In case you have been living your life in South East Asia, chances are that you would have already tried a ginger tea when you had a soar throat. Pungent and strong aroma is something that defines Ginger and has made it one of the essential ingredients in cooking. In case you are having a meat based meal, just eat a few slices of ginger along with your meal and never be bothered about the indigestion and the gas that some meat based meals can lead to.
Ginger has been traditionally used in medicine for treatment of gastronomical and liver based issues. It is not well know in modern medicine as well about the health benefits of ginger, particularly your digestive health. There are many more health benefits of ginger, read the entire article to learn and gain the maximum from this humble herb.
Strong, pungent and aromatic; may be the three words that define Gingers. They bring a special flavor to all dishes. As a result of their aroma and flavour they have been used as a spice for more than 2000 years.
Ginger was intially grown in China, however, now India remains to be the biggest producers and exporters of Gingers. India has been exporting Ginger to Europe since 100 AD!
Ginger (the part that is typically used and eaten) is actually the underground stem of the ginger plant. The root is covered with a thin layer of skin under which lies the flesh of the ginger. The thickness of the skin varies based on the maturity of the plant at the time of the harvest. The flesh can also be either yellow, red or white in color.
Ginger is a knotted, thick, beige underground stem, called a rhizome. The stem sticks up about 12 inches above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers.
The plant is grown perennially and as a result of which you can find it in your local markets all through the year. Further, being the stem of the plant, the shelf life of Ginger is quite high. Therefore, you can store it in your kitchen for a long time.
In case you really love fresh Ginger, you can easily grow them in your kitchen garden. The plant does not require a lot of care, apart from the occasional watering. In case possible, plant the tree at a place where it can get indirect sunlight as the plant loves the shade.
Health Benefits of Ginger at a Glance
Apart from its flavorful aroma and taste, Ginger is often considered as a medicinal plant. This is purely due to the health benefits of Gingers. Traditionally, ginger has been used to alleviate the problems of gastronomical and digestive system of the body. Ginger is regarded as a great spasmolytic and carminative. As a result of which Ginger helps in elimination of intestinal gas as well as smooths your intestines. Modern medicine and research also reveal the health benefits of ginger. This include its great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
There are many more health benefits of Ginger, you can refer to the tab Health Benefits to learn about them all.
As a result of both its therapeutic use and flavor, Ginger is a household name in majority of Asian countries. You would often find little strands of Ginger dipped in lemon juice being served that the dining table. Ginger’s properties that help in digestion make it a great accompaniment for any meat based dish. So next time you have having your piece of stake, just eat a little bit of Ginger with it.
Another, great uses of Ginger is during common cough and cold. A cup of hot tea with Ginger and Lemon added in it, could make your day and make the cold go away. In case you are not sure how to make a Ginger tea, you have ample of options in the market to buy Tea bags (with Ginger added).
In case you are interested in learning more about Ginger and Health Benefits of Ginger, you can read a few of these links.
Ginger root is a popular root herb of culinary as well as medicinal importance. The root, which composes unique phyto-chemical compounds, still finds a special place in many traditional Indian and Chinese medicines disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Storage: Fresh root can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month or so. Powdered ginger should be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers.
Cleaning & Cutting: Wash fresh ginger root in cold running water or rinse for few minutes to remove any sand, soil or pesticide residues.
How to Buy: Choose organic, fresh root over the dried form, since it is superior in quality and flavor.
Special Steps: Ginger root slices, boiled in water with lemon or orange juice, and honey, is a popular herbal drink in ayurvedic medicine to relieve common cold, cough, and sore throat.
TIP: Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled.
Ginger has been in use since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent, and anti-microbial properties.
Mineral Content: This herb also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
Vitamin & Compounds: The root contains health benefiting essential oils such as gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, farnesene, and small amounts of β-phelladrene, cineol, and citral. It also composes many essential vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5).
Water Content: Ginger is 12 to 15 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Ginger provide only 80 calories per 100 g
Gingerols help improve the intestinal motility and have been anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, anti-pyretic as well as anti-bacterial properties.
Maintains Normal Blood Circulation: Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.
Remedies Motion Sickness: Ginger is a known effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.
Improves absorption: Ginger improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body. It does this by stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzyme secretion.
Cold and Flu Prevention: Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. If you want to treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day.
Combats Stomach Discomfort: Ginger is ideal in assisting digestion, thereby improving food absorption and avoiding possible stomach ache. Ginger appears to reduce inflammation in a similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen.
Reduce Pain and Inflammation: Ginger contains some of the most potent anti-inflammatory fighting substances known and is a natural powerful painkiller.
Fights Common Respiratory Problems: If you’re suffering from common respiratory diseases such as a cough, ginger aids in expanding your lungs and loosening up phlegm because it is a natural expectorant that breaks down and removes mucus.. That way you can quickly recover from difficulty in breathing.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment: Ginger powder induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells.
Strengthens Immunity: Ginger helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.
Combats Morning Sickness: Ginger has demonstrated a success rate of 75 percent in curing morning sickness and stomach flu.
Relieve menstrual discomfort: This one is for all women suffering from menstrual cramps. Try soaking a towel in warm ginger tea and apply it to your lower abdomen. It may help relieve the pain and relax the muscles. At the same time, drink a cup of ginger tea with honey.
Relieve stress: Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of the strong aroma and healing properties.
Treat Burn: Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain.
Dizziness: Taking ginger seems to reduce the symptoms of dizziness, including nausea.
Nausea and vomiting following surgery: Most clinical research shows that taking 1 gram of ginger one hour before surgery seems to reduce nausea and vomiting during the first 24 hours after surgery. One study found ginger reduced nausea and vomiting by 38%. Also, applying ginger oil to patients’ wrists before surgery seems to prevent nausea in about 80% of patients. However, ginger might not reduce nausea and vomiting in the period 3-6 hours after surgery.
Arthritis: Taking ginger can modestly reduce pain in some people with a form of arthritis called “osteoarthritis.
Preventing morning sickness: Ginger seems to reduce nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women.
Weight loss: Research suggests that taking a supplement containing ginger, rhubarb, astragalus, red sage, turmeric, and gallic acid daily for 8 weeks does not increase weight loss or reduce body weight in people who are overweight.
Is a potent remedy for loss of appetite: Ginger can get your digestive juices going and increase your appetite.
Can help improve digestion: Ginger improves absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients and aids in digestion.
Helps relieve build-up of gas or flatulence: Ginger’s carminative (gas expulsion) properties provides relief from bloating and gas and helps reduce flatulence.
Can help relieve a headache: The ability of ginger to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis helps relieve pain and inflammation in blood vessels thereby providing relief from a migraine and a simple headache.
Can help prevent cancer: Ginger root contains a very high level of antioxidants. It has the ability to induce cell death (apoptosis) and suppress the production of certain proteins.
Pregnancy: Using ginger during pregnancy is controversial. There is some concern that ginger might affect fetal sex hormones. There is also a report of miscarriage during week 12 of pregnancy in a woman who used ginger for morning sickness. However, studies in pregnant women suggest that ginger can be used safely for morning sickness without harm to the baby. The risk for major malformations in infants of women taking ginger does not appear to be higher than the usual rate of 1% to 3%. Also there doesn’t appear to be an increased risk of early labor or low birth weight. There is some concern that ginger might increase the risk of bleeding, so some experts advise againsting using it close to your delivery date. As with any medication given during pregnancy, it’s important to weigh the benefit against the risk. Before using ginger during pregnancy, talk it over with your healthcare provider.
Breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using ginger during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don’t use it.
Bleeding disorders: Taking ginger might increase your risk of bleeding.
Diabetes: Ginger might lower your blood sugar. As a result, your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Heart conditions: High doses of ginger might worsen some heart conditions.
Here are some great recipes that you should try.
1) Pickled Ginger: Once you have made your own pickled ginger, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with the store-bought variety.
2) Carrot Ginger Soup: Packed with flavor, taste and health benefits!
3) Giant Ginger Cookies: Can you even imagine a cookie with Ginger in it? Try this recipe for a delicious and healthy cookie for your children.
4) Gingered Lemon Bars: A delight in taste and health.