Ginger root is found in curries, particularly Indian and Thai curries, and goes well with beef and seafood. Pickled ginger root is also routinely used in Chinese stir frys, and as an accompaniment to sushi.
There are several ways of preparing ginger root, but ginger tea is one of the most popular. Ginger tea can be made by steeping a small piece of root ginger in boiling water for a few minutes, and then straining the tea. Sometimes honey or lemon can be added to improve the paste.
Chopped ginger can be added with garlic and chilli and ground dry spices to form the base of many curries. Ginger can often be used unpeeled – you should only remove the skin if the ginger has is not fresh and the skin has become somewhat leathery. Simply chop or grind the root with other spices to form a wet spice paste, which can then be used in numerous Thai or Indian recipes.
All of these methods of consuming root ginger have numerous benefits.
Ginger is well-known to combat nausea – including morning sickness and the queasiness that afflicts some women before their monthly periods, and also sea sickness and other forms of motion sickness. For sickness caused by hormones, ginger tea taken before the patient gets up in the morning is said to reduce many of the ill effects – although you’ll need to persuade someone to make the tea for you. For motion sickness, ginger should be taken before the commencement of a journey – ginger tea will work, although ginger in powder or pill form may be more effective. Ginger is also said to help with the nausea that is often caused as a side-effect of chemotherapy, and the queasiness that afflicts many people who are recovering from surgery.
Root ginger is sometimes used to reduce various forms of pain – perhaps because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger tea sweetened with brown sugar or honey is often recommended in Chinese medicine to soothe period cramps. Ginger tea is also said to help with headaches.
There is some evidence that ginger can inhibit the growth of, or harm, various types of cancer – this includes pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and leukemia. However, although ginger is generally acknowledged as having many health benefits, the scientific evidence surrounding its use in cancer treatment and prevention is still currently very sketchy. Those who have cancer, or who are worried about developing the disease, should ask their doctor for more details.
If there is a cold doing the rounds of your school or workplace, you might want to try root ginger tea. Ginger is said to boost the immune system, and may reduce the likelihood of you catching the cold, as well as help ease the symptoms if you are unlucky enough to pick up a bug. Ginger is also useful for relieving blocked noises and soothing sore throats, and is generally useful for cold and ‘flu type illnesses.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties mean that many arthritis patients claim that it reduces the pain associated with their condition. There is some doubt as to whether or not this is true, or a placebo effect. However, taking ginger tea is unlikely to cause you any ill-effects, so it may be worth a try.
If you suffer from indigestion, then eating ginger may help you relieve some of the symptoms, like heartburn. Ginger root can help to break down proteins in the digestion system, and so ease the passage of food. This is why ginger is often included as a condiment in Far Eastern cuisines.
Ginger root, whether fresh or pickled, can be found in most supermarkets and many Asian food stores.