Ginger belongs to the family of Zingiberaceae. It is originated in Island Southeast Asia and was likely domesticated first by the Austronesian peoples.Ginger was also one of the first spices exported from the Orient, ginger arrived in Europe during the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. It is available fresh and dried, as ginger extract and ginger oil, and in tinctures, capsules, and lozenges.
Ginger is very nutritious and it has many health benefits like with arthritis and osteoarthritis, relieve nausea and pain, prevent cancer, improve respiratory conditions, and reduce flatulence. It also helps boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite.
Ginger contains phenolic compounds which is beneficial for digestion. It is also beneficial in constipation and colon cancer.
- Pain reduction
Ginger is beneficial for women in relieving pain during a menstrual cycle. It also reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
Ginger is useful for treating
inflammation and its conditions. It also helps to treat osteoarthritis.
Ginger treats heart disease and
diabetes. It is also useful in lowering the blood sugar, cholesterol and lowers
the risk of blood clotting.
- Stomach Ulcers
Ginger prevents stomach ulcers which
are generally caused by bleeding and acute gastric irritability. It contains
anti-inflammatory properties which helps in treating stomach ulcers.
- Reduces Arthritis Pain
Ginger contains gingerol which
contains anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to increase the bone health
density and makes the bone strong. Thereby, reducing the risks of joint pain.
Ginger is also beneficial in osteoarthritis, knee inflammation, and rheumatoid
- Relieves Asthma
Ginger has anti-inflammatory
properties that helps to treat respiratory disorders. It contains an active
compound called Zerumbone, which treats asthma.
Ginger helps in treating
tuberculosis, prevent hepatotoxicity. It
also protects against the liver-damaging cadmium poisoning caused due to
significant ingestion of cadmium. Ginger also protects the liver from many
Ginger boosts metabolism which helps
in burning the excessive fat from the body.
Gingerol which is found in cancer helps in the prevention of many types of cancer. Zerumbone prevents gastric, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. It functions as an anti-angiogenic and antitumor drug.
Ginger is known to reduce stress and
inflammation thus delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like
dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. It also keeps your memory sharp and
prevents from any brain damage.
Relieves Muscle Pain
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties reduces muscle pain and soreness caused due to exercising.
- Prevents Menstrual Cramps
Ginger helps in relieving cramps by
reducing the level of prostaglandins in the body.
Detoxifies the Body
Ginger detoxifies the body by promoting sweating. It also helps in reducing bacterial and viral infections and creates a protective layer of previously unknown proteins.
Gingerol prevents bacterial, viral and fungal infections.It also helps in maintaining oral health by killing the pathogens in the mouth and keep the teeth and gums intact. Gingerol also protects from urinary tract infection (UTI), bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Ginger prevents stomach spasms and gas thus causing diarrhea.
- Skin Care
Ginger prevents many skin infections like dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.
Thus, making your skin look
Increases Sexual Activity
Ginger contains aphrodisiac which
increases the sexual activity. It also helps in increasing fertility and blood
circulation in the body.
Ginger can be consumed at any time of day. It goes well with many different types of seafood, oranges, melon, pork, chicken, pumpkin, rhubarb, and apples.
Ways to use ginger
Ginger can be used in mary dishes like gingerbread, cookies, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and a wide variety of savory recipes.
- Add fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice.
- Add fresh or dried ginger to a stir-fry or homemade salad dressing.
- Make ginger tea by steep peeled fresh ginger in boiling water.
- Ginger root pills are also available in tablet or capsule form to supply you with a quick and concentrated dose of antioxidants.
- Use fresh or dried ginger to spice up any fish recipe.
- Pickled ginger is offered with sushi as a palate cleanser.
- Ginger cookies, candied ginger, and the gingerbread man are popular holiday favorites.
How to buy and store ginger
- When buying fresh ginger, look for a root with smooth, taut skin, with no wrinkles, and a spicy aroma.
- Store fresh ginger in a tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer, and peel and grate it before use.
- Refrigerated ginger can last around 3–4 weeks, or even longer with proper storage
Uses of ginger
- Removes Excess Gas
Chewing on a small piece can help force the gas out in a healthy way and also prevent additional gas from building up again.
Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment.
Taking ginger for motion sickness seems to reduce feelings of nausea, but it does not appear to prevent vomiting.
Cold and flu relief
Ginger tea relieves in flu and
cold.To make ginger tea at home, slice 20 to 40 grams (g) of fresh ginger and
steep it in a cup of hot water. Adding a slice of lemon or a drop of honey adds
flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial
This makes a soothing natural remedy for a cold or flu.
- For morning sickness:
500 to 2500 mg of ginger daily in two to four divided doses for 3 days to 3 weeks has been used.
- For nausea and vomiting caused by HIV/AIDS treatment:
1 gram of ginger daily in two divided doses 30 minutes before each antiretroviral treatment for 14 days has been used.
- For nausea and vomiting after surgery:
1-2 grams of powdered ginger root 30-60 minutes before induction of anesthesia has been used. Sometimes 1 gram of ginger is also given two hours after surgery.
- For dizziness (vertigo):
1 gram of ginger powder as a single dose one hour before causing dizziness has been used.
- For painful menstrual periods:
250 mg of a specific ginger extract (Zintoma, Goldaru) four times daily for 3 days from the start of the menstrual period has been used. Also, 1500 mg of ginger powder daily in up to three divided doses, starting up to two days before menstruation and continuing for the first 3 days of the menstruation cycle, has been used.
Seasons in which ginger is available
Ginger is available all year-round.
How to make ginger tea
2 cups Water
1/2 inch Ginger Crushed
1 and 1/2 tsp Black Tea Leaves
2 tsp Sugar
3 tbsp Milk
Heat water in a pan.
Once the water comes to a boil, add ginger in it and let it boil for a minute on low heat.
Add tea leaves and sugar and again boil for a minute.
Now add milk and let the tea boil for another minute.
Strain using a tea strainer and serve immediately.
How to make ginger chutney
small ball sized tamarind
¼ cup hot water
2 tbsp oil
1½ tbsp chana dal / bengal gram
1 tbsp urad dal / split black lentils
¼ tsp mustard seeds / rai
¼ tsp methi / fenugreek seeds
4-7 kashmiri red chilli, dried
handful of curry leaves / kadi patta
¼ cup ginger / adrak, peeled & chopped
2 tsp jaggery / gud
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds / rai
few curry leaves / kadi patta
firstly, soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and squeeze to remove juice.
further, in a thick bottomed pan heat oil.
add 1½ tbsp chana dal, 1 tbsp urad dal, ¼ tsp mustard seeds and ¼ tsp methi seeds.
roast for a minute on low flame.
additionally add 4-7 red chilli, curry leaves and peeled ¼ cup ginger.
continue to saute on low flame till the raw smell from ginger disappears.
transfer the mixture to the blender.
add in jaggery, salt and tamarind pulp.
blend to smooth paste adding more water if required.
further for tempering, heat oil in a small kadai.
add in mustard seeds and curry leaves.
allow to splutter.
and transfer the tempering over prepared ginger chutney.
finally, serve ginger chutney along with idli or dosa.
- A High intake may worsen symptoms of acid reflux, irritate the mouth, and cause diarrhea.
- Acid-reflux: It may worsen acid reflux in some people.
- Bleeding disorders: Taking ginger might increase your risk of bleeding.
- Heart conditions: High doses of ginger might worsen some heart conditions.
- Gallstones: It can increase bile production, which may cause the stone to create a block in bile flow. Talk to your doctor before using it.
- Diabetes: It can affect your insulin and
blood sugar levels drastically so make sure you talk to your doctor before
adding it to your diet.
Blood-thinning: It should not be eaten with blood-thinning medicines or aspirin as it may affect blood clots.
Pregnant women: Intake of ginger has been connected to a miscarriage. Though it is generally considered safe, consult your doctor before making any change in your diet..
- People are advised not to take more than 4 g of dried ginger a day, or 1 g during pregnancy, including food sources.
- Ginger supplements should not be used with aspirin or other blood-thinning medications.
Ginger fun facts
- Ginger (Binomial name: Zingiber officinale, Species: Z. officinale) is a flowering plant and has widespread applications in folk medicine and as a spice.
- Ginger has a characteristic smell. This smell comes from some volatile oils that are present in the rhizome. In fresh ginger, the oil makes up 1-3% of the total weight.
- Ginger has many other names in various countries. For instance, people in Burma call ginger as ‘gyin’. In Thailand, people called it by the name ‘khing’.
- Halia is the word for ginger that is used in Malaysia. Filipinos call it as ‘luya’.
- In Arabic, ginger is known as ‘zanjabil’. ‘Gin gayu’ is the word for ginger in Middle East while ‘zangevil’ is the Hebrew name for ginger.
- Ginger is a herbaceous plant. Simply put, it lacks a woody stem. It is also a perennial plant, which means that it lives for more than two years. The stem of the plant grows once a year and reaches the length of about a meter.
- The stem bears long narrow leaves that are green in color. Clusters of pink and white flower buds grow on the stem. These buds eventually bloom into yellow flowers.
- Ginger is actually a rhizome, not a root. A rhizome is an underground stem.
- The ginger plant is an herb.
- Ginger is a part of the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes turmeric and cardamom.
- Ginger is native to southeastern Asia.
- You can grow ginger from rhizomes found at grocery stores.
- Mature ginger rhizomes, ones most commonly sold in grocery stores, are harvested after 10-12 months.
- Ginger is popularly grown in warmer regions and the tropics.
- Ginger can be cultivated all year round. However the best time to plant them is at the end winter and early spring.
- A ginger plant can grow up to 4 ft. tall.
- The largest producers of ginger are always from Indian subcontinent and southern Asia. According to Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT), the total ginger production in the world was ~ 2.2 million tonnes.
- Ginger is also processed in form of candies and can be easily found in China. If that isn’t enough, one can find gingerbread, ginger biscuits, ginger snaps, speculaas, parking etc. in western countries.
- Ginger is also used for making ginger beer by both Jamaicans and Greeks. These are basically traditional carbonated beverages.
- When ginger slices are put in sweet vinegar, it turns pink in color. It is this pickled ginger that you can see in sushi in Japan.
- There is an island called Ginger Island. The only problem is that no one can cultivate ginger there are there are no inhabitants on the island.
- Did you know that Europe came to know about ginger only in 800 CE. After that, ginger became the second ranking spice for several centuries. First position was taken by pepper.
- India led the world with 30% of world production, followed by China at 19%, Nepal at 13%, Indonesia at 12% and Thailand at 7%.