Ginger is a plant originated in the Far East and it is, actually, used a lot in eastern cuisine, both for sweet and savoury dishes. Its body is called rhizome, from which branches grow out. The essential oil is found in the rhizome just as all the properties of this herbal plant. The plant itself can even reach one meter and a half of height. Ginger has been known since ancient times, it’s mentioned in several Chinese and Indian texts and, thanks to Arabs, it was introduced in the Mediterranean area. In the last few years it’s become very popular in Western countries as well and now it can be easily found in any grocery stores. In Chinese and Far Eastern cuisine it’s an ingredient found in many soups and meat dishes too, while in English-speaking countries gingerbread, a dough used to bake cookies and, during holiday season , to build gingerbread houses that are further decorated with any sort of candies and sweets, is very popular. Let’s not forget ginger ale, a very common ingredient in many American cocktails. Ginger is also a sushi ingredient in Japanese cuisine, so we can say it’s very versatile: its spicy and peculiar taste, we could say unique, is perfect to add personality to some dishes that would be dull otherwise.
It’s also used in teas and herb teas that, especially in winter, could help treat cold.
Ginger is, though, way more than just an ingredient used in the kitchen: it actually has many properties, curative as well. Which are these properties?
One of the most known is the property to help treat cold: it’s got decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps unblock nose and to give relief to respiratory tracts even in case of cough. Lukewarm herb tea or a filtered decoction are the best way to take ginger when we have a cold.
Ginger can help with nausea as well, pregnant women are actually often suggested to chew a bit of it when they have morning sickness, or to drink ginger herb tea during the day. It helps even with car sickness and sea sickness, all you have to do is chewing a piece of it to feel better fast.
In case of digestive problems, or when we simply eat too much, a ginger herb tea is recommended as it helps digestion thanks to ginger essential oil.
It can be useful in case of headache as well, because ginger has also got painkilling properties.
Ginger has got antioxidant properties as well, therefore it can protect the body from the destructive action of free radicals, that are the main responsible of our cells aging process.
As it’s got anti-inflammatory properties it can also be effective against rheumatisms and arthrosis, which are inflammatory diseases, by easing pains caused by them.