Ginger, also botanically known as Zingiber officinalis is a perennial herb which grows all around the year and is widely used a spice all over the world.
Ginger belongs to the botanical order of Zingiberales and the botanical family of Zingiberaceae.
The ginger plant is a rhizome or a stem that grows below the soil and has been used as a spice and for its medicinal benefits since the ancient times.
It can either be used fresh, powdered, in the form of a paste, as ginger juice or ginger oil.
Nutritionally, ginger is a store house of a variety of components ranging from essential vitamins to minerals.
It also contains good amounts of proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and fats which are also essential for body functioning.
Amongst the vitamins are present the Vitamin B group that includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate along with Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
The mineral content of ginger mainly consists of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and potassium.
Biochemically, the fragrance of ginger results from the volatile oils that it contains.
These namely include zingerone, gingerols and shogaols as major components.
Uses of GINGER
Ginger is known to help stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth thereby acting as a sialagogue.
Recent studies have shown that ginger is helpful in controlling symptoms of nausea and vomiting that may result from chemotherapy taken in cases of cancers.
It has also been used since ancient times for its anti inflammatory, anti carminative and anti microbial properties.
It helps treat various types of stomach problems including motion sickness, morning sickness, diarrhea and nausea.
Ginger also relieves arthritic pains and is used to soothe coughs and attacks of bronchitis.
Owing to its action as an anti oxidant and its anti septic properties, ginger is consumed internally as well as applied externally on wounds and other parts of the body to promote healing and avoid any further infection.
Ginger inhibits the 5-L-O enzyme which is the main food prostrate cancer cells and thus lead to the death of the same.
Gingerol, the extract of the ginger is known to have a strong action on the pancreas and prevents pancreatic cell growth thereby preventing the occurrence of pancreatic cancer.
Gingerol is also known to inhibit the growth of helicobacter pylori thus improving digestion and preventing hyper acidity thus avoiding the development of gastric and colonic cancers.
The circulation is improved by intake of ginger, it also lowers blood cholesterol levels and prevents the formation of internal blood clots. Thereby its action is that of a blood purifier.
Thus we can elaborate and study the uses of ginger and how the same has many beneficial effects on the body.
We can thus see by the examples of burdock, coriander, ginger and garlic how herbs and spices have come to be an essential and important part of our lives and survival and how each has its own medicinal benefits and also form an important part of our food chains. This goes to emphasize how we rely on our immediate environment for our survival and our nourishment purposes and how the eco system we live in is self sufficient.