicine and roamed around collecting herbals. One day, he saw a young man catch a turtle and happily bring it home for his sick and elderly mother. Lu Dongbin told the young man that this type of turtle was extremely poisonous, but the young man wouldn’t believe him. So he went to the young man’s place at night, intending to save the poor old woman. Interestingly, he found that the mother was weaving on a loom, without showing any signs of discomfort. It turned out that they placed several thick slices of Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang) in the turtle’s stomach, and used ginger water to cook the turtle.
Fresh Ginger has been used as a herbal medicine since 2,000 years ago. Confucius (孔子) lived 73 years, when the average life span at that time was merely about 40 years. He had a habit of chewing a little piece of Fresh Ginger after each meal and owed much of his longevity to it. He said in his famous book Lun Yu (论语), “Fresh Ginger must be eaten every day, but not too much.” A later Chinese scholar Zhu Xi (朱熹) said in Lun Yu Collected Commentaries (论语集注), “Ginger can benefit the Spirit and remove evils, and therefore must be eaten every day.”
Fresh Ginger can increase appetite, stimulate mucous production in the mouth and stomach to speed up the secretion of digestive enzymes, and protect the stomach membrane. Ginger phenols can treat gallbladder stones and inflammatory disease and can also help with morning sickness and dizziness.
Modern research has shown that Fresh Ginger has anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. Its power in clearing free-radicals is much stronger than Vitamin E. It also has wonderful effects in lowering blood sugar and blood pressure and preventing the formation of blood clots.