Aromatic, spicy ginger adds flavor and piquancy to many dishes. This popular component of Asian and Indian cuisine has won the love of millions of people around the world over its thousand-year history, and its beneficial properties are legendary.

What is ginger

Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, belongs to the same family of spices as turmeric and cardamom - Ginger. India, China and the expanses of Southeast Asia are considered his homeland. But it is known that in ancient times this plant was also revered for its excellent taste and medicinal properties in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, where it came from China. In the 16th century, Europe also learned about ginger, where the plant was brought from the East Indies.

Ginger is a creeping perennial with thick, knobby underground stems (rhizomes). Its botanical name comes from the Sanskrit word zingiber, which means "horn-shaped", which is quite consistent with the appearance of ginger. It is a plant with narrow ribbed green leaves and white or yellowish-green flowers that can reach a meter in height.

Today it is cultivated mainly in tropical countries. The main suppliers of the goods are Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia, Australia. It is believed that the Jamaican variety of the plant (more pale) is more suitable for culinary needs.


Ginger is not a good source of calories, protein, or fiber, but it can provide many other health benefits. This root contains a significant amount of amino acids and antioxidant compounds, such as gingerol (which gives the burning taste), beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin, caffeic and salicylic acids.

Nutritional value per 100 g fresh
Calories 80 kcal
Carbohydrates 15.77 g
Proteins 1.82 g
Fats 0.75 g
Fiber 2 g
Sodium 13 mg
Calcium 16 mg
Iron 0.6 mg
Potassium 415 mg
Magnesium 43 mg
Phosphorus 34 mg
Zinc 0.34 mg
Vitamin B6 0.15 mg
Vitamin C 5 mg
Folic acid 11 mcg
Riboflavin 34 mcg
Nicotinic acid 0.75 mg

Useful properties

Ginger can rightly be called a miracle of nature. This product, even in small quantities, helps to overcome various ailments, get rid of free radicals, and also restore muscles after intense exercise.

Beneficial effect on digestion

Phenolic compounds in ginger help to reduce irritation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), stimulate the production of saliva and bile, reduce spasms in stomach.

Ginger, raw or in the form of tea, can relieve nausea of ​​various origins (toxicosis in pregnant women, motion sickness, nausea during chemotherapy).

Acts as a pain reliever

A study conducted by scientists at the University of Georgia with the participation of 74 volunteers showed that daily use of ginger reduced muscle pain by 25%. In addition, 83% of women participating in a different experience confirmed the ability of ginger extract to reduce menstrual pain. And a piece of this root is enough to soothe an aching tooth.

Reduces inflammation

Many countries use ginger as an anti-inflammatory agent. Laboratory studies have confirmed the ability of this plant to relieve inflammation, in particular in the organs of the digestive system. What's more, ginger has been shown to be effective in treating symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. This ability is given to the root by gingerol, a unique substance that is part of the product.

Prevents cancer

The active ingredient in ginger, gingerol, is also known as an anti-cancer agent. Studies have shown that this substance is able to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells. In addition, the effectiveness of ginger preparations to stop the malignant degeneration of ovarian cells has been proven.

Strengthens the immune system

Vitamin C and other active components that make up the ginger root have a general strengthening effect on the human body. But when consuming, for example, ginger tea as a prophylactic during cold seasons, it is important to follow the correct dosage. "Horned Root" is not a product that should be consumed in large portions. Two small slices are enough to brew a healthy cup of tea.

Fights excess weight

They say that ancient Chinese healers developed the ginger diet. True or myth, today it is difficult to say. But the fact that tea from this healing root contributes to easier weight loss, many argue.

Those who have experienced the ginger diet say that this exotic tea reduces appetite and speeds up metabolic processes in the body. The most popular recipe for ginger weight loss is to drink a glass of tea with lemon half an hour before a meal. However, this method of weight loss is contraindicated for people with gastritis, ulcers, bleeding and allergy to citrus.

Treats sore throat

Possessing pronounced analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties, ginger root is an effective cure for sore throat, laryngitis and pharyngitis.

Ginger essential oil or powdered root is suitable for treating these diseases. Add in small amounts to inhalation, compresses, rinses. Also useful in the form of tea.

Normalizes the work of the genital area

"Horned Root" contributes to the proper functioning of the reproductive system in men and women. Dishes seasoned with spice protect men from impotence, prevent prostatitis, improve erection. The benefits for the female body are in the regulation of hormonal levels, as well as the normalization of the functioning of the genital organs.

Natural freshener

Don't know how to get rid of garlic smell? This halitosis, like any other, will be eliminated by ginger. It is enough to chew a small slice of the root to freshen your breath. And what is important, this plant does not mask unpleasant odors, but completely removes them, killing bacteria in the oral cavity.

Other useful properties:

  • prevents strokes, heart attacks;
  • reduces the level of glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes;
  • reduces the concentration of cholesterol in the bloodstream;
  • regulates the process of blood coagulation.

Daily Value

For adults, 4 g of concentrate per day is considered a safe dose of ginger. Pregnant women are not advised to take more than 1 g per day, and for children under 2 years old, this supplement is generally contraindicated.

For nausea, indigestion or excessive gas, 1 gram of ginger per day will help. 650 mg of the substance will help relieve the symptoms of toxicosis. And for joint pain caused by arthritis, it is advised to take 250 mg of ginger supplement 4 times a day.


For centuries, "horned root" has been used as a general tonic. But still, taking this plant for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes should be extremely careful, since side effects may occur in combination with certain herbs or medicines. In case of overdose, diarrhea, heartburn, belching are possible.

It is important for people with gallstones to consult a doctor before using ginger. In addition, this product is contraindicated in bleeding. Individuals taking blood thinners are advised to avoid this product as it may increase the risk of bleeding. Against the background of taking hypoglycemic drugs, it can cause hypoglycemia in diabetics, and together with drugs for hypertension, a sharp decrease in blood pressure and arrhythmia. In addition, ginger can aggravate reflux symptoms.

How to select and store properly

Fresh ginger is available in most supermarkets. The mature root is covered with tough skin, which must be cut off before use. Ginger should be firm, smooth, with no signs of decay or mold.

Fresh, unpeeled product can be refrigerated for up to three weeks. Dry ginger in a tightly closed container in a cool and dark place is stored for up to six months.

Available forms

It is believed that ginger has been known to mankind as a spice for more than 4000 years. Today, this root is available in various forms. Of course, the most popular and useful - fresh. But in addition to fresh roots, you can buy dried ones. Candied or pickled roots of the plant are also available. The latter option is most often found in Japanese cuisine. In addition, there are essential oils taken from ginger, as well as supplements based on the root of this plant.

The Benefits of Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is not only great for warming up in cold weather, but also enriches the body with many beneficial substances. The rich vitamin composition of this drink makes it extremely useful for people with influenza or SARS. It is also said that this drink is very good for weight loss.

To prepare this healing remedy, you will need 20-40 g of fresh ginger (cut into slices) and a glass of boiling water. Pour the roots with water and let it brew. Add some honey and a slice of lemon. Everything, the miracle drink is ready!

By the way, tea is not the only drink that can be made from this plant. In the 19th century, bartenders in English pubs added ground ginger to their ales. It is believed that the British borrowed this recipe from the ancient Greeks, who added ginger powder even to bread.

What to cook

Ginger is good not only as a tea or beer component. The incomparable gingerbread cookies, known all over the world, belong to the classic recipes. In addition, finely chopped "horned root" is an excellent addition to pork or beef dishes. It also goes well with fish. As a dessert, this product is delicious in cheesecakes, chocolate sweets, jams, juices or smoothies.

By the way, what taste ginger gives to the finished dish depends on the moment at which the spice is added: at the beginning of cooking - it will give a delicate aroma, at the end - a spicy taste.

Ginger in cosmetology

Women noticed the rejuvenating properties of this spicy plant a very long time ago. Ginger masks give the skin elasticity, restore elasticity, improve complexion and even out tone. Moreover, ginger is a panacea for acne and acne, accelerates the healing of wounds and boils. In home recipes, it is best to combine gruel or ginger powder with other ingredients such as honey, lemon, clay, vegetable oil, and dairy products.

Ginger masks also have a positive effect on the condition of the hair. Owners of dry, weak and brittle hair should try a healing mixture of ginger, honey and yolk.

How to grow a “horned root”

The fact that ginger is a real lifesaver for almost all occasions is already clear. But something else is also clear: ginger is not the cheapest treat on the market. Therefore, even in our latitudes, they thought about growing this spice in summer cottages or at home. Do you think it's impossible? But in vain. It is enough to buy one correct root and you can start growing the plant.

The correct root is a tuber with "eyes" like a potato. Before planting, it should be soaked in warm water for 2.5 hours. This technique will "wake up" the kidneys. It is better to plant in winter in a fairly wide pot so that the root can grow freely. When sprouts appear, it is important to properly care for the plant. And it, as you know, loves moisture and heat. With proper care, the first harvest of homemade ginger can be expected as early as September. After harvesting, it is important to clean the tubers from the ground and dry in the sun for 2-3 days.

Number one spice. Do you know what product they are talking about? Of course, about ginger. This delightful plant has perhaps never been just a spice. Ever since mankind has learned about the beneficial properties of the "horned root", it has been used for a wide variety of purposes. And everywhere from it there is a benefit.