Ginger – more than candy

In ancient times, medicinal herbs and spices were used to store food. The success of certain spices in food storage depended on their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) was one of the first oriental spices to reach Europe. Although it originates from Southeast Asia, it is now grown in China, India, the United States, Australia and the Caribbean.
Ginger is a perennial tropical plant with a thick gnarled rhizome. The glittering rhizomes of ginger are picked when the plant is one year old and dried in the sun for about a week.
Ginger has long been used to enhance the aroma of food and is one of the very common ingredients in Indian and Chinese cuisine. Through ginger bread and ginger beer, it has found application in the cuisine of the western world. It has gained popularity thanks to its sweet-aromatic aroma and spicy taste. It can be used in appetizers, breads, fruit desserts, cakes, pies, puddings and jams. It helps keep food fresh, and is a great addition to a meal if you want to round out or emphasize some flavors.

Travel assistance
Due to its antiemetic properties, ginger has been shown to be a good help in relieving nausea in people who have problems with driving diseases. A study conducted on high school students who are very sensitive to driving, showed that one gram of powdered ginger is enough to reduce the symptoms of driving sickness. Ginger should be taken thirty minutes before departure. Recently, when my family and I set out on a cruise to Alaska, the captain offered everyone on board either fresh ginger or a gingerbread cookie to prevent seasickness.
The effectiveness of ginger is associated with aromatic essential oil which produces a characteristic odor. Active compounds include terpenoids and bisabolenes and aromatic gingerol. Recent research reveals that many compounds are involved in creating antiemetic properties. The antiemetic mechanism of ginger seems to be the result (and not the effect on) the central nervous system, rather than the gastrointestinal action.

Other properties
Ginger has also been used to treat dizziness, stomach cramps, lack of appetite, morning sickness in pregnant women and rheumatic ailments. It was also used as an aid in digestion, as it causes the secretion of saliva and gastric juices and increases intestinal peristalsis. In the past, ginger has been used to relieve bloating and prevent burping. Ginger oil contains compounds that reduce cough and there are indications that it relieves pain and fever.

Lower risk of blood clots and cancer
By using ginger, you can reduce the risk of clot formation and reduce bleeding time, because its extract prevents the accumulation of platelets in humans. This can be of great benefit to patients at high risk of blood clots. Two diterpenes and six different gingerols are responsible for this beneficial effect of ginger. Diterpene and inhibitors seem to be very powerful and very credible for preventing the formation of blood clots and have a similar effect as sulfur compounds in onions.
Preliminary data from research on rabbits show that ginger can also reduce blood cholesterol levels. Ginger rhizome contains more than 20 phenolic compounds, known as gingerol and diarylhepatanoids. Some of these phenolic compounds are potential antioxidants and have antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds also help fight various types of cancer. The antioxidant curcumin is also present in ginger, a substance that can also be found in turmeric, and is responsible for its anti-cancer effect. Curcumin has been confirmed to stimulate the activity of the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps eliminate carcinogenic substances from the body. The aromatic substance in ginger has a strong antioxidant effect, similar to vitamin E.

Safe to use
The daily dose of ginger is two to four grams (half a teaspoon) or half to one gram of rhizome three times a day. One dose of one to two grams of rhizome powder is effective when used as an antiemetic. Moderate amounts of ginger are safe, as there are no data on poisoning or side effects. However, overuse can interfere with cardiac and anticoagulant therapy, as well as anti-diabetes therapy. People with gallbladder disease should consult a doctor before using ginger.

Conclusion
Ginger, with its unique aromatic taste, certainly has its place in the kitchen. Its beneficial effect on health certainly gives it greater value than ordinary sweets. Ginger is used to treat indigestion, prevent symptoms of driving disorders and improve bowel function. It has antitumor properties and the ability to reduce the risk of blood clots, which makes it a useful medicinal plant for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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