Ginger is commonly used in Rwanda especially to spice the tea.
It is a perennial plant, distinguished by the white and yellowish-greenish flowers it produces, as well as its thick and long twisting rhizoid (stem).
The ginger plant is known to have originated in China, however it has since then been cultivated in many other countries, including: India, South West Asia, West Africa the Caribbean and Africa.
As a spice, it has a strong distinct flavor that can increase the production of saliva. The part that is used as spice on the plant itself is the rhizomes or ginger root.
This ginger root is traditionally used with sweet foods in western cuisine being included in popular recipes such as ginger ale, ginger snaps, gingerbread, ginger biscuits and ginger cake.
It is also used in many countries as a medicinal ingredient which many believe in.
The plant is famous for its concentrated, spicy aroma, which can be attributed to the fact that it is composed of up to 3% natural essential oils.
The rhizoid is the part of the plant which is generally sold and used today. It has been made widely available for eating and for the use of flavoring foods.
It is also ground up and processed into all sorts of powders, tinctures, crystals, tonics and flavorings and then marketed in health food stores.
It has a history of being widely used by the ancient Romans and it was a very expensive spice, one pound of ginger was equivalent to the price of a whole sheep.
Ginger almost became lost in history after the fall of the Roman empire but became popular again when Europe re-discovered it.
Ginger has influenced the history of man since ancient China, wars were waged and entire dynasties rose and fell with the objective of seizing it. The trade of such spices was the root of the world’s economy for centuries.
Here is a list of medicinal properties ginger has been known to have throughout history antiemetic, antinausea, anticlotting agent, antispasmodic, antifungal, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antitussive, analgesic, circulatory stimulant, carminative, expectorant, hypotensive, increases blood flow, promotes sweating, relaxes peripheral and blood vessels
With over 200 substances in the oils of ginger, it seems there are numerous benefits of ginger that go beyond the age-old use of ginger for nausea.
Ginger health benefits even show promise killing some types of cancer cells according to some studies.
Since it is readily available in grocery stores and easily found as a whole root in the produce section, as a powder in the spice aisle, or as an ingredient in food and drinks, it is worth trying out.
Chew on ginger root to relieve nausea, as one of the best morning sickness remedies. And trust me, if you’ve ever been desperate to figure out how to stop morning sickness, you’re willing to try anything to make it go away.
According to Obstetrics and Gynecology and the review of multiple studies about taking ginger for morning sickness relief, taking ginger for morning sickness is considered effective and safe for the both the mother and unborn child. But it is recommended that pregnant women use fresh ginger root and not the powdered form. If the powdered form is used it should not exceed.
Every pregnant woman should always consult their doctor before taking ginger.
For motion sickness sufferers, especially those that get seasick, taking ginger for motion sickness may provide relief. In fact, studies show that ginger is more effective than taking the popular over-the-counter medicine Dramamine.
Inflammation in the body is a bad thing for many reasons. But many arthritis sufferers, who use ginger to treat their pain and discomfort, can attest to the fact that ginger often helps relieve chronic inflammation and pain.
A study of over 200 hundred patients with osteoarthritis of the knee revealed that those taking ginger extract had less pain and needed to take less pain medication than those receiving a placebo.
Ginger for heartburn, nausea and upset stomach
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties not only alleviate the discomfort of heartburn, but help to prevent it, as well. Ginger goes directly to work on the digestive system making it an effective anti-nausea treatment when you are hit with an upset stomach.
The compounds in ginger that give it its distinct flavor and smell, gingerols and phenols, are what make this possible. So, if you tend to get heartburn after eating a meal then consume ginger about an hour or so before you eat.
Ginger for colon and ovarian cancer
Gingerol, the active compound in the ginger root may help slow the growth of colorectal tumors.
According to Science Daily, less mice injected with colorectal tumor cells that were given gingerol got tumors in the same amount of time as the control group, and the the tumors that some of the gingerol-fed group of mice got were half the size of the control group’s tumors.
And lab studies involving ovarian cancer cells and ginger conducted by the University of Michigan showed the cancer cells actually dying.
Both of these studies are preliminary and of course colon and ovarian cancer patients should talk to their doctors.
Prostiglandins can cause muscle contractions, one cause of migraines, and ginger may block this action of prostiglandins. Additionally, ginger and its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties may also relieve migraines and their symptoms.
The root should also be taken with precautions, high doses can cause mild heartburn, diarrhea or irritation within the mouth. People with conditions such as gallstones, diabetes, Heart, disease, pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor about the use of ginger.
People about to have surgery, people on blood-thinning medications, including aspirin
All patients should consult their doctor prior to taking ginger. Ginger may cause you to bleed more easily so ginger should be avoided for days before any surgeries.
You may also use ginger root to treat skin issues, such as those from toenail fungus and jock itch.
All you have to do is grate a ginger root until you have enough for two teaspoons.
Boil one cup of water in a pan over your stove. Add the two teaspoons of ginger to the water and stir. Pour the concoction into a mug or other suitable container and place a small plate over the opening. Allow this to steep for 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
Apply the mixture to affected areas with a cotton ball. Store the remainder in your refrigerator for daily use, until the fungus clears up.
Like any other medicines or remedies ginger should also be given in doses.
Recommended doses of powdered ginger
Recommended amounts in powdered form
|Children Under 2||None||Do not give powdered ginger to children under the age of 2.|
|Children Over 2||May be used for nausea, upset stomach, and headache||Talk to doctor about dose.|
|Pregnant Women||250 mg 4 times daily for 4 days||Talk to doctor prior to taking ginger. Do not exceed 1 g per day.|
|Arthritis Pain||250 mg 4 times daily|
|Nausea, Gas or Indigestion||25 – 1 g daily|
|To Prevent Nausea||1 g every 4 hours||Do not exceed 4 doses daily|
As long as you keep your consumption of ginger within recommended doses, no more than four to six grams per day, then you should not have any side effects.