Its historical record is as old as man. Acknowledge as a “universal great medicine” in ancient Ayurvedic writings. This wonderful herb originated in Southeast Asia and is one of the oldest medicinal food and has been an important factor in Asian medicine for more almost 2,500 years. In ancient times, the Chinese consider this herb as a hot food (Yang) that balances the cooling food (Yin) in order to have balance and harmony. Chinese sailors are said to chew ginger roots to fight seasickness. The Greeks end their meal with a bread stuffed with ginger to help with digestion. It was also used as food preservative.
Its biological name is called Zingiber offinale, which comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “horn root” due to its knobby appearance. It belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom. Ginger is a thick underground stem that sprouts roots and shoots, or what is called a rhizome. This plant grows well in the tropics, where the soil is warm and damp. It can grow up to three feet in height, producing 2-5 sections of rhizome. What characterizes ginger is its sweet and woody smell, it’s pungent, spicy and aromatic. Ginger can be harvested year round. Today, India and China produce most of the world’s ginger supply, but Jamaica harvests the finest and best tasting ginger.
Just how potent this super root is? Let’s see the many nutrients, health and medicinal benefits it holds. Ginger is made up of vitamins, essential minerals, soluble and insoluble fibers, fatty acids, carbohydrates and sugar. It is packed with countless therapeutic properties as well as antioxidant, capable of inhibiting the formation of inflammatory compounds and direct an anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It reduces intestinal gas and relaxes the intestinal tract. It can relieve you of dizziness, nausea, morning sickness and of course motion sickness. The anti-vomiting properties of ginger is a way a lot better and safer than anti-vomiting drugs that causes severe birth defects.
Ginger helps digest fatty foods as well as breaking down proteins. Known to lower cholesterol level, relaxes blood vessels and improve blood circulation. It can ease up low back pain, chest pain, stomach pain, menstrual pain. You can use it to get rid of muscle soreness, upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis and cough. Simply impressive!
Although not a commonly allergenic food, some individuals may experience mild side effect, especially when too much of ginger is consumed. Often resulting in heartburn, mouth irritation and worst, diarrhea. Keep it within 4 grams a day to enjoy its health benefits. With proper prescription from doctors, pregnant women can use ginger to relieve for morning safely and without causing harm to the baby.
Food fact time! Ginger root is believed to be an effective antidote to shellfish poisoning. Better keep them handy during your seafood party!
Stay fit. Eat healthy.
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