Common Name : Ginger
Botanical Name : ZINGIBER OFFICINALIS
Family Name : ZINGIBERACEAE
Other Name : Adrak, Ginger Root, Soonth (Dried), Viswabhesaja
Part Used : Rhizome
Habitat : The plant is widely grown in India. It grows well in the warmer and moist areas.
A herbaceous rhizomatous perennial, upto 90 cm in height when fully grown. The herb develops several lateral shoots in clumps. Leaves are 15-30 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, with sheathing bases, the blade gradually tapering to a point. The rhizomes are aromatic, thick lobed pale yellow, bearing simple alternate distichous narrow, oblong lanceolate leaves.
Indian Ginger is a perennial herb, which grows from underground rhizomes. The rhizomes are aromatic, thick-lobed, pale yellowish, differing in shape and size in the different cultivated types. Ginger grows best in tropical and sub tropical regions with good rainfall and hot and humid summers.
The medicinal use of ginger dates back to ancient times as indicated by early medical texts in India, China, Greece, Rome and Arabia. Ginger is used for treating flatulent colic and indigestion. The German Commission E approves ginger for treating dyspepsia and preventing motion sickness. The British Herbal Compendium also recognizes ginger for these purposes, as well as for treating morning sickness during pregnancy, for stimulating the appetite in anorexia and for treating bronchitis and rheumatic discomforts.
Ginger rhizome contains: 4.0-7.5% oleoresin containing phenols such as gingerol and their related breakdown products, shogaols; fats; waxes; 1.0-3.3% volatile oil containing sesquiterpenes such as beta-bisabolene, (-)-zingiberene, beta-sesquiphellandrene and (+)-ar-curcumene; monoterpenes such as geranial and neral; carbohydrates and 40-60% starch; 9-10% protein; 6-10% lipids containing triglycerides, phosphatidic acid; lecithins; free fatty acids; vitamins such as niacin and A; minerals; and amino acids.
Uses of Ginger
Ginger acts as a digestive aid. Its pungent essential oils aid digestion by stimulating the activity of digestive enzymes.
Fresh ginger is good for easing indigestion, stomach pain and nausea and for stopping diarrhea caused by poor digestion. Dry ginger, on the other hand is better for warming the body.
Ginger oil has a spicy and peppery aroma, so it is often blended with other essential oils to produce many different mixtures for many different ailments.
Ginger powder is used as a food flavoring agent and also in pharmaceutical preparations. It is great in various types of Indian and Chinese dishes as well as used in case of motion sickness and morning sickness.
Dry ginger is good for cardiovascular health. It increases the tone and peristalsis of the intestine and Reduces flatulence. Dry ginger is effective against fever, dropsy, asthma and jaundice.
Ginger produced candy, which acts as an appetizer, a mouth freshener, and a normal health food.