The Healing And Nutritional Properties Of Ginger
Ginger it is considered an Ayurvedic super food and one of the most important and universal of all herbs and spices.
It can be taken in dry powdered form but fresh ginger root is more beneficial.
Fresh young ginger can be peeled, sealed and refrigerated, lasting for about 2 weeks.
You can also freeze it peeled and sliced or whole.Whole unpeeled ginger can keep indefinitely in a freezer bag.
If you are using unpeeled frozen ginger, cut off as much as you think you’ll need, and slice it or grate it while still frozen.
I recommend however, that you keep it fresh and slice it as needed for purity and optimal health.
Grow your own Ginger at home
Using fresh ginger you purchased at the market, break off a piece about two inches long and place it in a pot with sandy soil such as cactus soil or soils used to grow tropical plants.
Water it regularly to keep the soil slightly moist and the root should start to grow in four to five weeks.
Whenever you need some ginger, dig up the root underneath the soil and and break off a small portion. The ginger root will continue to grow. Click here for a more detailed explanation on how to grow ginger at home.
General uses of Ginger
Fresh or dry powdered ginger is often used in cooking as a warm and pungent spice not only for flavoring but also for assisting with the digestion of other foods. It pairs well with Turmeric.
Ginger is generally used as an infusion (in the form of tea) where it is prepared by cutting the root into thin slices and infused into hot water for at least five minutes before straining.
The infusion is often sweetened with honey or other natural sweeteners for healing and health.
Healing properties of Ginger
Ginger is known for its antifungal, antibacterial, anti-tumour, anti-ulcerous and pain relieving properties.
Ginger helps relieve indigestion, colds, flu, chills, fevers, general pain, headaches and stomach aches.
It is used extensively for chest, lung & sinus congestion as well as muscle & joint pain.
It improves blood circulation, reduces nausea & morning sickness during pregnancy and improves liver function.
Ginger has been known to help heal certain types of arthritis and heart disease.
Ginger should be avoided by individuals with ulcers in digestive tract, and by those suffering very high fever or skin inflammation.
Nutritional properties of Ginger
Ginger root contains many health substances and oils such as gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, farnesene and small amounts of B-phelladrene, cineol, and citral which are responsible for its healing properties mentioned above.
Specifically, gingerols help with intestinal movements and acts as analgesic, sedative, anti-pyretic (fever reducing) and anti-bacterial agent.
Zingerone, which gives the pungent characteristic to the root, is effective against ecoli bacteria.
Ginger is low in calories and contains no cholesterol, but contains a very rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B-6, B-5, folate, potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. All are essential for optimum health.
Ayurvedic properties of Ginger
Ginger is pungent and a little sweet in taste, hot in energy and sweet in post-digestive effect.
It decreases Kapha and Vata but increases Pitta.
Ginger is extremely sattvic and is considered one of the most important spices in Ayurveda due to its healing qualities mentioned above.
It is considered an excellent stimulant, diaphoretic (induces sweating), expectorant (supresses cough), carminative (prevents gas) and antiemetic (prevents nausea and vomiting).