Ginger is a popular root-based spice that is commonly used in cooking. For centuries, ginger has been used for medicinal purposes as well, and it is packed with several health benefits. This rhizome can be processed into a powder, syrup, volatile oil, and oleoresin. Its use in culinary applications dates as far back as the 13th century. From reducing inflammation to helping to relieve nausea, here are some of the key benefits of ginger.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Ginger is high in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols, which are responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds can help reduce inflammation in the joints and muscles, making ginger a great choice for those suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory conditions.
2. Digestive Aid: Ginger is a natural digestive aid and can help improve digestion by stimulating the production of saliva and stomach acid. This can help with indigestion, bloating, and gas. Ginger can also help reduce nausea and vomiting, making it a great choice for those prone to motion sickness. Ginger helps to stimulate saliva, bile, and gastric juices, which can improve digestion.
3. Immunity Booster: Ginger contains several antioxidants, including gingerols, which can help boost the body’s natural immunity. Consuming ginger regularly can help protect the body from infections, viruses, and bacteria. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in ginger help to boost the immune system and fight off infection.
4. Reduces Nausea: Ginger is an effective remedy for morning sickness, motion sickness, and general nausea.
5. Perfect Aid for Common Cold: The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals present in ginger root help relieve common cold.
6. Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain, making it a great natural remedy for arthritis, menstrual cramps, and muscle soreness.
7. Improves Heart Health: Studies have shown that ginger can reduce cholesterol levels, which can improve heart health.
8. Prevents Cancer: Research has indicated that ginger may be able to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as ovarian and colorectal cancer.
9. Culinary Benefits of Ginger Powder: Dried ginger powder is commonly used in spices and masalas, curries and stews. A cup of masala chai is great for common cold or a sore throat. Mix cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel and ginger powder to make a hot cup of tea.
Easy to store, ginger powder has a long shelf life of about one year. Dry ginger powder is widely used in the kitchen to add flavor and aroma. Dry Ginger powder is also known as Sonth in Hindi.
According to Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta, “Ginger powder has various benefits, especially in Ayurvedic healing. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help improve digestion. It is an exceptional natural medicine used for treating common cold. It has anti-bacterial properties too that help prevent any infections in the body.”
Ginger Root versus Ginger Powder
Both forms contain all the health benefits of ginger. Though it’s hard to beat the flavor of the fresh root, ginger powder is nutritious, convenient and economical. Fresh ginger lasts a while in the refrigerator and can be frozen after you have peeled and chopped it. The powder has a long shelf life and is ready to use for busy people without peeling and chopping.
The Food and Drug Administration has given ginger GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for use as a food supplement.