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The Healing Genius of Ginger - Gaining notoriety for its healthful properties.

J. A. Young

Although ginger is a staple of Asian cooking, it is also well known in eastern countries for its healing abilities. In the west, ginger is gaining popularity as both a pungent spice that adds great flavor to various dishes, but also for its healing properties. The following article discusses ginger’s healing genius.

Fresh ginger’s warming spice is great for cooking. Yet, even when dried, ginger retains many of its healing essence. Some of ginger’s healing properties include nausea prevention, indigestion relief, flatulence relief, reduced risk of blood clots, rheumatism relief, ability to combat colds and coughs, and its ability to stimulate circulation. All in all, ginger is gaining notoriety among healing foods for its healthful properties.

While it is common to hear ginger paired with the term root, the edible part of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) is actually the underground stem. Researchers believe that ginger is indigenous to China, but is thought to have then spread to India, southern Asia, western Africa, and eventually to the Caribbean Islands. Today ginger is widely used around the world. The pungent scent of ginger appears to be derived from one of the plant’s essential oils. Compounds within the plant contribute to the ginger’s unique flavour.

Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness may want to consider taking ginger, especially before trying anti-nausea medication. Ginger can be effective for preventing bouts of nausea. Ginger tea, ginger candy, or ginger ale can provide great relief for women combating morning sickness. Additionally, ginger appears to provide nausea relief for people undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from motion sickness. Although, it’s important to note that most commercial ginger ale sodas in the west do not contain real ginger; check health food stores for authentic ginger ale.

For centuries, ginger has been used in folk medicine to settle stomachs and relieve indigestion. Ginger may even be taken to diminish cramps. With ginger’s ability to stimulate the production of bile, it is a terrific combatant of indigestion and can even subdue flatulence.

Considered more effective than garlic or onions in the reduction of blood clots, ginger has great ability to discourage the formation of these dangerous clots. Blood clots can clog blood vessels; these blockages can lead to heart attack or stroke. Ginger’s positive effect on circulation can help the body dislodge phlegm associated with the common cold and ease coughs.

Moreover, ginger is a star of traditional Ayurvedic medicine when it comes to relieving the pain of rheumatism and arthritis. Western medical studies have been unable to confirm this, but as the FDA has issued no warnings for ginger and generally recognizes it as safe, suffers of these ailments may want to give it a try.

Although ginger is considered safe, it may be wise to check with a healthcare provider when taking it in conjunction with other medications. An allergic reaction to ginger may result in rash. In some people, ginger can cause gas, heartburn, nausea, and belching – especially if taken in powdered form.

When it comes to both cookery and medicinal considerations, a little ginger goes a long way. Small amounts of ginger can transform curries and stir fries. It can deliciously be added to ice cream as well as some fruits like melon or pears. Fresh ginger should be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator where it will remain good for a couple weeks. Ginger can also be frozen. Dried ginger should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool dark place. Fresh whole roots seem to provide the best flavour, but even dried ginger can pack a characteristic zing to many dishes.


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