Ginger is known as a rhizome, which is a fancy word for the underground stem of a plant (1). Many people have heard of ginger and its anti-nausea connections, but there’s a lot more to this sometimes odd-looking plant. Let’s dive into some interesting details…
How to use Ginger
Gingerols provide the different flavors of ginger (1). Therefore, tastes range from tangy, spicy, or sweet (1). You can buy it whole, sliced, powdered or preserved. Nowadays, you can even buy it candied, but that’s just a sugar-loaded mess. When you buy it fresh, make sure it is firm and smooth (1). Fresh ginger usually lasts for two weeks when refrigerated. It can also be frozen after it’s peeled and sliced.
If you would like to grow your own, take a small piece and place it in a pot filled with soil (1). In four to five weeks, your ginger root will be fully grown (1). When you need a bit for a recipe, break off what you need from your own little plant! This saves you money, and you will have fresh ginger whenever you need it.
Ginger offers a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s particularly rich in gingerols (a special plant nutrient) (1). It also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, and folate (2).
Many studies suggest that it helps with preventing motion sickness (3). One gram each day may decrease nausea and vomiting in pregnant women for a short duration of time (3). Numerous studies also suggest that ginger is better than a placebo in helping relieve symptoms of morning sickness (3). As always, if you are pregnant, always consult with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.
Ways to use It:
- Make lemon ginger water
- Make hot tea
- Grate and add to your dishes (and dessert!)
- Spice up a vinegar and oil dressing with ginger
- Add to homemade soups
- Aggarwal, Bharat B., and Debora Yost. Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease. Sterling Pub. Co., 2011.
- USDA Food Composition Databases. United States Department of Agriculture, Apr. 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/
- Ehrlich, Steven D. “Ginger.” Penn State Hershey Health Information Library, 22 June 2015, http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107