Confucius wrote about the many ginger health benefits about 2500 years ago. Traders carried ginger from Eastern Asia to the Mediterranean coast. It became the most sought-after spice in Rome, only second to pepper. Dioscorides (1st century A.D.) knew it and recommended it for those with weak stomachs.
It was exported to Europe during the Middle Ages, where it was highly appreciated, but it could never be cultivated there. In the early 16th century, the Spaniard Francisco de Mendoza was the first to carry its seeds to the “New World,” Its cultivation quickly spread along with the West Indies, Mexico, and Peru.
Ginger Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Zingiber officinale Roscoe.
- Other Names: African ginger, black ginger, race ginger.
- French: Gingembre.
- Spanish: Jengibre.
- Environment: Native to India and tropical countries of the Far East. Very common in Mexico and West Indies, especially in Jamaica.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Zingiberaceae family, growing up to 1 to 1.3 m high, with exuberant flowers resembling orchids. It reproduces through its aromatic rhizome.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The rhizome (underground stem).
Ginger Health Benefits
Ginger contains essential oil with several terpene derivatives, which give the plant its digestive and carminative (prevents gas formation in the digestive system) properties. It is also sudorific, and in India, there is a belief that it has aphrodisiac properties. Ginger is recommended to treat exhaustion, lack of appetite, bloated stomach, and flatulence.
Like almost all spices, in high doses, ginger provokes gastritis. It is not recommended for people suffering from ulcers. We do not advise using alcoholic ginger tincture since it irritates the stomach.
How to use Ginger
- Seasoning – In small amounts for raw and cooked foods.
- Infusion with two grams of ground rhizome per half a liter of water. Drink a cup after every meal. Never exceed the recommended dose.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 377. Print. [ginger health benefits]