Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric.
Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate protein or fiber. Ginger also holds a variety of medicinal qualities that have been used widely by natural health practitioners.
Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea. Here are a few examples of the many ways ginger is used medicinally:
Treating Stomach Problems- Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, upset stomach, nausea caused by cancer treatment, vomiting, as well as loss of appetite. Chewing raw ginger is helpful for stomach based issues and ginger lozenges are shown to help women reduce morning sickness during pregnancy.
Cold and Flu Prevention- As a natural remedy for colds and the flu. It can also be helpful for cases of stomach flus and food poisoning and that is due to the soothing effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.
Menstrual Cramps- used in Chinese Medicine, Ginger tea is used in the treatment for menstrual cramps.
Arthritis- Some research shows that ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pain in some people with a form of arthritic called osteoarthritis.
Ginger also pairs well with many different types of food. Here are some quick tips for adding a little more ginger into your life.
▪ Add fresh ginger into your next smoothie or juice
▪ Add fresh or dried ginger to your next stir-fry or homemade salad dressing
▪ Steep peeled fresh ginger in boiling water to make your own ginger tea
▪ Use fresh or dried ginger to spice up any fish recipe.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog where we will be incorporating ginger into some juices, smoothies, soups and salad dressings!!