I haven't met many people that don't enjoy the delicious aromatic flavour of ginger. It is a must have spice in the kitchen, both fresh and ground. It is amazing in sweet and savoury dishes, and its health benefits are phenomenal.
Commonly known as ginger, Zingiber officinale is native to Asia and is cultivated globally mainly for its use as a culinary herb. The part of the plant used both for medicine and for culinary purposes is the rhizome, often mistaken for a root.
Vitamins: A, B-Complex and C
Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium
Ginger has many active constituents responsible for its medicinal qualities, and the type varies depending on whether the rhizome is fresh or dry. The primary active ingredient associated with the anti-inflammatory action are gingerols and its dehydrated counterparts shogaols.
- Anti-emetic (anti-nausea)
- Anti-hyperglycaemic (assists with blood sugar regulation)
- Antispasmodic (reduces cramping)
- Peripheral circulatory stimulant
Health conditions where ginger is useful include poor circulation and cold limbs, common cold, bronchitis, nausea and vomiting, colic, poor appetite, painful periods and cramping, rheumatism and arthritis.
Using fresh or dried ginger in cooking, baking or as a refreshing tea is by far the easiest way to enjoy many of its health benefits. If you are considering using it for treatment I recommend seeking out the advice of a health care professional for product information.
Although generally considered to be a safe herb, dried ginger should be limited to 2g per day during pregnancy, and used with caution by those on blood-thinning medications, with peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux and gastric disorders. Remember, always speak to your healthcare professional first if you have any concerns.
Are you a fan of ginger? What are your favourite ways of using it, either medicinally or in cooking?