One Myth You Have to Know About Ginger- TCM

A lot of people like ginger.  It is considered an important spice and very healthy too.   But do you know if it is eaten improperly, it could harm you instead of helping your body?

Ginger Root

Ginger Root

When to Eat Ginger?

There is a famous Chinese saying:  If ginger is taken is the morning, it’s like drinking ginseng soup;  If ginger is taken in the evening, it’s like eating arsenic (早上吃姜,胜喝参汤;晚上吃姜,如食砒霜).  And the other saying:  If ginger is taken is Spring and Summer, it’s like ginseng soup;  If ginger is taken in Autumn and Winter, it’s like arsenic.  Basically, what it really means is that ginger is good to be taken in the morning and it will boost your body health.  But if you take it in the evening,  it’s very harmful to your health.  It is good to take in Spring and Summer which can boost your health, but if it’s taken in Autumn and Winter,  it will be harmful.  Why is that?

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, Ginger is yang type of herb and good to promote yang dispersing.   So if you catch a cold,  you can drink ginger juice to get some sweat and disperse the cold out of your body.    Yin and Yang is a very important concept in TCM world.  All health problems eventually can be traced to the imbalance of Yin and Yang.    Yin and Yang is relative and can be classified in so many aspects.  For example,  sun is yang, and moon is yin.   Sky is yang and earth is yin.  Fire is yang and water is yin.   Body organs, tissues or substances are yin and the strength in your body is yang.   Spring and Summer are yang , but Autumn and Winter are yin. Morning is yang and evening is yin.  Qi is yang and blood is yin.  Basically anything in the universe can be classified as the two opposite yet interdependent relatives of yin and yang.

Why It’s Advisable to Eat Ginger In the Morning Or in Spring or Summer, but Not in the Evening or in Autumn or Winter?

Ginger Root

Ginger Root

In the morning, Yang in the body is trying to disperse so you have energy to do things.  Ginger, which belongs to Yang type according to its herbal characteristic,  could help boost yang.   So it’s nice to eat ginger in the morning.  While in the evening,  Yang is gradually weakening, and is supposed to be concealed in the Yin so you can sleep.  With ginger or any other type of very spicy or hot nature food, Yang is boosted to disperse instead of conceal itself.   So it’s harmful to your body.

Similar theory applied to the seasonal diet.  In Spring and Summer,  Yang is comparatively strong and outwards.  So ginger could boost its function in that nature.  In Autumn and Winter, Yang is supposed to conceal itself inside of Yin.  So it’s not good to eat ginger in Autumn or Winter.

But even in Winter, there is still morning time.  So moderate consumption of ginger in the morning is still healthy.

Of course, this is the general health and wellness guideline.  As long as ginger or other type of yang food (acrid, dispersing) is not over consumed, it should be fine.  For example, as minor seasoning ingredient.  Unless you have specific health issue that needs yang dispersing function in the evening or Winter time, such as catching cold, it’s not advisable to take it in such time frame.  If this is done long time, it could cause yin and yang imbalance which will lead to certain health issue such as insomnia.

TCM emphasize nourishing your body every day with proper diet habit and not treating your body with medicine every day.  So get some herbal knowledge and pay attention to certain diet.  This will benefit you for long time.

Stay tuned for more TCM herbal or daily diet information and knowledge.  You are invited to come to often to check get more TCM related information.  You can also follow me at



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