Ginger cultivation began in South Asia and has since spread to East Africa and the Caribbean. It is sometimes called ginger root to distinguish it from other things that share the name ginger.
Medical properties and research:
Preliminary research indicates that nine compounds found in ginger may bind to human serotonin receptors, which may explain ginger's extensive effects on the GI tract and suggesting a mechanism for its effects on anxiety.
Ginger has been found to be more effective than placebo in multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy though ginger was not found superior to placebo for pre-emptively treating post-operative nausea. These studies also show superiority of odansetron over ginger in the treatment of chemotherapy related nausea. Ginger is safe for use during pregnancy.The television program Mythbusters performed an antidotal experiment using one of their staff who suffered from severe motion sickness. Multiple treatments were administered; ginger as well as over-the-counter motion sickness aids were found to be effective over placebo.
Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea which is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries. Zingerone is likely to be the active constituent against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin-induced diarrhea.
Ginger has been claimed to decrease the pain from arthritis, though studies have been inconsistent. It may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease.
Advanced glycation end-products are possibly associated in the development of several pathophysiologies, including diabetic cataract for which ginger was effective in preliminary studies, apparently by acting through antiglycating mechanisms.
100g of Ginger contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:
|Fibers g||2 g|
Folk medicine:The traditional medical form of ginger historically was called Jamaica ginger; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic. It was also frequently employed to disguise the taste of medicines.
Tea brewed from ginger is a common folk remedy for colds. Ginger ale and ginger beer are also drunk as stomach settlers in countries where the beverages are made.
In Burma, ginger and a local sweetener made from palm tree juice (htan nyat) are boiled together and taken to prevent the flu.
In China, ginger is included in several traditional preparations. A drink made with sliced ginger cooked in water with brown sugar or a cola is used as a folk medicine for the common cold. "Ginger eggs" (scrambled eggs with finely diced ginger root) is a common home remedy for coughing. The Chinese also make a kind of dried ginger candy that is fermented in plum juice and sugared, which is also commonly consumed to suppress coughing. Ginger has also been historically used to treat inflammation, which several scientific studies support, though one arthritis trial showed ginger to be no better than a placebo or ibuprofen for treatment of osteoarthritis.
In Congo, ginger is crushed and mixed with mango tree sap to make tangawisi juice, which is considered a panacea.
In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache, and consumed when suffering from the common cold. Ginger with lemon and black salt is also used for nausea.
In Indonesia, ginger (jahe in Indonesian) is used as a herbal preparation to reduce fatigue, reducing "winds" in the blood, prevent and cure rheumatism and control poor dietary habits.
In Nepal, ginger is called aduwa, अदुवा and is widely grown and used throughout the country as a spice for vegetables, used medically to treat cold and also sometimes used to flavor tea.
In the Philippines, ginger is known as luya and is used as a throat lozenge in traditional medicine to relieve sore throat. It is also brewed into a tea known as salabat.
In the United States, ginger is used to prevent motion and morning sickness. It is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is sold as an unregulated dietary supplement. Ginger water was also used to avoid heat cramps in the United States.
In Peru, ginger is sliced in hot water as an infusion for stomach aches as infusión de Kión.
Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.
Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy.
Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in Indian recipes, and is a quintessential ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and many South Asian cuisines for flavoring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.
Ginger acts as a useful food preservative.
Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of 6 to 1, although the flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.
Candied ginger is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of confectionery.
Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.