Its spicy and lemony flavor is a hallmark of Asian cuisine and new signature cuisine. As healthy as garlic, its medicinal properties are the subject of a growing body of research.
Originating, apparently, from some tropical area of the Far East, the cultivation of ginger has spread to almost all tropical regions.
The fresh rhizome of the plant is usually used, although it can also be purchased in powder or pickled form.
A very versatile natural remedy
The many virtues attributed to ginger are mainly due to its richness in volatile oils. It also has phenolic substances, proteolytic enzymes, linoleic acid, vitamins (especially vitamin B6 and vitamin C) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium). Therefore, its main benefits are:
.For dizziness. Reduces symptoms associated with dizziness. It is very useful for nausea in pregnant women.
Circulatory tonic. The combination of the sweat stimulus and the circulatory flow induces the blood to move to the periphery. This makes it suitable for chilblains, hypertension and fever. Ginger also inhibits platelet aggregation, thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
.Calorific. Ginger can help sweating, and is very useful in colds and flu.
.Antioxidant. Ginger is rich in antioxidants, which slow down the aging process.
.Anti-inflammatory. Its gingerols, the main active components of ginger and responsible for its distinctive flavor, are volatile oils with very powerful anti-inflammatory properties. People with rheumatoid arthritis experience relief from pain and swelling and improvements in mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
.Anticancer. Gingerols can also inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells, as the results of various studies suggest.
Muscle activity. It is high in magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, which actively participate in muscle contraction and in the transmission of the nerve impulse. Therefore, it is a useful remedy to prevent and combat muscle spasms and muscle weakness.
Precautions. In high doses it can cause gastritis and is not recommended in case of gastroduodenal ulcer. For pregnant and lactating mothers it is recommended in low doses and for short periods. It is also not suitable for children under 6 years of age.
Discover its flavor in the kitchen
It is often said of him that its aroma is warm, exuberant and spicy. Reminiscent of citrus, especially lemon, some eau de cologne, fresh grass and a little woody, but sweet and velvety.
It pairs well with soy sauce, vinegar, lemon, sesame, oil, and miso to make sauces, vinaigrettes, and condiments. Added only enriches any food with a not very strong or sweet taste, such as fish, rice, vegetables or fruits.
The other option, widely used by oriental and natural cuisine, is to grate it, squeeze the pulp obtained and add that juice at the end of cooking, just before eating it. Half a teaspoon of juice per person is recommended.
Japanese pickled ginger or gari is often used with sushi and maki to add a crunchy texture and a touch of acidic and salty flavor that clears the palate between bites.
The fresh rhizome must be bought smooth, without wrinkles. The rhizomes can be frozen, peeled and chunked or grated and in an ice bucket. In the fridge, they keep fresh for up to a couple of months.
Ginger powder should be purchased in small quantities to preserve its aroma and freshness. It should be stored in a dark, cool and dry place.