Ginger is a flowering plant that is widely used as a spice and folk medicine. An herbaceous perennial spice that grows annual pseudostems about one meter tall. It is having an inflorescence bear flowers with pale yellow petals and purple edges. Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. It includes turmeric, cardamom, and Galangal.
It is believed that Austronesian peoples domesticated it around 5,000 years ago. Around 479 B.C, it spread quickly from tropical Asia to India and China. Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, wrote much about ginger and he used to take it nearly with every meal.
Rome and Greece were introduced with ginger through Arab traders. Later on, it was known as oriental spices in Europe. It became of value than in the 14th century, a pound of ginger was equivalent to the value of a healthy adult sheep in England. It was recommended as a remedy for Black Plague by Henry VIII, whereas, Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed it in her gingerbread.
Ginger, being the most famous spices in the world, is cultivated in almost every country in a hot climate, heavy rains, and a lot of sunshine. In 1547, Jamaica used to grow ginger for Europe. Today, India grows most of the world’s ginger, but the highest quality available in the market is China with dried ginger roots.
Varieties of Ginger
Ground Ginger: A powdered form of ginger, is usually dried and ground. It is available at all supermarkets. People use it for sweets and curry mixes.
Fresh Ginger: There are two forms of fresh ginger; young and mature. The young ginger is also known as green or spring ginger. It requires no peeling because of pale, thin skin. It is very tender and with a milder flavor. For use, you can grate it, chop it, and julienne it.
On the other hand, mature ginger is having tough skin that requires peeling. You need to peel it to get to the fibrous flesh. A Hawaiian variety of ginger is blue-ring ginger, so if you see a blue-ring while slicing the ginger then you don’t have to worry because that is not a fungus or mold. It is one of the varieties. It is considered as one of the superior varieties because of its juicy and bright flavor.
Dried Ginger: The dried ginger is usually found in whole fingers or slices. It is soaked in the recipe’s liquid before use. It is easy to dehydrate it at home.
Pickled Ginger: In Japan, it is known as, Gari or BeniShoga. The color of this pickled ginger is bright red or pink and it is pickled in sweet vinegar. For sushi, it is a natural complement and it is sometimes used to refresh your breath. It is available in all supermarkets and should be refrigerated.
Preserved Ginger: This type of ginger is preserved with a sugar-salt mixture and easily available at all Asian supermarkets. It is used as a dressing of cuisines and for desserts.
Crystalized Ginger: Crystalized ginger is cooking in sugar syrup until it becomes tender. Then it is coated with granulated sugar. It can be easily made at home and it is used in desserts.
What is the difference between Ginger and Galangal?
Ginger and Galangal belong to the same family of spice and they are easily confused with one another because they both are rhizomes used in Southeast Asian cuisines. Both are close to turmeric, but Galangal is less sweet and has a rounded taste. Instead, it’s crisper, spicier, and peppery. Like ginger, it is available fresh, ground, dried, or sliced. Galangal is used in most Thai cuisines, along with, Chinese and Ayuverdic medicine because of its healing properties.
Taste of Ginger
Fresh ginger tastes slightly peppery and sweet, with a pungent and spicy aroma. If the ginger is burned while cooking, it turns bitter, more like garlic. The ground form of ginger is not as strong as fresh ginger. It is a little sweet and it can be used in desserts instead of using fresh ginger.
Uses of Ginger
Take ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger into a mug or glass. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into it. Cover it with a saucer and let it sit until it cools down enough to drink before straining. To make it sweet, add some honey or sugar as desired. It can also be used for children. Give them ¼ cup after every two or three hours. Try to keep it to one or two cups per day.
It is a remedy for painful joints, muscle sprains, or stomach aches. Make a compressed or fomentation of ginger by making a tea. Soak a piece of flannel or washcloth until it saturates. Wring it out and immediately place it on the painful joint area. Cover it with a towel or heating pad or hot water bottle. Leave it for 20 minutes and repeat if needed.
Ginger Herbal Jell-O
If you need a lemon or orange-flavored jell, then add 2 cups of 100% fruit juice. Add one ounce of ginger to it. For extra sweetening, you can add honey. Heat the juice and sprinkle the ground ginger. pour it into the desired mold after heating and mixing and let it cool in your fridge.
To alleviate the queasiness that occurs during pregnancy or traveling. You can make an herbal candy made of ginger. Add 1 cup of ginger tea and 1 ½ cup of sugar in a saucepan. Boil it over medium or medium-high heat without stirring. Let it cool down for use.
It is a fun drink for kids. Make a ginger tea, but use twice of ginger used in ginger tea, such as, add ½ teaspoon of ginger in 1 cup of boiling water. Gently boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Before straining, let it sit for 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar or honey as needed. Add ½ cup of carbonated water. Drink it in an instant to keep the fizzy factor of the drink. For adults, you can add soda.
Ginger Foot Bath
A ginger foot bath helps to stimulate and warm up the entire body by increasing the blood circulation of the feet and legs. Diabetic persons might find it helpful if recommended by your doctor. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered ginger in 2 quarts of boiling water. You can add a pinch or two of sea salt if needed. Let it cool down a bit before soaking your feet in boiling water comfortably. If you are taking a ginger foot bath for the first time, then add a smaller amount of ginger and then increase it according to your usage. Soak your feet for ten to twenty minutes.
Arthritic conditions can be cured by using ginger root oil. You can also use it by placing 2 to 3 drops on a piece of cotton or cotton ball in an aching area of your ear for required hours. You can also use it as a balm for sore muscles. To make the ginger oil, place several pinches or spoons in olive or sweet almond oil. Shake well and place it in a cool, dark place. Shake well before every use, so that the powder gets mixed with the oil and does not settle down at the bottle jar.
Ginger capsules are right before you take a trip and you have motion sickness. You can easily make ginger capsules at home. You can use the capsule and add the ginger powder to it. Along with the ginger powder, add some of the olive leaf and germanium to balance the cofactors. Sprinkle the powder in the capsule and use it on trips and when your stomach feels yucky.
Health Benefits of Ginger
The remedy of Nausea and morning sickness
The use of ginger is highly effective against nausea. People undergoing nausea and vomiting can use ginger to overcome these problems. Pregnant women can use 1.1-1.5grams of ginger daily to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness or nausea.
Ginger can significantly reduce your weight. The ginger supplementation can reduce weight, especially, the waist-hip ratio in overweight people. Overweighted people can reduce the body mass index and blood insulin levels. It helps to burn calories and reduce inflammation.
Cure of Osteoarthritis
It is a common health problem, which can be reduced using ginger. It reduces joint pain and stiffness. Ginger when used with cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil, can reduce knee joint pain and stiffness if used regularly.
Delayed emptying of the stomach causes indigestion. A person with this chronic indigestion problem can be treated by giving them ginger capsules. An hour later, give them soup. In 10-12 minutes, the stomach will be empty and the indigestion problem will be relieved.
Reduce Menstrual Pain
During the menstrual cycle, females suffer from pain. This pain can be reduced using ginger. Use ginger powder for 4 times a day during the first three days, and the pain will be less than usual. The ginger powder reduces the menstrual cycle pain effectively.
Anti-cancer properties are linked with gingerol, which is found in raw ginger. 2 grams of ginger extract per day can effectively help to kill or reduce colorectal cancer. Ginger is also effective in cases of gastrointestinal cancers such as the liver and pancreatic cancer.
Overcoming oily skin
Ginger is believed to overcome oily skin. As for how to take advantage of this ginger is by mixing already grated ginger, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt. Then, mix with water to form a paste. Apply to face up evenly and leave to soak. Then rinse your face with clean water.
Moisturize and soften the skin
You can also use ginger to soften your skin. Do this by mix pomegranate juice and grated ginger. Once mixed, then immediately apply this ingredient evenly and then let stand for 20 minutes. Clean with water.
With good compounds found in ginger, ginger also make nutritious for pregnant women. Ginger in addition to reducing the occurrence of morning sickness in younger pregnant women can also form immune fetus in the belly of pregnant women because the content of vitamin C in the ginger.
Ginger also contains folic acid can prevent the risk of birth defects. For pregnant women, should consumption of natural ginger and not in the form of supplements or herbal medicines are sold freely on the market.
This article written about Ginger, provides everything you want to know about ginger and its uses for healthy life. It comes with rich nutrition value to cure and treat different disease. It is an herbaceous cure of cold, skin, body, pregnancy, etc.