What is ginger plant? Ginger plant care, growing tips. Uses and uses of ginger as a spice.
Ginger;The ginger plant, which grows wild in the East Indies, looks like a reed and reaches a height of about three feet. The small greenish-yellow flowers have a big lip which is purple, spotted and striped with yellow. They grow in dense spikes at the tops of the flower stems. The ginger used in food comes from the underground stems called rhizomes, which are dug up after the upper stems wither. Sometimes the rhizomes are merely washed and dried and sold as black ginger; sometimes they are seraped so that the rind is taken off, and dried or bleached in lime. This is sold as white ginger and is not as strong as the black variety.
Ginger is ground into a powder and used as a flavouring in such foods and drinks as ginger-bread, ginger snaps, ginger ale and ginger beer. It can also be cut into chunks and crystallized, which preserves it, or it can be soaked in syrup. In these forms it is so hot to taste that in China people eat it to warm their stomachs before they go outside on a cold day.
Man has used ginger as a spice for centuries. It was used in the East in Biblical times and was brought to the West by early traders. Later the ginger plant was introduced and cultivated in western Africa, Japan, the West Indies and South America. The finest ginger today comes from Jamaica and Puerto Rico in the West Indies, although most of the preserved supply is brought from China.
Historically, ginger has been used to aid digestion. According to Michael Castleman in The Healing Herbs, the ancient Greeks wrapped ginger inside their bread and ate it as a digestive after dinner. This practice led to his invention of gingerbread. The English society prepared ginger ale to calm the stomach. In the 1800s, The Eclectics used ginger powder and tea for various digestive ailments, including indigestion, gas, nausea and infant diarrhea.
Beginning in the 1980s, several studies have shown that ginger is useful in aiding digestion. A 1999 German study reported the results of 12 volunteers who took 100 mg twice a day of ginger extract during fasting and then with a meal. In both cases, ginger was associated with increased digestive movement through the stomach and duodenum.
A study in India published in 2000 reported the effects of ginger (in combination with other spices such as cumin, fenugreek and mustard) on pancreatic action in rats. During the eight-week study, the combination of spices in more than one single dose stimulated several digestive enzymes in the pancreas.
The Japanese use ginger as an antidote for fish poisoning, especially with sushi. It is believed that ginger fights harmful intestinal bacteria (such as E. coli, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus) without killing the beneficial bacteria. Ginger helps the growth of Lactobacillus in the intestines while killing the parasites Schistosoma and Anisakis.
Because ginger is an antibacterial, it can work against ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. Ginger creates an anti-ulcer environment by multiplying the protective components of the stomach. It has also been shown that Ginger’s anti-inflammatory abilities help reduce hip and knee pain in some patients with osteoarthritis.
According to a 1998 report that reviewed the results of 10 clinical trials, ginger also helps suppress nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. However, a presentation of the 2002 conference warns family doctors to reconsider the recommendation of ginger to their pregnant patients due to the possibility of spontaneous abortion.
Ginger reduces cholesterol levels by affecting the absorption of cholesterol, which helps to convert it into bile acids and then increases the elimination of bile. In a 1998 study, rabbits were fed cholesterol and 200 mg of ginger extract. The rabbits had a lower amount of atherosclerosis. Ginger also improves blood circulation and acts as an anticoagulant.
Cough can be relieved by drinking ginger tea made from dried or powdered ginger. It is the spicy flavor of ginger that releases secretions to help congestion of the throat.
Preliminary studies also show that ginger may have potential properties to fight cancer. No definitive results were reported and the investigation continues.
Ginger is used in teas, ginger ale, ginger ale, capsules, broths and as a condiment when cooking Asian and Jamaican dishes. Ginger tea for coughs, nausea, digestion and arthritis can be done by adding 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of freshly grated root or root powder to 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water and soaking for 10 minutes. A cup of ginger tea, still hot, should be taken every 2 to 2 and a half hours.
A compress for arthritic pain can be made by shredding a ginger root unpeeled in a clockwise direction, then tying it in a moistened muslin cloth, placing it in a pot of boiling water and letting it simmer. When the broth is removed from the stove, a cotton cloth is immersed in the broth and the excess moisture is squeezed into the pot. While lying on your back, the person places the cloth over the painful part of the body. The broth can also be added to the bath to soak it.
Ginger comes in capsules of 250-500 mg of dried ginger root. One to 2 grams of dry ginger powder equals approximately 1/3 oz of fresh ginger (10 g). One cup of ginger tea contains 250 mg; an 8-ounce glass of ginger ale contains 1,000 mg, and a flavored dish contains 500 mg. To prevent motion sickness, German health authorities recommend 2-4 g of powdered ginger per day. Another recommended dose is 250 mg four to six times per day.
To bring more blood circulation to arthritic joints, initially one to two capsules (250 mg each) per day are recommended. If the results are good, the amount can be increased to six per day, taken between meals.
Ginger can be taken with onions and garlic. These agents work in harmony to stimulate the pancreas and lower cholesterol.
As an anticoagulant, you can take two capsules of 250 mg of ginger between meals up to three times a day.
Despite studies that show the help of ginger for nausea of pregnancy, the German Commission E has recommended that pregnant women do not use ginger. Some studies indicate that high amounts of ginger may cause miscarriages. Researchers can not follow their suspicions with clinical trials in humans because of the danger they pose to unborn fetuses. Doses greater than 6 g may cause gastric problems and possibly ulcers. Ginger can slow down the blood’s clotting time. Before taking ginger, consumers should consult the doses with a health care provider.
Consumers should not ingest the entire ginger plant; It has been found to damage the liver in animals. Ginger root is not recommended for people with gallstones.
Ginger can cause heartburn.
Ginger can interfere with the digestion of fat-soluble vitamins. Ginger also interacts with several medications. The herb can inhibit warfarin sodium, which is an anticoagulant. Ginger can also interfere with the absorption of tetracycline, digoxin, sulfonamides and phenothiazines. Consumers should consult with their health care provider about drugs or other interactions.