“G” is for…Ginger!

By Edeline Anne Goh

Ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger snaps and even the festive gingerbread man’s most important ingredient is, well, what else – ginger!

The zingy taste and aromatic scent of ginger is loved by many but it must be said that it tends to appeal more to grown-ups than kids.

Spice Up With Ginger

Most people think that ginger is a root when it’s actually a rhizome – a stem from the plant Zingiber officinale which grows underground.

Ginger is often used as a spice during food preparation or as a component in medicine. Popular in Asia as well as the Caribbean and Europe, ginger is a common ingredient in local delicacies. In several cultures it is also a staple in special postnatal dishes for women.

The wonders of ginger have been recognised for centuries. Here are six, highly helpful benefits of ginger:

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Nausea 

Due to its pungent and spicy taste, ginger is one of the best-known remedies for nausea. Ginger tea and ginger candy have been known to effectively help ease dizziness. If you’re scheduled for surgery, research has shown that consuming one gram of ginger an hour before you enter the operating theatre will successfully help reduce nausea and vomiting for the first 24 hours after your surgery.

Motion Sickness

If you tend to suffer from motion sickness whether you are travelling by car, boat or plane, it is advisable to bring along a pack of candied ginger to ease your discomfort. You can also sip on some homemade ginger tea before your trip, which will help reduce the nausea, dizziness and cold sweat associated with motion sickness. This will certainly go a long way toward helping you enjoy your journey!

Morning Sickness

Ginger is recommended as an effective cure to fight morning sickness. However, you are advised to seek consultation from your doctor before consuming ginger or any other herb or spice for that matter during your pregnancy to avoid unwanted side-effects and complications. 

Menstrual Cramps

If you’re a fan of ginger, consuming it during your menstrual period may provide some relief from cramps. Medical studies suggest that ginger is able to reduce painful menstrual cramps. In fact, its reputation in overcoming pain is so widespread that some people believe it works as well as chemical painkillers!

Immune Booster

Is it possible that some ginger each day could keep the doctor away? This is often the case! The good news is, you don’t need a whole lot of ginger to do that. All you have to do is steep a few half-inch slices of ginger in hot water and drink the liquid. Doing this is believed to be able to prevent the common cold and flu.

Arthritis

Suffering from arthritis? Arthritis inhibits your mobility and independence and prevents you from enjoying your life. Many arthritis patients have found comfort in ginger. Gingerols, an anti-inflammatory compound found in ginger, is believed to reduce pain and increase a patient’s mobility.

Choosing Quality Ginger

Ginger comes in many forms – dried, fresh, frozen and powdered. Here are some tips on choosing the fresh, whole ginger so you can enjoy all the health benefits.

  1. Avoid wrinkled ends
  2. Try to opt for organically grown ginger
  3. Pick plump, unblemished roots
  4. Ensure that it is not wilted, dry or mouldy

Simple Ginger Tea

Take two, 1.5 cm (about ½ inch) slices of fresh ginger and place them in a cup. Pour 50 millimeters of hot water in the cup and enjoy. This simple recipe is a great “pick-me-up” at any hour of the day!

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