Calming, spicy, curvy, flavor packed. This pretty much sums up ginger. You may want to pick some up before your next date … between its exotic flair, bold taste and stomach calming capabilities, it’s damn sexy. Ginger is an interesting ingredient that often goes over looked yet it is usually both a key element and soft undertone in any curry or teriyaki dish. The undertone that usually makes you stop and think “mmmm, what is that”? In my opinion, this root gives a dish that put together taste, like some well placed accessories. As in fashion, too many bold statement pieces can put an outfit over the edge or in this case too much ginger can overpower your dish! Use with taste and grace for the perfect combination. My favorite way to use ginger is by grating a bit into a curry, stir-fry, or soup!
Insider tip: Store ginger in the freezer in a plastic bag. Freezing prevents the root from fraying at the ends. Next time your recipe calls for freshly, grated ginger, you will be able to grate with ease!
Spicy Profile: Ginger
Country of Origin: Southeastern Asia
Significant roles in the Chinese, Japanese and Indian culture since 1500’s!
Current Producer: In 2005, China was the lead producer. Additionally, the U.S., India, West Indies and tropical regions largely contribute.
Scientific Name: Zingiber Officinale
Healing benefits: Most noted for it’s anti-nausea effects: indigestion, morning sickness, motion sickness and nausea associated with chemotherapy. May contribute to fighting inflammation, cleanse the colon, and reduce spasms and cramps. With its strong antioxidant profile, it is an effective antimicrobial agent for sores and wounds. Protects liver and stomach. May aid in arthritis, fever, headache, hot flashes, muscle pain, and may induce anti-platelet effects (blood thinning). Good for circulatory problems.
Ginger for Chemotherapy Related Nausea:
A study published in 2009 that tested the benefit of using ginger to prevent post-chemo nausea found:
“In result, all doses of ginger significantly reduced nausea and the largest reduction in nausea occurred with 0.5 g and 1.0 g of ginger.” Note: this study used ginger in a concentrated pill form.
Kim, Kidong and Ryu, Sang-Young. “Major Clinical Research Advances in Gynecological Cancer 2009”. Journal of Gynecology Oncology. December 2009; 20 (4) 203 – 209.
Vitamins: A, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), C
Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc
Phytochemicals: beta-carotene, caffeic acid, camphor, capsaicin, chlorogenic acid, curcumin, gingerols, lecithin, zingerone
Other: Amino acids, essential fatty acids
Parts used: Rhizomes (horizontal stem) and roots
Fun Fact: Gingerbread roots back to the ancient Greeks who used to follow a big meal with a piece of ginger wrapped in bread. This was used as a digestive aid and over time the ginger was incorporated into the bread. Over time, sugar was mixed in to create the sweet treat.
Ginger is a creeper … a perrenial that grows about 3 feet long!
How to use it: Stir fry it, grate it, boil it into a tea, soup (carrot-ginger), candied ginger for an upset stomach, gingerale
Selection and Storage: Available year round, choose robust firm roots with a pungent, spicy fragrance and smooth skin. Select roots that are not cracked or withered. Either store in plastic bag or tightly wrapped paper towel in the fridge for 2-3 weeks
Caution: Not recommended with anticoagulants (Warfarin, Coumadin) or those who have gallstones. Not recommended for extended use during pregnancy. Please talk to your doctor before taking ginger supplements.
I hope you enjoyed this spicy and interesting root! I encourage you to seek out some ginger inspired recipes and share. Check back next week for delicious ginger dish!
Have you or someone you know used ginger for medicinal or feel-good purposes?
Keep it Spicy,
Complimentary medicine for pregnancy complications
E. Ernst and M. H. Pittler. Efficacy of Ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials British Journal of Anastesia. 84 (3), 367-371.
Holistic-Online: Ginger http://www.holistic-online.com/Herbal-med/_Herbs/h61.htm
Mayo Clinic: Ginger (Zingibe officinale Roscoe) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ginger/NS_patient-ginger