Ginger is a powerful plant frequently consumed as a spice, medicine or side. Commonly called ginger root, it’s the rhizome of a flowering plant that was first found in China. It’s scientific name is Zingiber officinale, and we typically use the stem of this plant that lives underneath the soil for our spices and medicines.
Similar to turmeric, cardamom and galangal, ginger is packed with beneficial qualities for your heart and your health. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most popular dietary condiments in the world.
The History of Ginger
This widely consumed rhizome has been used fresh, dried, powdered, or as a juice or oil for more than 4,700 years. Rich in history, the Indians and ancient Chinese often used ginger to treat a variety of ailments.
While this delicious and nutritious root is originally from Southeast Asia, it was soon cultivated in many other countries for medicinal and culinary purposes. Once these cultures discovered the medicinal properties of ginger, they realized its value. Today, India, Jamaica, Fiji and Australia also commonly produce the ginger root.
The Natural Benefits of Ginger Root
The root has a long history of being used to help with digestion, to cure nausea and to fight the common cold and flu. On top of all of this, you can benefit from its properties by eating it, consuming it with a tea or beverage, or even simply by inhaling the scent of it, in certain cases. Let’s take a deeper look at the well-known benefits and popular uses of ginger:
It is known to improve the body’s absorption of nutrients and minerals. By stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzymes, ginger helps your body to break down and absorb extremely important nutrients, including helping transport food from your mouth through your body.
Cold and Flu Prevention
Believe it or not, the University of Maryland Medical Center concluded that to help treat and prevent cold and flu symptoms in adults, you should soak 2 tbsp. of freshly chopped ginger in hot water, a few times each day and drink it. That’s pretty easy.
Treats Nausea and Morning Sickness
Whether you’re looking to cure motion sickness, morning sickness or even a basic stomach ache, ginger has been used for ages as a natural remedy. The root helps relax the muscles in your gut and helps everything else move freely about your system.
Whether you eat ginger whole, drink ginger as a tea, or even inhale it through a diffused essential oil, the benefits are powerful.