Ginger is a thick, beige underground stem, called a rhizome that is cultivated throughout the humid tropics. It is a stem of the plant Zingiber officinale. The above ground stem is about 12 inches with long, narrow, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers. Ginger has been used as a medicine and as a spice source in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions since ancient times.
Ginger is used as medical herbal remedy but also frequently used as food preservative. Ginger stems are fibrous and mostly dry and the flavor of ginger is peppery and slightly sweet but spicy, with a strong aroma. The juice from ginger is extremely strong and is often used as a spice in Indian recipes, and is a popular dietary used ingredient of Chinese, Japanese and many South Asian cuisines to add flavor to the dishes.
In Asian countries, herb has been used for more than 2,000 years as a medicinal herb to treat variety of ailments. Ginger has been used for many years as Chinese medicine to treat problems such as upset stomach, vomiting, abdominal bloating, nausea, diarrhea, coughing, and rheumatism. It has other uses including reducing arthritis pain, ulcerative colitis, menstrual pain, headaches, fevers from flu and colds, and sore throats. It may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease. Common to many other medicinal herbs, the information has been handed down by word of mouth with little scientific evidence to support the effects. However in the past few years, more organized scientific studies have focused on the mechanisms of ginger and its various components.
The element of ginger accumulates in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps the explanation of ginger’s effectiveness as anti-nausea agents and as a possible colon cancer prevention compound. It is frequently used to ease the vomiting and nausea associated with pregnancy, and chemotherapy. (Benzie, 138) The... [continues]
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