Zingiber Officinale or the well-known ginger is actually a flowering plant which has green leave and long green stems, although there are some classifications for it to be a herb. Numerous cultures have used the swollen ginger roots for their traditional medicine. Its another most widespread use is as a spice in cuisines.
Ginger is often thought to be a root, but it is actually a rhizome e.g. an underground stem. The rhizome contains “limbs” as branches. It has a brown skin which is thin when it is harvested, but in case it becomes mature, the skin thickens.
Inside can be white, pink or yellow. It can even be red. It all depends on its variety.
It would be better to buy young ginger since it is juicy, fragrant, fleshy and pungent and has a mild spicy taste. Its maturity makes it drier and more fibrous, but also spicier.
According to a new study, ginger can decrease body temperature when you have a fever. Even old ginger is good when you have a cold. If you want to use it in this case, you’d better use old ginger.
THE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF GINGER
Almost 12 antioxidants are present in ginger which makes it possible to fight numerous health problems. It also contains calcium, essential oils, phosphorus, protein, inositol, choline, iron, vitamin C, panthotenic acid, silicon, vitamin B3, folate and manganese.
Besides its medicinal properties, people also use it because of its aphrodisiac properties.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Here are several things ginger can help you with!
Ginger is an anti-coagulant: If the blood platelets start to stick too much, ginger can help you reduce that effect. It also reduces the risk of stroke. Use a teaspoon of ginger juice into any beverage or smoothie or just add some ginger in your cooking!
Ginger has aphrodisiac effect: Ginger is actually considered to be a natural substitute of Viagra. Drink it in the form of tea with some honey and you’ll notice its magic!
Ginger can fight off common cold: Put a small piece of ginger into some hot water and leave it like that for 5 minutes. It will fight off any cold or flu. You can also add some honey or green tea leaves. Drink it hot!
Relieves tingly cough and sanitize the throat: If you have a very bad cough, drink some ginger juice 3-4 times a day. It will soothe your throat, but also clear out the phlegm. For phlegm, use old ginger and in case of a dry cough, use young ginger.
Combat cysts and mastitis: Use compresses made with ginger to fight mastitis as well as cysts.
Treats digestive disorders: In one glass of water, mix a teaspoonful of fresh lime juice, young ginger juice, as well as fresh mint juice. Put some honey to improve the taste and drink it to relieve vomiting, heartburn, indigestion and nausea. It can also help you after a heavy meal.
Relieves fatigue and invigorate: Ginger possesses invigorating and warming properties. It can also relieve your sore muscle pain. Boil some ginger with some water. Then, add some cinnamon bark and boil it again. Cover it and leave it to rest for 30 minutes. It should become golden. You can relieve your fatigue with the help of this drink.
Relieves flatulence/wind: Boil some ginger in about a cup of water. Add a little bit of honey and drink it 2 times a day. You’ll release the winds and you won’t feel flatulated.
Headaches: Tea made with ginger and lemon can help you against headaches since it has the ability to encourage blood circulation as well as supply oxygen to the brain. If you have chronic headaches, take ginger regularly.
Impotency: Take a half-boiled egg, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of young ginger juice. Mix it well and take this every night on an empty stomach for 1 month. It will increase the sperm count, fight impotency and premature ejaculation.
Inflammation: Ginger is abundant in antioxidants which makes it helpful against disorders caused by inflammation like osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. It helps you reduce the pain, the morning stiffness as well as the swelling.
Menstruation disorder: Boil one cup of water with a piece of young ginger. Add some honey and drink it hot 2 or 3 times for 1 month. This will help you against menstrual cramps and pain (dysmenorrhoea), but it can also help you if your menstruation is absent (amenorrhoea).
Morning, sea and motion sickness: Take 1 teaspoon of young ginger juice with a little bit of honey to help you against dizziness, morning sickness, nausea or sea or motion sickness.
Pain killer: If you apply ginger juice externally, it can help you relieve the pain caused by toothache or headache!
Stomach ulcer: Drink ginger juice every day and you’ll manage to heal stomach ulcers. Don’t eat processed foods! You can also take more cabbage juice.
Remove the ginger skin with a teaspoon. If you want your dish to have a mild taste, add some ginger at the beginning of the cooking and if you want it to have a pungent taste, add it at the end.
Whenever you prepare a smoothie or a vegetable juice add 1 teaspoon of ginger juice in them. It will give you the extra energy!
- Warning! Do not give honey to infants or ginger juice to young children!
- Fresh ginger juice is extremely powerful because of its enzymes. You only need 1 teaspoon of it.
- Ginger juice is very spicy. It can cause side-effects if you take it too much: uncontrollable burping or flatulence.
- Ginger contains oxalate, so people who have kidney stones should definitely avoid ginger!
Why is ginger hot/spicy?
The rhizome contains phenolic compounds, essential oils, shogaols and gingerols which make it spicy and hot. It is similar to capsicum found in chili peppers.
Where can I buy fresh ginger?
Ginger can be found in every supermarket or healthy food store. Make sure it looks good, preferably with some new shoots.
How to store ginger?
Keep it in a dry place which is cool, without any sunlight. Make sure you consume it fresh, because it will become dry in time.
Slice off pieces as you need them. Keep the rest for other uses.