Since ancient times ginger has been used to treat and cure various ailments. The natural medicinal properties present in ginger make it the perfect home remedy. Aside from its healing properties, ginger is popular because of the unique flavor it adds to food. The lines below discuss various health benefits of ginger.
Ginger root in commonly used in world cuisine. This spice is added for flavor in a number of recipes from around the world. The unmistakable refreshing smell of crushed ginger tickles the nostrils. Ginger when added to food is not just healthy but also gives the food preparation anew dimension. Extract/juice of ginger is used as a home remedy for sore throat and common cold. Hugely popular in Asia and Africa, this spice is gaining momentum in Europe and US. Considering its numerous health benefits, it is not surprising why people all over the world are taking to ginger in a big way. Ginger pastes are used in several meat dishes from the Middle East, India and Pakistan. In South East Asia, ginger is used extensively in stews, soups, meats and vegetables. In the western world this rhizome is used more in bakery products such as biscuits, cookies and bread. One of the most popular beverages globally is ginger tea. Tea with ginger can be served piping hot or iced, either way it’s heavenly.
History of Ginger
Though the exact period when ginger root was discovered remains a mystery, some of the earliest references of this rhizome are made in Vedic Sanskrit scripts (1500-1200 BCE). Theories about ginger root present in the Garden of Eden have surfaced time and again, however there is no conclusive evidence about the claim. Use of ginger as medicine gained prominence in ancient India and Ancient China. However, it was in ancient Rome that this rhizome was extensively used in food. Ancient Romans used ginger paste to add flavor and fragrance to meat. They also made fermented ginger to be had as an accompaniment with stews. In ancient times, Rome was known for its supreme viticulturists who used fermented ginger in their vine making process. The ginger legacy disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire, and surfaced back when the Arabs introduced it in trade in the Far East. Marco Polo, the merchant traveler is credited to bringing back vital information about ginger plant back to Europe after a trip to the Far East, and this led to dynamic cultivation of ginger in Europe. It is believed that a fleet of ships carrying ginger plants in the 15th century were looted by pirates belonging to Caribbean shores, and that’s how ginger made its way in Caribbean islands.
20 Health Benefits and Medicinal uses of Ginger
1. Consumption of ginger helps relax strain on muscles caused due to a rigorous workout.
2. Ginger is an excellent remedy for morning sickness. A cup of ginger tea early morning can eliminate lethargy.
3. Ginger is used for treatment of common cold, sore throat, cough and flu. Juice extracts of this spice are mixed with water, soup, or tea to provide relief to the person with an illness.
4. In various cultures ginger is used as a cure for inflammation.
5. Research reveals ginger is effective in treating migraines.
6. Studies have revealed ginger has the capacity to battle ovarian cancer. Also, consumption of this root slows down growth of colon cancer cells significantly.
7. In several cultures ginger is used as a medicine for treating upset tummy, pain in the stomach and indigestion.
8. Ginger is used as an alternative medicine for treatment of arthritis. Its paste is used as a traditional home remedy to provide relief for stiff joints and swelling occurring among arthritis sufferers.
9. This rhizome has anti-inflammatory properties that provide instant relief from aches and pains.
10. Ginger when consumed regularly increases the body’s metabolic rate in a positive way.
11. For individuals that suffer from motion sickness and nausea, this root juice is the perfect remedy.
12. Ginger mixed with honey is an excellent home remedy for individuals suffering from respiratory diseases.
13. Gingerols in ginger are anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti- bacterial, and nerve soothing and are known to improve gastrointestinal tract motility.
14. This herb contains minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, and magnesium that are essential components for good cardiovascular health.
15. The use of ginger has benefitted diabetics in a big way. Individuals suffering from diabetes can drink water mixed with ginger juice early in the morning, this helps regulate glucose level.
16. In some countries ginger is used as an alternative
17. Ginger when consumed regularly is effective in treating heartburn and Gerd (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
18. The chemical compound, Zingerone present in ginger is effective in treating E coli diarrhea.
19. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine use ginger as a major ingredient in herbal drinks and pastes made for increased immunity.
20. In several Asian cultures pregnant women drink ginger ale/juice to get rid nausea at various stages during pregnancy.
Ginger Nutritional Value
(Nutrition Source USDA Nutrition Database)
Given below is nutritional value of ginger. (Per 100g)
- Zinc- 0.34 mg
- Calcium- 16 mg
- Magnesium- 43 mg
- Phosphorous- 34 mg
- Iron- 0.60mg
- Manganese- 0.229 mg
- Vitamin A- 0 IU
- Vitamin K- 0.1 mcg
- Folates- 11 mcg
- Vitamin E- 0.26 mg
- Pyridoxine- 0.160 mg
- Vitamin C- 5 mg
- Pantothenic Acid- 0.203 mg
- Niacin- 0.750 mg
- Potassium- 415 mg
- Sodium- 13 mg
- Dietary Fiber- 2.0g
- Energy- 80 kcal
- Cholesterol- 0mg
- Carbohydrates- 17.77g
- Total Fat- 0.75 g
- Protein- 1.82 g
Medicinal Properties of Ginger
Since ancient times ginger has been used as medicine to treat, cure and prevent illnesses. Numerous health benefits this rhizome offers makes it hugely popular globally. Listed below are the various medicinal properties of ginger.
- Stimulates Blood circulation
- Anticlotting Agent
- Anti Inflammatory
Culinary uses of Ginger
Ginger is used in cuisine from around the world. Aside from its health benefits, ginger root adds unique flavor and identity to food with its fresh, spicy and pungent notes. Ginger pastes and chutneys are used in numerous meat and vegetable dishes. This rhizome is an essential ingredient used in Mughlai cuisine. Ginger root is also used in breads and other bakery products such as biscuits and cookies. In several recipes ginger is added towards the completion of the dish to bring out uniqueness of aroma, and flavor. In the western world this rhizome is used in several sweet foods. India is known for its variety of ginger pickles and chutneys. South Asia is home to several spicy ginger pickles. Ginger root blends exceedingly well with tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, mustard seeds, cumin, and chili to form pastes and chutneys. Ginger tea is a refreshing beverage hugely popular for its health benefits. Dry Ginger powder can be made at home or can be purchased at a supermarket. 2000 milligrams of ginger powder three times a day is recommended for daily consumption. This rhizome powder can be mixed with food or beverage. Several Ayurvedic stores offer ginger capsules for daily consumption.
Tips on how to store Ginger
After cutting a piece of ginger, many of us keep the remaining rhizome in a refrigerator. Freshly cut ginger should be kept in a cool, dry and dark place instead of a refrigerator. Freshly cut ginger when kept in a refrigerator shrivels, dries up, and loses its taste. Although ginger rhizomes can be stored for a long time, for optimal effects they should be consumed within 2-3 weeks. Ginger capsules and ginger powder too should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Make sure ginger root is washed or rinsed with cold water before use. After washing, absorb water on ginger rhizome with tissue paper. If ginger root is left wet, it will get spoilt due to excess moisture.
If your ginger craving has not begun, it will. Stay healthy and gift ginger products to your loved ones.