Like cardamom and turmeric, a ginger plant belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. Originated in India and China, ginger rhizome or bulb has been used for centuries as a spice and medicinal plant.
Today, ginger is grown in Africa, India, Australia, and Jamaica. Jamaica ginger is considered the best for its delicate aroma and flavor.
Fresh ginger root has a pungent, sweet, spicy and lemony flavor and aroma. The ground form of ginger has smell and taste similar to fresh but lack of the lemony notes.
There are different forms of ginger root: fresh, raw, dried, powdered, crystallized, preserved and pickled as well as alcohol-free liquid extracts, ethanolic extracts, essential oils, powder supplements in capsules and tablets.
Besides gingerbread, ginger is a great addition for cookies, fruit desserts, ginger snap, and ginger ale. Because of the lemony flavor, the raw root is good with fish. Powered ginger is used with steaks, chicken, and meatloaf. Preserved root, crystallized ginger is an aromatic addition to your tea, jams or jellies. Pickled ginger is typically accompanied by sushi.
Ginger Health Benefits - Briefly
The ginger health benefits are primarily attributed by phenolic compounds such as gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone. Also ginger contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, vitamins B6 and C.
The beneficial actions of ginger root are associated with its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, anti-clotting, diaphoretic, lipid-lowering, and sedative properties.
Ginger may decrease risk factors of inflammatory diseases including arthritis, cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, asthma, and gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes.
Ginger as antioxidant inhibits free radicals damage to DNA that, in turn, protects against cancer, cognitive impartment, infections, and heart disorders.
Due to its antibacterial properties, ginger can fight against of wide range of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Anti-lipidemic (lipid-lowering) and anti-diabetic properties help control blood sugar, levels of cholesterol, triglycerides by improving fat and carbs metabolism, increasing lipolysis, and suppressing lipogenesis.
Anti-cancer action means that ginger may prevent cancer or assist in cancer recovery.
Diaphoretic properties of ginger promote sweating and toxins elimination.
Anti-clotting action slows down the clotting process.
Due to its sedative or calming effect, ginger can relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and even induce sleep.
Read more about Impressive Ginger Health Benefits.
Ginger Side Effects
Ginger is generally safe if used as a spice or consuming as a supplement appropriately. However, there are possible side effects if taking ginger in high doses.
Allergic reaction to it in some people which most likely would be indicated by a skin rash. If you have hives, difficulty breathing, swellings, immediately seek emergency assistance. It might possible irritation and dermatitis if ginger is used topically.
Ginger may cause heartburn, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in some people.
Ginger might interfere with blood-thinning medications and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take anticoagulants, speak to your physician before consuming ginger.
During pregnancy or breastfeeding, look for medical advice before taking ginger in any form.
Do not use ginger supplements if you have gallstones. Ginger can increase bile acid secretions and contraction of the bile duct.
Ginger root contains salicylates that have a blood-thinning effect. Also ginger may lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Seek professional advice before taking ginger supplements, if you take drugs that slow blot clotting, or medications to lower blood glucose levels or blood pressure.
Some natural or herbal supplements can double ginger effect. Do not use ginger with clove, cinnamon, flaxseed, fish oil, garlic, turmeric, and so on due to all of them have anti-coagulant properties.
Remember to always consult your physician before trying to treat any disease or illness by any health supplements.
There is no universal recommendation on ginger consumption. Ginger can be used as a spice to flavor your food or as a dietary supplement. You can make ginger teas from raw or powdered ginger or take concentrated liquid extracts.
If you wish to take ginger in pill or liquid extract form, you should follow recommendations on the pill container or directions of your health professional. If you simply want to diversify your nutrient intake by consuming ginger, there is a wide variety of meals containing ginger you can add to your meal plan.
Safe dosage for a healthy person: Powder, extract, tincture, capsules, and oils, 1 to 2 g a day. Daily amount can be divided into two - three doses.
- One teaspoon of powdered raw ginger equals 2 g ginger
- One teaspoon of grated raw root equals 1 g ginger
- One milliliter of liquid extracts (approximately 20 drops) may contain from 0.3 to 1 g active ginger ingredients
- One supplement capsule typically has 0.5 g of ginger
- One cup ginger tea, steeping 1/2 teaspoon.
- Add ginger to smoothies or shake
- Make ginger tea or water
- Sprinkle over salad
- Add to your baked goods
- Use in meat and fish dishes.
A favorite spice in cuisines of all over the globe, ginger in used sweet desserts, meat, chicken and fish dishes. In North Africa, ginger is often combined with coriander, saffron, vanilla, and turmeric that give piquant salty-spicy notes to a food. In Scandinavian countries, ground ginger combined with cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and ground cloves is used for gingerbread.
A glass of ginger water or tea every day is a good idea to utilize the beneficial properties of the unique plant.
Slice 15-20 grams of raw ginger and steep it in a glass of water for at least 3-4 hours. Remove the ginger slices and add lemon, honey, or mint, or sweetener if needed. You can use the ginger slices again but steep it in water for 5-7 hours.
Ginger Tea (from raw ginger)
- Grate 20 grams of raw peeled ginger
- Add 4 cups of filtered water
- Bring water to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes
- Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes
- Strain out the ginger
Add lemon, honey or fresh mint, or fresh rosemary, or sweetener to your taste.
20-25 grams of peeled raw ginger approximately equals 1 tablespoon (5 g) of the powdered form.
1 cup of such tea contains approximately 1 g of ginger. If this tea is too strong, dilute it with more water.
Ginger Tea (from ginger powder)
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil
- Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder
- Allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes
- Add honey, lemon or sweetener to taste.
Fresh and dried ginger contains over 100 ingredients. However, the most benefits of ginger are primarily attributed by phenolic ketones...