Health benefits of Ginger.
August 8, 2012 Admin 0
Ginger is a widely available root of both culinary and medicinal importance. In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, the root is revered for its unique health promoting properties. In the western world, it features as the strong flavour in biscuits, soft drinks and cakes, but is not widely acknowledged or known to be of distinct medicinal value. As well as medicinal use in Asia it is also used in many savoury dishes.
Ginger root grows under the soil and is a rhizome of a small plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. It is a tuber by definition. Many plants of the same species are ornamental flowering varieties as well as melegueta pepper. Ginger plants were first cultivated in Himalayan regions but now found in many countries.
Zingerone, which is the source of the strong characteristic odour and taste possesses antiomicrobial and antibacterial properties and is used in Chinese medicine to alleviate symptons of stomach upsets and diarrhoea. The root itself also contains several essential oils. These include gingerol, the aforementioned zingerone, farnesene and shogaol. Gingerols have been documented to increase intestinal efficiency and mobility and act as an anti-inflammatory, inhibiting prostaglandin and leukotriene formations
The root is also rich in various minerals, in particular : manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium. In Chinese medicine it was viewed as such as valuable source of minerals, it was thought to improve heart and circulatory function by its regular consumption.
For those wishing to experience the benefits of ginger root, it is not advised to consume raw ginger as it would be rather unpalatable due to its overpowering properties. Ginger tea, possibly homemade is an excellent way to consume it instead. Small slices of fresh ginger in hot water, with lemon juice and possibly small amounts of honey is one such way to prepare it.
Although ginger is found in many western recipes, it usually is accompanied by masses of sugar or other undesirable ingredients so the consumption through tea or using ginger in the cooking of savoury dishes is the preferred method of consumption.