Ginger is a spice which has traditional medicinal value. In fact Indian and Chinese civilizations have been taking advantage of ginger since ages. Most of the Indian recipes have ginger in one form or the other. It has long been known as a very healthy food. It has anti-cancer properties and is recognized as healthy by both modern and ancient systems of medicine. Have a read to see why you should start eating more ginger.
What gives Ginger medicinal value?
Ginger is scientifically called Zingiber officinalis and this is a rhizome as discussed in the case of Turmeric earlier. This rhizome has volatile oils and compounds which impart medical properties as well as taste and odor to the rhizome. The aromatic constituents of ginger are zingiberene and bisabolene. The other constituents which give ginger a pungent taste are gingerols and shogaols. These stimulate the digestive system and impart characteristic taste and flavor. These active constituents are in form of phenols and complexes in form of flavanoids which impart their properties.
The other active ingredient in ginger is terpenes and an oleoresin, which is called ginger oil. These active agents are responsible for its antiseptic qualities, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating and mild constipation relief. Research has shown that ginger lowers blood cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver.
Ginger in ayurveda
Medical properties of ginger
As a spice, ground ginger can be quite a valuable substitute when fresh ginger root is not available. But fresh ginger is always preferred, both for its greater health benefits and for its superior taste. Fortunately, in most parts of the United States fresh ginger root is available year round, so finding it shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of shoppers. Ginger may not be the most familiar spice or herb, but it definitely pays to get to know this great root.