What is ginger?
Ginger is a flowering plant which is widely used in cooking for its unique flavor and health properties. It has long, thin green shoots and yellow flowers though it’s more commonly known for the brown, gnarled appearance root, the so-called ginger root.
The part of the plant we are most familiar with is actually called the “rhizome” which is a type of plant stem. Ginger is a common flavoring agent used heavily in Asian cuisines and is a superpower in the world of natural and folk medicine.
Ginger is warming, spicy, and highly flavorful. Native to Southeast Asia, ginger was among the first exported spices from the region centuries ago. Today, ginger is popular all over the world for its distinctive taste, powerful aroma, and its multitude of medicinal properties.
Health benefits of ginger
There are many health benefits of consuming ginger. Most notably is ginger’s ability to soothe nausea caused by morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness, and general digestive troubles.
The way in which ginger calms upset stomachs is still largely unknown, but many agree that ginger produces a similar effect to anti-nausea medications. For those seeking natural remedies to fight an upset stomach caused by pregnancy, food, drink, motion, or virus, ginger is the top contender.
In addition to its digestive benefits, ginger may also aid in the treatment of the common cold and flu. Ginger contains gingerol, a compound found in fresh ginger (it is also the same compound that gives pepper its spiciness). Gingerol is believed to lower the risk of viral infections and inhibit the growth of some types of harmful bacteria.
Ginger also has anti-inflammatory benefits. This property can help to reduce inflammatory ailments such as muscle pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, and joint paint.
Ginger has a wide range of health benefits from soothing nausea to easing body aches and is truly worthy of being called a “superfood.”