Library of Nature: Ginger
Ginger, the root of Zingiber Officinale plant, is commonly used as a flavoring agent and spice in foods and drinks. However, it also has a long history of use in folk medicine. Historical evidence shows that Chinese and Indians have been using ginger root as a natural remedy for various ailments for over 5,000 years. Its medicinal properties were even recognized by ancient Romans. Ginger root brought by Arab and Asian merchants was so highly valued in Europe that a pound of it costed the same as a sheep.
The incredible medicinal properties of ginger and its diversity as an herb/spice have kept its demand consistently high all over the world and throughout history. It is one of the very few natural compounds that have also garnered the same respect from the medical community as it has gathered from practitioners of traditional medicine. Lately, this incredible plant root has been the subject of many research studies and there’s plenty of scientific evidence regarding its beneficial health properties.
What Does Ginger Contain? The Chemical Composition of Ginger
Ginger gets its distinctive, spicy aroma from volatile oilt hat comprises 1-3 percent of fresh ginger root. Its key ingredients are gingerols, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenoids. In addition to giving fresh ginger its pungent smell and unique flavor, gingerols also give this plant root much of its medicinal properties.
Ginger root also contains zingibain, a cysteine protease enzyme that has rennet-like properties.
Other phenolic compounds found in ginger include gingerenone-A, zingerone, 6-dehydrogingerdione, and quercetin. The plant root is also packed with terpenes, which are the major component of ginger essential oil.
Ginger also contains raw fibers, organic acids, lipids, and polysaccharides.
A Brief History of Ginger Use
The written records of ginger’s use can be traced back to the Warring States period in ancient China. It is said that the great Chinese philosopher Confucius ate ginger after every meal. However, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the herb was introduced in Europe. As soon as Europeans discovered the powerful health properties of the plant root, its demand skyrocketed, and ginger soon became one of the most important parts of the spice trade.
There is also evidence that Native Americans used decoctions and infusions made of ginger to resolve various stomach issues.
Health Benefits of Ginger
We all know that ginger is highly effective for relieving nausea. But, it has a lot more to offer. Some other benefits of ginger root include:
· It Is a Powerful Antioxidant
With the increasing amount of readily available information, almost everyone knows what free radicals can do to our bodies. Oxidative stress, caused by the overproduction of free radicals, is known to trigger a number of chronic diseases. Ginger can help you stay healthy by preventing and fighting against free radical damage.
Several research studies have found that several bioactive phenolic compounds found in ginger have strong antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant activity is found to be the highest in dried ginger.
· Ginger Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Several modern scientific research studies have found that ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation is the underlying cause of many chronic diseases and ginger can help prevent them as well as provide relief from the pain and swelling that often accompanies inflammatory conditions. Ginger is particularly found effective in inflammatory joint disorders
· It’s an Antidote for Stomach Issues
Ginger has long been touted as an excellent natural antidote for an upset stomach. It can do wonders to soothe your tummy and also helps with issues of indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and acidity. It also helps alleviate constipation and gastrointestinal irritation.
Ginger is packed with plenty of beneficial compounds. If used the right way, ginger root can offer a wide range of incredible health benefits. To help you reap the benefits of this amazing herb, we offer 100% organic ginger tincture at HerbEra. It’s available in both alcohol-based and alcohol-free varieties, making it suitable for the entire family.