What is Ginger?
Ginger is a spicy and tangy root originating from China.
It is considered to be one of the healthiest foods, with many people praising its healing benefits.
We classify it as a herb.
The official botanical name – Zingiber officinale – refers to the plant’s Sanskrit title singabera, which translates to horn shaped, referring to ginger’s characteristic form.
How would I describe ginger?
It looks like a root of a plant, but against a widespread believe, it is not a root as such.
Although it grows underground, it is expanding horizontally – as oppose to the root itself, which is spreading downwards.
Therefore, according to WebMD, it is classified as rhizome.
Did you know that this underground stem can grow up to 40 inches in length?
That’s a lot of ginger!
You can find this herb in most grocery stores in vegetables section.
It has got a pale brown skin, almost beige, which can be either thick or thin, depending on the age of the plant.
The flesh inside can be white or yellow, with well-defined fiber.
Ginger, or ginger root, as often referred to, can be found in different forms, among which are:
- Whole fresh root
- Dried stem
- As juice or oil
It can enhance a variety of dishes and drinks, including Thai and Indian curries, herbal teas, cakes as well as seafood.
This spicy herb is native to Asia, and has first been imported by Romans in the 16th century.
Ginger we find in the shops today is most likely to be grown in Jamaica.
Many people consider ginger as one of the superfoods.
Its exceptional qualities had been discovered in ancient China, where it was commonly used by natural healers.
Health Benefits of Ginger
This fiery herb is packed with natural antioxidants (which help us stay younger), as well as array of vitamins which help fight cold symptoms.
If you were ever given a ginger and lemon tea while suffering from flu, you know how effective it is.
Ginger is full of carbohydrates, which are excellent source of energy.
No wonder we often use it as a natural pick-me-up remedy!
Are there any other benefits of ginger?
Just about a dozen! We have done our homework and listed them all below.
Helps with Digestion
Ginger, being quite tangy can support us in losing weight.
This spicy herb is recognized to stimulate saliva and respectively speed up metabolism.
Your food will likely to be processed faster, if you have enhanced your meal with a bit of ginger.
The plant is also able to treat the indigestion, as this study shows.
Dyspepsia, as known in medical circles, is typical to cause a pain and irritation right after a meal.
It is initiated by a low fiber diet; the condition means that the food doesn’t move freely through our system, being held up by lack of working digestive juices.
Fresh ginger, as a sharp and citrusy herb, increases the juices to show up and do what they’re supposed to do.
According to the research of Ming-Luen Hu, the rooted plant successfully accelerated the digestion among the 12 participants to a speedy 12 minutes (while the same process, when not supported by an herb usually takes 16 minutes).
Helps with Nausea & Motion Sickness
Do you feel ill just thinking about a car trip?
You, my friend, can be suffering from a motion sickness.
It’s an unpleasant condition affecting many of us, so don’t feel bad about it.
There’s an abundance of studies analyzing a positive effect of ginger on those suffering from nausea and motion sickness.
Researchers found that people who reported seasickness, once given a small amount of ginger, showed signs of improvement, and on much bigger scale than participants who were offered a placebo.
Patients undertaking a major surgery are likely to suffer from nausea in the 24 hour period right after the operation.
Medical studies, however, discovered that once a patient receives 1 gram of fresh ginger an hour prior to the surgery, the vomiting and sickness drop by 38%.
A similarly positive effect has been observed in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger has been proven by various studies to control the blood sugar levels in our system.
That could be fantastic news for all of us living with diabetes.
US National Library of Medicine recently published a report showing that only 2 grams of ginger, when given to 41 diabetics every day over a period of 12 weeks, reduced their fasting blood sugar level by 12%.
That is explained by Dr. Joseph Mercola, who states in this review, that zesty herb is powerful enough to regulate the insulin levels and distribute it through the body, effectively bringing relief to all suffering from the low blood sugar.
This condition is linked to other more serious complaints, with arthritis being one of them.
By having anti-inflammatory potential, ginger is widely recommended to treat those illnesses.
Moreover, the plant has already been used in traditional Chinese medicine to deal with inflammation.
Is the complaint really that serious?
Well, if you have ever experienced stiff joints or chronic migraine, you can easily understand the implication.
I’ve listed below a number of most common disorders which are associated with inflammation, and therefore treatable with the use of ginger.
Remedy for Migraine
OK, so maybe it doesn’t affect majority of people – only 24% of the population – yet, it is still considered a serious and unbearable illness.
Would you think of ginger as a cure to your headache?
A recent study demonstrates that you should.
According to an experiment published by US National Library of Medicine, ginger proved to be as effective as prescribed migraine tablets.
100 participants who were complaining about lingering pain, were divided into two groups, with one being given ginger powder while the other a migraine drug.
After two hours both groups confirmed ease of headache, with comparable results.
It clearly shows us that ginger can effectively treat migraine just as well as a medicine, yet without trigging any side effects.
This common problem affects many people, and it involves inflammation of the joints leading to stiffness and pain.
Study conducted at University of Miami, FL, revealed that patients suffering from osteoarthritis once prescribed a ginger extract, required fewer pain killers to ease the suffering.
It definitely shows us a wide array of possibilities hidden in little zesty root, but that’s not all.
Read below to find even more remarkable qualities!
Could an herb be a cure to this serious disease?
It may be used to retract the damage already caused, once you examine the facts.
Alzheimer’s, a disorder connected indirectly to the inflammation of the nerve cells, is caused by a brain damage and leads to dementia.
Ginger, being rich in antioxidants, the elements delaying our aging process, has anti-inflammatory characteristics which could potentially prevent damage to nerve cells.
The studies are currently verifying if ginger could in fact reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s, yet the evidence is still too sparse to be 100% sure.
Prevents Colon Cancer
Cancer Prevention Research magazine published a report that Colon cancer patients showed signs of improvement after only a month of being given ginger root supplements.
The tablets have effectively diminished inflammation caused by the illness delivering promising results.
Furthermore, US National Library of Medicine revealed that anti-inflammatory agents (such as Aspirin, ginger, and appropriate drugs) can prevent the colon cancer growth.
The statement was supported by an experiment involving 30 individuals, each consuming 2 grams of ginger extract per day.
The final result confirmed that the herbal medication successfully reduced inflammation of the colon cancer.
It’s worth to mention that a number of different studies followed suit, yet failed to deliver comparable results.
Have you noticed how much you sweat when you are stuck in bed with flu?
It’s your body’s method of detoxification and getting rid of viruses.
Ginger, when served with lemon in a cup of hot water (or herbal tea), will get you working up this sweat.
This way you are pushing away the bad bacteria out of your system and essentially fighting off infections.
When not bed-ridden, you can still enjoy the benefits of this tangy herb in several dishes and drinks, while building up your resistance against any future sicknesses.
Eases Muscles Pain
If you love working out regularly, you are familiar with this condition.
Muscles are sore the next day, and you can hardly move.
How can you make it go away?
In my school days, we were often told after P.E. lesson to drink a calcium water at home (water mixed with the calcium powder), which seemed to ease the pain.
It’s because calcium is packed with anti-inflammatory elements.
As we already discovered, so is ginger.
Therefore, it’s advised to introduce it to our everyday diet in order to reduce the muscle pain.
But be aware that it won’t happen overnight, it’s a long process, as proved by this research.
Allow at least 11 days and eat 2 grams of ginger during each of those to enjoy comparable results.
Reduces PMS Pain
No, it’s nothing to do with prime mortgage services.
This one affects only some of us ladies, at a certain time of month.
Premenstrual syndrome, as it’s officially called, is a pain in abdominal area ahead of a monthly period.
Ginger, as proved number of times to ease various pains, is effective with PMS too.
According to a recent study, the ginger extract, if administered at 250mg four times a day, can reduce the PMS associated pain within 3 day period, as confirmed by 62% of participants.
Ginger can therefore enjoy comparable results to Ibuprofen and other popular pain killers.
By now we’ve established that introducing ginger into our diets is more than beneficial.
How can we prepare quick and easy meals with this herb?
We have some ideas for you.
For me personally, ginger works best when paired with a wedge of lime and few mint leaves in a form of refreshing lemonade.
It can also be added to a herbal tea or grated straight into a Green Thai curry.
Try it with pork as well.
But why not be even more creative and add it to a fruit salad (it will work well with apples, melon and oranges).
If you feel like that’s not inventive enough, how about these Spicy Cinnamon & Ginger Roasted Carrots?
It’s referred to by the author, Megan Warerd as ”hands-down, no contest, the best carrots I’ve ever had”.
Sounds like a recipe worth a try!
How to Store Ginger
That is such a great question.
Ginger has a sharp flavor, and you only need a tiny bit to taste it.
Overdoing it can seriously spoil a dish.
So what are you supposed to do with the rest of the root?
You cannot add it to every single meal and drink for two whole weeks without getting ginger-sick in the process.
Actually, you can store it in a freezer. Yes, Ginger can be frozen!
Wrap it in a plastic bag beforehand, peel and cut it if preferred.
Next time you want to use it, simply grab a piece and grate it straight to the dish – no need for defrosting.
Put any left-over back in the freezer.
It’s really as simple as that!
Ginger is no longer reserved for the coconut curries and a gingerbread man.
We all love its diversity and fresh zesty accent it introduces to our dishes.
This smart little herb can skillfully add oriental hint to any traditional dish or drink.
But with all the health benefits as listed above, we would be silly to pass it by in a grocery store.
You simply have no excuse not to buy it – even storing it for a prolonged period of time is already solved for you.
So don’t delay it, put a ginger on your shopping list now!
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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