🌿 Herbal Highlight: Ginger 🌿
Latin name: Zingiber officinale
Botanical family: Zingiberaceae
Energetics (Chinese medicine): Warm and pungent
● Immune system support
● Bone health
● Improve respiratory conditions
● Reduce digestive upset
● Weight loss aid
Safety: Safe for all ages. Use caution while pregnant or nursing. Do not use if you take blood thinners.
Ginger is one of the oldest herbal remedies, dating back over 2,000 years. Native to tropical rainforests, ginger favors lush, moist soils. Ginger blooms are red and come in different shapes like honeycomb and torch. Ginger root, or rhizome, is used as a spice. It can be consumed in many forms: fresh, dried, powdered, and in the form of oil and juice. It is mostly used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger beer and wine.
When buying fresh ginger, choose a root that is wrinkle-free or has minimal wrinkles and tight skin. Make sure the skin is not thick and bruised. It can be stored in a resealable plastic bag with the air pushed out in the refrigerator.
However, you should peel, cut or grate it only before using it. If you want to store a cut piece of the root, make sure it’s dry so that it doesn’t rot away.
Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth I of England invented the gingerbread man in the 16th century. The gingerbread man was presented at a royal ball, and several were made to resemble respected guests as well.
Most of the benefits derived from ginger are because of the active constituent called gingerol in it. It is also rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and protein. In terms of minerals, it has sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Vitamins in it include vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin. There are many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds like beta-carotene and capsaicin in it, too.
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