Ginger is one of those plants without which many nations cannot imagine a life. The healing properties of ginger are widely used in Asia. For all Asians, ginger is a basic addition to dishes and a very effective remedy for colds, nausea or menstrual cramps.
Ginger has many usages. For example, it can act as an aphrodisiac, a typical spice in cuisine, an addition to cosmetics and perfumes, a raw material for making delicious (but not very healthy!) beer and an ornamental plant. Since the fresh ginger root is getting cheaper and easy to buy in every supermarket, we can all enjoy its wonderful properties.
Healing properties of ginger - why is ginger healthy?
The intense aroma of ginger, with a fresh, slightly sweet and slightly woody note, is due to zingiberol - an essential oil ingredient. On the other hand, we can also find Gingerol and Zingerone. Those are substances which are responsible for the burning feeling on the tongue and slightly bitter taste. All these substances have medicinal properties. Thanks to them, ginger, among others
In tropical Asia, ginger has been grown for over 3,000 years, although its origin is unknown. Ginger was used in the Middle East and southern Europe long before the Romans.
Who is not allowed to eat ginger?
Ginger is a very spicy spice with an irritating effect. You cannot eat it with impunity. Avoid ginger if you have a chronic gastrointestinal disease, e.g. gastric or duodenal ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Ginger in the kitchen
Dried ground ginger, which is the most popular type of ginger used in cuisine has a different taste than fresh one and cannot be used interchangeably. Raw ginger adds freshness and spice to seafood, improves the taste of bland dishes and fatty meats, e.g. duck or pork. The ground ginger is best suited to sweet dishes, e.g. biscuits, cakes, fruit salads. It also goes well with baked apples.
Raw ginger must always be peeled, and it is best to scrape the skin off with a knife only from the piece that we will use. It goes well with spices like bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg and pepper.
Ginger can be bought fresh, marinated, dried and powdered. Fresh ginger should not have stains, and its colour should be between cream and light brown.
Store fresh ginger in a cool place. To extend the freshness of ginger, wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a plastic bag and then in the fridge - in this way it will stay fresh for up to several weeks.
Ginger - preparation and serving
Fresh ginger has the best flavour. It can be chopped, ground, cut into slices or grated. Fresh ginger can be replaced by a ground ratio of 6 to 1 (six units of fresh ginger per one ground).
The centre of ginger rhizome has the richest flavour and contain the most of fibre. Ginger should be shredded in the direction in which the fibres are laid. Slices of fresh ginger can be put on lettuce or cooked and make a soothing infusion. Dried or powdered ginger is the perfect spice for every dish and an ingredient of the delicious marinade.
Canned ginger fits perfectly with Asian dishes and is also a beautiful decoration of any meal.
Ginger and pregnancy
Pregnant women can eat ginger, but in small amounts, because this spice is very warming and can irritate the stomach.
Used during pregnancy, ginger will help you for morning sickness, bloating or indigestion. It works well in case of catching colds and flu because ginger will warm you up. It improves blood circulation, facilitates digestion and has a diuretic effect, thanks to which it reduces swelling.
Avoid ginger if you are struggling with high blood pressure. This is especially important during pregnancy because hypertension is very dangerous for the future mother and the developing fetus.
Ginger for beauty
Ginger oil is used in slimming and modelling preparations because it stimulates circulation and accelerates fat burning. Full of freshness and exotic aroma ginger is the base of many perfumes. The ginger note often goes well with other spices (pepper, cardamom) and adds strength to men’s cosmetics.