Ginger – Not Just a Spice!

Ginger Ginger is used in almost all cuisines found throughout the world in different forms. It can be either used raw, dried, cooked, baked, crystallized, powdered or in any other form. It is one of the greatest aromatic spices used widely in a large number of Oriental dishes, particularly in Indian and Chinese cuisines. Besides its culinary uses, it is also appreciated throughout the globe due to its medicinal properties.

Though is most often considered to be a root, it is actually a rhizome of Zingiber Officinale, a perennial plant. Rhizomes are horizontal stems that grow below the ground and have multiple shoots and roots originating from the nodes. It is believed to have originated in China as well as cultivated in India since the ancient times. It was the first oriental spice to be introduced in Europe. In Asian Cuisines, ginger is generally used in the raw form, that is, by adding it in soups, salads, curried, chutneys and stir fries in grated, chopped or crushed form. On the contrary, in the Western cuisines, it is usually used in dried form in dishes like ginger bread, ginger ale, jams, candies and ginger cakes.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger presents various health benefits and has been used for treating various illnesses for thousands of years. It is extremely useful in treatment of cold and cough, and is particularly effective when taken with honey or in tea. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, due to which it is great for treating arthritis pain as well as in reducing migraines and muscular pains. Asian women also use considerable amounts of ginger in drinks and food items to alleviate menstrual cramps. Besides this, ginger tea also stimulates uterus contractions. Due to this, women are often advised to drink ginger tea after delivery to allow the womb to shrink quickly. It is also helpful in production of breast milk. Taking ginger is different forms is food for relieving symptoms of nausea caused due to pregnancy, chemotherapy or motion sickness. It encourages digestion and helps in getting rid of stomach gas as well. Besides this, it is a wonderful mouth freshener as well as a mood enhancer.