Fierce and peppery with lemony undertones.
Ground Ginger is the dried form of the Ginger plant stem. As one of the first spices exported from the Orient, Ginger spread all over the world as early as the 1st century. Its powdered form is popular due to its ability to withstand higher cooking temperatures without compromising the flavour.
Full of nutrients this wonder spice not only adds flavour to food, it has been used for centuries as a natural medicine.
Ancient writings from China, the Middle Eastern, and Europe describe ginger as a medicine. In Asia it was most popular for treating stomach issues, such as nausea. Other traditional uses, that are still very much employed today include the treatment of muscle and joint pains, cold and flu symptoms, stomach pains, menstrual cramps and skin burns.
What Are the Science-Backed Health Benefits of Ginger?
1. Soothes an Upset Stomach
The chemical compounds in ginger are believed to ease stomach pain and aid digestion. Modern research has found evidence that it can helpful.
Ginger has long been proposed as a remedy to ease morning sickness during pregnancy — studies have shown it’s a safe and possibly effective way to help reduce nausea.
Eating ginger may improve indigestion symptoms by helping the stomach empty faster. One small study found that taking 1.2 g of ginger capsules before a meal sped up the digestion process in people with indigestion. (7)
2. Reduces Inflammation
Ginger is sometimes taken as a supplement for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis(two painful conditions causing joint damage). Since ginger is an anti-inflammatory, it may also be able to ease joint pain due to inflammation from arthritis.
An older study found that people with knee osteoarthritis who took ginger extract had less pain and used less pain medication. But they did experience some mild stomach upset because of the higher concentration of ginger extract. (8)
More recent research has focused on applying ginger extract to the skin of the painful joint. (9) Topical ginger treatments may be effective in reducing arthritis pain without causing the side effects. (10)
3. Lowers Blood Sugar
Adding ginger to your diet could help improve blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In one study on people with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that those who took 1600 milligrams (mg) of ginger powder for 12 weeks had improved insulin sensitivity, lower triglycerides, and lower total cholesterol when compared with the control group.
4. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
When it comes to period pain, ginger might actually be right up there with pain medications, like ibuprofen. Once study found that women who took 250 mg ginger capsules four times a day had the same pain relief as those who took 250 mg of mefenamic acid or 400 mg ibuprofen capsules four times per day. (15,16)
Ways to Incorporate Ginger into Your Diet
Cool down or warm up with ginger drinks
Iced ginger teas, or warm ginger infused hot toddie's. Ginger is also popular in kombucha's.