Ginger Root “Super-Spice or Healing Aid”


Ginger root has a deep-rooted history worldwide!  From gingerbread houses and gingerbread men (cookies) to stories like Hansel and Gretel that were written by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, linguistic brothers with a passion for collecting German folklore. The gingerbread man allegedly first appeared in the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who presented courtiers with gingerbread likenesses of themselves. The Queen’s habit of jesting with her court gives this tale some credence. In the 17th century, Nuremberg, Germany, became known as the gingerbread capital, thanks to the elaborate gingerbread scenes that the bakers of that city would create, which included complex gingerbread houses, animals, and people decorated with gold leaf, foil, and other decorations.

Ginger Root has a very sharp, strong yet slightly sweet taste. It is a universal super spice.  It comes from the same family as Turmeric and Cardamom. Depending on the variety, the inside of the root can be yellow, red, or white. Ginger first appeared in the southern parts of ancient China. From there, it spread to India, Maluku Islands (so-called Spice Islands-remember reading about the Spice Islands?), rest of the Asia, and West Africa. Name “ginger” came a long way, but its root is in Sanskrit word “srngaveram” which means “horn body” and describes its root.


The spicy root is actually an underground rhizome (root) of small herb plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, of the genus: Zingiber.  Its scientific name: Zingiber officinale.

  1. Did you know that Ginger is one of the most commonly used dietary condiments in the world?
  2. Ginger has been a trading commodity longer than most spices.
  3. It was considered a luxury more than 5,000 years ago, has a very rich history. It had merited value for its medicinal benefits. Today, people still consider ginger a natural way to soothe an upset stomach, and there’s research to back up its health benefits.
  4. Back in the 14th century, a pound of Ginger held a value equal to that of a whole live sheep!

Gingerol is chemically related to capsaicin (the main bioactive ingredient in chili peppers) and piperine (the main bioactive ingredient in black pepper).

We all have those fire-eating friends who pour hot sauce and peppers on every meal. They insist that it’s thrilling to them.  My husband is one of them, along with all our children.  They all say, “We must just be born with a love for heat, and the spicey burning sensation is good for your health.”  I must confess I do not fit in among them; however, I do like ginger spice within reason, and my husband doesn’t. Hmmm, go figure. Why do some like spicey hot foods and others don’t?

In 2015, Hayes published a study on some of the personality traits that coincided with a love of spicy foods. Men and women have different reasons for eating spicy food. While women are typically seeking new sensations, men like to eat peppers literally so that they appear masculine. Spice lovers aren’t born; they’re made. Scientists think that substance P — the P is for pain — has actually been eaten away by spice consumption over time. Substance P belongs to a group of neurokinins (NKs), small peptides that are broadly distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS).  After eating spicy foods long enough, you just don’t feel that much pain anymore.

Gingerol has been extensively studied and is known to potently neutralize harmful free radicals and help support healthy inflammation levels in the body.  How?  You won’t be disappointed reading further.


NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

 

 

 

 

 

 


TEA TIME

  • Peel and slice Ginger root,
  • Boiled in water with lemon or orange juice, and honey,
  • It is a popular herbal drink in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve common cold, cough, and sore throat.
  • Click the Ginger Tea image for the recipe on YouTube

See a couple of YUMMY recipes at the end! 


SUPERSTARS

Phenolic compounds: Gingerol, *zingerone, shogaol, farnesene, and small amounts of ß-phelladrene, cineol, and citral–all volitile oils.

  • Zingerone, also called vanillylacetone, is a key component of the pungency of ginger. There’s a significant difference between aroma and pungency: aroma is about the sense of smell and the different aroma descriptors (as we can see from the chart listed above) whilst pungency is not a smell. Pungency is based on our sense of feel and nerves.
  • Fresh ginger does not contain zingerone; cooking the ginger transforms gingerol, which is present, into zingerone through a retro-aldol, a viscous liquid acid reaction (reversal of aldol addition).
  • Shogaol, like zingerone, is produced when ginger is dried or cooked.

Sesquiterpenes (action of specific):  Bisapolene, zingiberene (*anti-inflammatory), zingiberol, sesquiphellandrene, and curcurmene (curcumin is in the same family)


MEDICINAL USES

Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine.

It was widely used for centuries as a spice as well.

Ancient Sanskrit, Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Arabic texts discuss the use of ginger for health-related purposes. In Asia, dried ginger has been used for thousands of years to successfully treat:

  • stomach discomfort
  • motion sickness,
  • diarrhea,
  • nausea,
  • stomach cramps,
  • indigestion,
  • heartburn, and
  • other conditions.

Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help with pain management.

Gingerols increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and have analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.


SAFETY PROFILE

  1. Ginger stimulates many secretory glands in the body; it has a “sialogogic” effect (increases salivary juice secretion in the mouth) on salivary glands; increases bile secretion and its release. Therefore, the root may be contraindicated in patients with a history of gallstones.

  2. Ginger root is also known to increase the power of the toxicity of anti-coagulant drug warfarin, resulting in severe bleeding episodes. Because ginger helps thin the blood, it should not be taken two weeks prior to surgery.
  3. Ginger may interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins and cause stomach upset in higher doses.

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF GINGER

1. Ginger Boosts the Immune System(C, A, E, B6, Zinc)

    • promotes healthy sweating
    • assists in the detoxification of the body
    • helps the body defend itself against infections
    • fights off bad bacteria in the stomach and ease colds and the seasonal flu
    • relieves upper respiratory tract infections, coughing, and throat irritation due to bronchitis.
    • fight off illness
    • proactively protect the body from incoming sickness and infection
    • loaded with beneficial compounds and antioxidants that work to battle bacterial and viral conditions.

2. Helps Calm Nausea & Vomiting [1]  (B6, C, Ca)

    • It has the potential for soothing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.[2]
    • Studies have shown that Ginger may help reduce and suppresses nausea caused by motion sickness (including seasickness) such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweats, or pregnancy.
    • May help relieve a migraine.

Modern-day usage of ginger includes being used to ease nausea as a result of motion sickness, chemotherapy, and pregnancy.

Taking one gram of ginger daily helps to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, along with relieving morning sickness.

Further, it has been used successfully to counter nausea and GI upset after surgery or during chemotherapy.

3. Fights Fungal Infections (A, C, E)

    • From yeast infections to jock itch, and athlete’s foot.
    • It was also found effective against two types of yeast that commonly cause fungal infections in the mouth.[3]

4. Protects and Supports digestive Health (B1,B3,B6, C, A,)

Ginger has also been used historically for and one of the most powerful ginger benefits is its ability to support digestive health and prevent common problems of impaired digestion like flatulence, constipation(*), bloating, and other digestive complaints.(*)  Do you experience pain, heartburn, fullness, and discomfort?

  • In addition to these gastro-protective effects, researchers have found ginger to be effective for stress-related ulcers.[4]
  • Gingerols help improve intestinal motility.
  • Ginger prevents the growth of H. pylori – a type of bacteria in the digestive system which can cause ulcers in the lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine, and which sometimes leads to stomach cancer.
  • Ginger does all this because it seems to aid digestion and saliva flow.
  • Ginger helps speed up the emptying of the stomach by 25% compared to a placebo in people with indigestion.[8]
  • Ginger capsules with a meal actually doubled the speed of stomach emptying.[9]

Gingerols help improve the intestinal motility and have been anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, antipyretic as well as anti-bacterial properties. Zingerone is effective against E.coli induced diarrhea, especially in children.

5. Improves Brain Function (B1,B2,B3,B9,C,Ca,Mg)

  • A compound, 6-shogaol, inhibited the release and expression of rednesscausing chemicals which damage neurons (nerve cells).[5]
  • Another ginger compound, 10-gingerol, similarly acted in an anti-neuroinflammatory manner. In other words, fresh ginger’s 10-gingerol reduced redness and swelling in the brain.[6]
  • A 2012 study also found that ginger extract helped improve cognitive function and attention in middle-aged women.[7]

6. Eases Inflammation (A,B6,E,Mg)

Although inflammation can be a normal, healthy immune response to injury and infection, chronic inflammation is believed to be a major contributor to conditions like heart disease, obesity, (*), and colitis-associated cancer.[10]

  • Ginger extract may help inhibit the synthesis of certain markers of inflammation due to its compounds. [11]
  • Treat aches and pains attributed to osteoarthritis(*)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis(*)and other joint conditions, which abate symptoms of pain and stiffness associated with joints problems, named gingerols.

Gingerols help improve the intestinal motility and have been anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, antipyretic (reduce fever) as well as anti-bacterial properties.

Many sufferers take small daily doses of ginger root and report increased mobility and a reduction in pain. Also, patients note decreases in muscle discomfort and less swelling. There are some cases in which ginger relieved aches in the chest and knees.

7. Eases Menstrual Pains (B6,E,Ca,Mg)

  • In the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that ginger reduces menstrual pain as effectively as medications like ibuprofen and mefenamic acid.[12]
  • Ginger even reduced both the intensity and duration of pain.[13]

8. May Inhibit Cancer Growth (A,B6,C,E)

Ginger may be effective in blocking cancer cell growth and development for ovarian
[14], pancreatic[15], and prostate cancer[16] but it is yet to be determined how it inhibits cancer in humans.  

9. Supports Stable Blood Sugar (B1,B3,B6,P)

  • Demonstrates powerful blood sugar balancing effects by insulin release and sensitivity and also supports the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids.
  • Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure
  • The ginger extract was the most effective in support healthy blood pressure and has been evaluated for its effectiveness against hypertension.
  • Ginger’a natural acids help thin the blood to prevent fatty deposits (blood clots) from building in the arteries reducing the risk of a heart attack. [17]
  • Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Manganese (builds resistance to disease by strengthening the lining of your heart, blood vessels)

10. Relieves Joint and Muscle Pain (B1,C,Ca)

  • Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, adding ginger into your diet could help treat both  and arthritis-related joint pain.
  • One study showed that daily consumption of ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain caused by exercise-induced muscle injury. [18] Another study found that ginger extract helped decrease and the need for pain medication in individuals with osteoarthritis. [19]

11. Lowers Cholesterol Levels (B3,B6)

From producing bile to manufacturing hormones, cholesterol is essential to overall health. However, high levels of cholesterol can build up in the blood, causing blockages, and increasing your risk of heart disease.

  • One of the biggest benefits of ginger is its ability to
              1. naturally lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides
              2. to reduce your risk of heart problems,
              3. significantly reduce bad LDL cholesterol-reducing platelet stickiness, and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol compared to a placebo.
  • Ginger was nearly as effective in lowering cholesterol (improving cholesterol markers) as atorvastatin, a medication commonly prescribed for high blood cholesterol. [20]

12. Blocks Bacterial Infections (A,C)

  • Ginger’s antifungal properties, boasts the ability to fight off bacterial infections as well, such as Bacillus and E. coli.
  • Pathogenic bacteria are common culprits behind conditions like urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Manganese (builds resistance to disease by strengthening the lining of your urinary passages)
  • One study shows that ginger could help inhibit the growth of certain strains of bacteria that cause gum disease. [21]
  • Another test-tube study showed that ginger extract was effective against several strains of drug-resistant bacteria as well.

The Original Ginger Ale

More like a ‘ginger-ade’ than a soda, these beverages resembled homemade tonics and could likely be described as sugar water with a kick of ginger root.

A tall, refreshing glass of ginger ale is a fantastic drink, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Ginger ale is one of the easiest homemade sodas you can mix up. If you are a true fan of ginger ale, you’ll also find that this is more economical than store-bought options.

  • 2 cups ginger (fresh, peeled, and chopped)
  • 3 strips lemon peel (about 4 inches each; yellow part only)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup Honey
  • 3 quarts club soda (chilled)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a 4-quart saucepan, place ginger, lemon peel, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

  3. Add sugar, stirring constantly, and continue to boil until reduced to about 3 cups (about 15 minutes).

  4. Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in the ginger syrup to separate the solids from liquids. Discard the lemon peel. The strained, cooked ginger pieces can be reserved for other uses.

  5. Allow the ginger simple syrup to cool before pouring into a glass container. Seal it tightly and chill for at least 1 hour until it’s cold. You can also store it for up to 1 week in the fridge.

  6. When ready to serve, for each 16-ounce serving, mix 1/4 cup ginger simple syrup with 1 cup cold club soda, and pour over ice. Additional ginger syrup or sugar may be added to sweeten it to fit your taste.


Ginger Banana Smoothie by Delectable Planet

  • 2 very ripe bananas (with plenty of brown speckles)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups frozen fruit or berries*
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (almond milk or soy milk for the best flavor)

Preparation

  1. Combine the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
  2. *Try strawberries, pineapple, peaches, or blueberries


If you have not included this spice into your cooking routine, maybe it is something to consider.  Broaden your taste bud pallet with this new flavor.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens and hope you are too.  If you enjoyed this post and learning about Gingerroot, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on.  People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s