Ginger: how to use it, its properties and benefits
Ginger an ancient root which is increasingly found in shops, with multiple beneficial properties and which is now essential for our well-being
Zingiber, originally from the Far East and better known as ginger, is a medicinal plant, famous for its creative properties. It belongs to the same family as cardamom, and is characterized by a fleshy rhizome. It has multiple beneficial actions on our organism and there are many ways in which it can be consumed. Ginger can be used as a remedy for numerous disorders and make a positive contribution to our organism and so it is important to know it better.
Properties of ginger
Thanks to its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-infectious properties, ginger is ideal in illnesses due to cold, in sinusitis (including to prevent chronic forms), in influenza and as a natural sedative for coughs. For sore throats and blocked noses, it gives relief and an immediate help in relieving the symptoms. In this case, it is best taken with tea or with a hot tisane with lemon.
During a diet, it helps purify the organism, eliminating toxins, the expulsion of which is fostered by ginger. It can be consumed frequently in all its forms. In itself it does not help lose weight, but it is a fat-burning food thanks to its thermogenic action. This is why it helps reactivate the metabolism. In this case it will be preferable to take it with supplements in the diet.
In the case of nausea, take a small piece of ginger with honey, or a hot drink with this root, honey and lemon can help fight the sense of nausea and feeling unwell. It helps the stomach work more quickly, stimulating digestion and it can also be taken before meals to start the gastric juices working and accelerate digestion, helping to prevent cramps.
Research tells us that ginger is also an excellent analgesic: its beneficial action can be of help for inflammations and muscular cramps, with inflammations of joints or with those of the menstrual cycle. An excellent inhibitor of prostaglandins, it can also help us with headaches, by taking a hot tisane at the first signs.
It helps our immune system. It has a protective action in seasonal disorders and in increasing immune defences, it is also useful in the case of post-influenza weakness or tiredness and fatigue. It helps our organism assimilate the nutrients and essential vitamins in the best way possible. For this reason it should be included in our recipes.
Last but not least, it is a precious ally to lower the values of glycaemia and the harmful fats in the blood. This function is important for those who have mild problems of glycaemia and cholesterol. In this case too, the use in powder can be of help, again under attentive medical control.
Ginger also contains an excellent amount of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and fight premature ageing, so it is an ally for beauty and health, but also a trusted friend against stress: a simple infusion with honey or whatever you prefer, can help relax, fostering psychophysical well-being.
How to use it
After having seen the important properties and the benefits that Ginger can offer is, we only have to keep it in our kitchen all the time and learn how to best use it.
In tisanes, with tea or with infusions, together with honey and lemon or absolute if we like it that way, in a simple thirst-quenching drink.
Or in the form of aromatized oil to flavour our dishes, or grating it on to pasta, rice, meat, potatoes, fish or vegetables, discovering new and tasty recipes.
In desserts it has been known for some time by the populations of Northern Europe for its particular flavour, which recalls a soft warmth and it is also greatly appreciated in oriental dishes.
It can also be found in specialized stores in the form of sweets to dissolve in the mouth or to chew.
It can also be of great help as a supplement, as part of the diet but always following a doctor’s advice. Supplements must not be understood of as replacements for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
It would be referable always to take the fresh root, but if this were not possible or we have finished our home supply, dry ginger in powder, which we can find in ready to use spices, will be fine. Naturally the quantities to take will vary significantly, decreasing in the case of the dry extract.
Like all medicinal plants, Ginger can also have contraindications in particular cases. Therefore, it would be better to limit its use, or not to take it in the presence of the specific conditions shown below:
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding, where it would be preferable to consult your gynaecologist
- In the case of gastritis or irritable colon, as it may foster the appearance of ulcers and cause abdominal bloating, especially the powder , instead of which it is always preferable to use fresh ginger
- It can trigger off an allergic reaction, you must seek advice from your doctor
- It can have interaction with some drugs, for example the anti-aggregant drugs.
You must always pay attention to the dosages and the period of time of taking this marvellous plant which can be of help in a completely natural way.