Ginger.  Not the actress.  Not a red head.  The spice.  Used in various forms from whole to ground, plain to pickled.  Pickled?!  Yup!  If you've ever had sushi, they served little slices of pickled (sometimes plain) ginger to cleanse your palate between rolls. 

Ginger was first cultivated in South Asia.  It is used in the kitchen, for medicinal purposes, in beverages (ginger ale anyone?), in essential oils, and the list goes on.  It is popular among pregnant women to curb nausea.  Used as a spice, it gives off heat and a wonderful fragrant flavor.  

Now, health benefits of ginger:
  • Ginger has been found to be helpful in blocking the harmful effects of prostaglandin, a substance that can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain and even cause migraines.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it effective in alleviation of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Ginger helps to promote warmth in the upper respiratory tract and thus, is quite effective in treating cold and flu.
  • Those suffering from cramps, caused by stomach gas, have found ginger to be quite effective.
  • The cineole content in ginger has been found to be a mood enhancer and can help in relieving stress.
  • Ginger is a natural and effective mouth freshener and also aids digestion.
  • Ginger is believed to have anti-cancer properties. As per studies, ginger powder leads to cell death which is applied to ovarian cancer cells.
  • Zingerone which is a chemical compound present in ginger is very effective in treating diarrhea in children.
  • Ginger also contains minerals including potassium, copper, magnesium and manganese. Potassium forms a main component in cell and body fluids, and helps to maintain blood pressure and heart rate.

The list goes on and on.  So next time you cook some Indian food or want some lovely spice to your dishes, grab some ginger!  Here's a few of my recipes that use ginger: