Revered in the Orient for its powerful healing qualities and its culinary uses, Ginger has been in use since ages. A perennial herb, ginger is a greenish yellow rhizome. The botanical name of the spice is Zingiber Officinale. Ginger is been used extensively in the Orient; its benefits covering a spectrum so wide, that it includes the medicinal, culinary as well as aromatherapy fields. A pungent and flavorful spice, ginger is one of the most widely used spices in the East.
Ginger is known to be beneficial to the body in a number of ways. Ginger can be used in its raw as well as dried form. Raw ginger is thermogenic, anti-flatulent, appetizer, digestive and a powerful laxative.
Dried ginger is thermogenic, appetizer, laxative, expectorant, stimulant and effective to cure stomach disorders. Dried and ground ginger is used to cure cold, cough, cholera, nausea ad vomiting, inflammations, diarrhea, colic, flatulence, anorexia, asthma and headaches.
Ginger has extensive uses in aromatherapy as well. Ginger yields an essential oil that is steam distilled from the unpeeled, dried and ground root. Ginger oil is used in combination with sandalwood, cedar wood and patchouli, which renders a woody-spicy scent to the mixture.
The uses of ginger as a digestive aid can be greatly attributed to the presence of gingerols and shogaols, which help neutralize stomach acids, enhance the secretion of digestive juices and tone the muscles of the digestive tract.
The active ingredient in ginger is terpenes and an oleoresin, which is called ginger oil. These active agents are responsible for its antiseptic qualities, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating and mild constipation relief. Research has shown that ginger lowers blood cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver.
Other Ginger health benefits
o Ginger has been known to reduce inflammation of the joints and muscle tissue for people suffering from arthritis or rheumatism. o Ginger improves blood circulation, since thought to improve the complexion too. It is also known to have reduced nervousness, ease tendonitis and treat sore throats. o Ginger is an effective herbal remedy for all kinds of motion sickness and even morning sickness during pregnancy. A great way to get rid of the uneasy, queasy feeling in the stomach. o Scientists have found that ginger can block the effects of prostaglandin – a substance that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain, which leads to migraine. o Many women believe that consuming ginger tea during periods helps minimize menstrual cramps. o Known for its warm action, ginger is an effective treatment in colds and flu. o An effective remedy for cramps caused by flatulence, ginger stimulates digestion. o Ginger is a mood enhancer, the Cineole present in ginger helps provide stress relief. o It is a great mouth freshener and ginger tea is known for its refreshing properties.