Ginger is something we believe everyone should own in their kitchen pantry.
Not only does ginger make a wonderful spice for our recipes, but it also has herbal properties that you can take advantage of, especially during those cold wintery days when nothing is better than a warm cup of ginger tea.
If we go by our ancestors then ginger tea can solve half the daily diseases we experience now and then!
Have a common cold? Drink some ginger tea! Do you have a bad cough or a sore throat? Brew some ginger tea!
Whatever is the ailment, ginger seems to be the one stop solution for everything.
But just what makes ginger so special? And should we incorporate more ginger in our daily life? To find the answer to these questions just keep reading and you'll soon be a fan of ginger just like us!
Basic facts about Ginger
Many people think that ginger is a root, just like garlic. But it's actually a rhizome.
What is that? Well, a botanist will tell you that a rhizome is a stem that grows underground. For your extra knowledge, turmeric and cardamom are also rhizomes just like ginger.
Origin of Ginger
Moving on to more facts about ginger, it's scientific name is Zingiber officinale. But where did ginger came from?
It originally came from SouthEast Asia and eventually spread from there as world trade increased during the 16th century.
Use of Ginger
Ginger in present times is mostly used as a cooking ingredient at least in the Western nations. But the Asian nations still use ginger medicinally in their daily lives.
Ginger is paired with tea to make cold curing tea, not to mention that digestive tonics made from ginger are extensively used to calm the inflammation of the stomach. So yes, many of us are missing out on all the health benefits ginger can offer to us in our daily lives!
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger comes from a flowering plant which is considered herbal according to botany.
This makes ginger itself a very healthy and delicious addition to almost anything.
There is no end to versatility when it comes to using ginger as a cooking ingredient.
Ginger is not just good as a cooking ingredient! It also comes with a vast basket of health benefits!
And in this too ginger is exceptionally versatile, as not only can you use ginger as a herb or spice to make your food, but you can also use ginger oil for so many health perks!
But are all these health benefits of ginger we keep talking about? Keep reading and you'll soon find out!
- Ginger has long been a part of traditional Asian medicinal culture, like Ayurveda from India and Chinese medicine from China. Ginger has been used to treat ailments like common cold, bad digestion and even nausea.
- Even scientists and experts vouch for the healing and medicinal properties of ginger, with many pharmaceutical companies using ginger as a component for their medicines, for example ginger cough drops and cough syrup.
- But what is it about ginger that makes it such a great alternative medicine? The answer lies in the bioactive compound called gingerol that is inside ginger. This gingerol not only gives ginger it's medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties but it also gives ginger it's trademark scent and sharp flavour. In addition to all the already mentioned health benefits, gingerol also acts as an antioxidant, which can help our immune system to fight off diseases.
- Although this area of research in the health properties of ginger is fairly new, significant results have shown that ginger might have anti-diabetic effects for diabetic patients. It was observed that patients who took ginger powder daily for two months could greatly reduce their fasting blood sugar by 12%, even among the type 2 diabetic patients. Scientists hope that with more research in ginger, a medicine can be made which can greatly cut down the need of daily insulin among diabetic patients. Nevertheless, even normal folks who don't have diabetes can greatly take advantage of ginger's anti-sugar effects by including it in their daily diet.
- Chronic indigestion is something that has become something of a common occurrence, even among the youth thanks to the high gluten diet we are taking in today's world. Chronic indigestion is mainly characterized by pain in the upper abdomen, and it happens due to your stomach not able to empty itself. But ginger has certain medicinal properties that can ease your bowels and let you empty your stomach in a timely fashion. In fact, a research was conducted on this and it was seen that having ginger soup helped patients suffering with chronic indigestion to relieve themselves in just within 15 minutes! So if you ever feel a little too heavy in the stomach, you better make ginger soup for yourself!
- Ginger is said to have pain relieving properties, which is why it was often prescribed to patients with body pain or headache during the old times. But even to this day you can use ginger to help with your pain. Ladies can especially use ginger to help themselves during their tough menstrual times! We all know how those cramps suck, but believe us that a massage with ginger oil will make all that pain vanish! Company that with a hot cup of ginger tea and your period days of pain will become period days of peace!
- Cholesterol is bad for you, we don't need to tell you that. It causes a variety of diseases, some of them are serious like pulmonary heart disease and fatty liver disease. The culprit for all such diseases is the LDL cholesterol, which is considered to be particularly bad even by cholesterol standards. Unfortunately, our modern diet is not exactly healthy and is filled with this bad LDL cholesterol. But do you know what food can reduce your LDL cholesterol percentage? That's right, it's ginger! Research has shown that people who take ginger regularly in their diet can reduce LDL cholesterol by upto 10%, and sometimes even upto 17%! These numbers are no small figures to tease at, and clearly prove that if you start having ginger regularly, you can potentially save yourself from serious health problems in future!
- These days it seems like even the youngsters are aging faster than they are supposed to. This is partly due to their stressful and sedentary lifestyle, which increases oxidative stress and inflammation in the human body. This in turn leads to faster aging which nobody likes. But how to stop this nasty fast aging? By eating ginger of course! Thanks to the super compound gingerol found in ginger, you can greatly reduce your oxidative stress and inflammation which if you recall are the main reasons for fast aging. In fact research has even shown that women who take ginger powder regularly have found their reaction time and memory to be greatly improved then before!
Ways to Use Ginger
Ginger is a versatile ingredient and should not be just limited to cooking. Not only can you use ginger to make your recipes better and healthier, but you can also use ginger oil for massage purposes. Some of the many ways you can use ginger are as follows:
- You can use ginger with chicken to make awesome recipes.
- Ginger tea for all your cold days!
- Ginger juice with a dash of honey is especially great for a sore throat!
- Ginger goes great with alcohol. Just try pairing ginger ale with vodka!
Ginger is not just something you add to noodles or your chicken wings to spice things up. Yes, ginger makes for a good spice but it can be so much more than that! We hope that with this guide to ginger we have convinced you to use this wonderful rhizome to its fullest of potential and make your life even more healthy!