The first appearance of ginger is ancient. Its first crops appeared in Southeast Asia and were brought to Central Asia for sale by the Persian King Darius in the 5th century BC.
The Phoenicians brought ginger to the Mediterranean. Later, it spread along the entire coast until it reached the Red Sea. Instead, the best crops of the plant are found in the Caribbean, specifically in Jamaica.
The current use of ginger dates back to the early 1980s. Then, scientist D. Mowrey noticed that ginger-filled capsules reduced his nausea during a bout of flu. Wanting to study this fact further, he conducted the first study on ginger. The Germany Commission E later approved ginger as a treatment for indigestion.Next, considering its properties, we develop how ginger can help in certain situations. This is always in addition to the indications and drugs that doctors may prescribe. Do not forget that alternative therapies are not miraculous, so having a doctor to cure any disease will be essential.
The ginger plant
The ginger we eat is the stem-root of the plant, with long leaves and small purple or yellow flowers. It can reach about a meter in height or something more when cultivated on the slopes of the mountains.
We use its stem as a condiment, food, or natural remedy. To be able to use it, you have to wait at least six months from planting. Once extracted from the ground, the plant is washed well and left to dry for several days. Regarding its nutritional composition, it has the following elements:
- Food fibers.
- Various vitamins such as B6, C, and E.
Medicinal use of ginger
Since ancient times, ginger has been used by traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for conditions such as abdominal swelling, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or colds. Today, it is essential to remember that to treat any disease, including those mentioned correctly, you must see a doctor first.
Only in the hands of a specialist can the causes of the disease be found and thus be able to give it adequate treatment. In a complementary way, studies have been conducted on specific natural therapies that can help combat some health problems. Specifically, ginger has particular properties that can help in the following cases.
- The Herbal Medicinal Products Committee ( HMPC ) concluded that ginger can help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.
- Similarly, he concluded that ginger can be used in adults to treat the symptoms of mild stomach and intestinal problems—for example, bloating or flatulence.
- To confirm this, the HMPC conducted several clinical studies on ginger. Practitioners compared ginger with a placebo (a dummy treatment) and other therapies to prevent nausea and vomiting from travel sickness. The results showed ginger was more effective than placebo and could be assimilated to other medicines to prevent travel sickness.
Culinary use of ginger
There are many ways to consume ginger. Generally, seasoning is used in culinary art to enhance flavors. Although sometimes, Asian cuisine uses it to disguise intense flavors of some seafood or meat, for example.
In Western cooking, ginger tends to be used to create sweet foods. For example, it is used to make candies, cakes, or gingerbread. Thus, it is common to find it as the main ingredient in cookies. Besides, the rhizomes are also often used to prepare tea and other hot drinks. This occurs in both Asian and Western cuisine.
We quickly find it as a confectionery ingredient in biscuits, cookies, fruit desserts, sorbets, ice creams, etc. It generates heat, so it is widespread to see gingerbread cookies in winter in many places.
It is straightforward to prepare these cookies:
- 300 g of melted butter.
- 150 g of brown sugar.
- 150 g of honey.
- Two eggs.
- Cinnamon powder.
- 600g of flour.
How to prepare it?
- We process with the mixer all the ingredients except the flour.
- Add the flour to form the dough when we have a semi-liquid paste.
- Roll out the dough, leaving half a centimeter thick.
- Cut out with a cookie mold and bake at 180º for ten minutes.
It can be decorated later with icing sugar, parasites, grated coconut, or any initiative.
Preparing tea is very simple. To achieve this, you must slice a small piece of ginger and submerge it for a minute in hot water. Take sips of this drink every thirty seconds, as it is pretty bitter.
Another way to enjoy it is in a healthy tisane prepared with fresh ginger, boiling water, lemon juice, and a little honey:
- Boil three cups of water in a pot.
- Wash a piece of root.
- Remove the skin and cut it into small pieces.
- Place the ginger in a teapot with a lid.
- Add the hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea and serve with honey, stevia, or another natural sweetener.
- Finally, add a little lemon juice.