Herbal Supplements
Chemistry and Gardening of Zingiber Officinale

For more than 2 thousand years ginger, or Zingiber officinale plant, has been known for its healing and culinary properties, it has been widely used in many medical and gastronomic preparations and recipes. Mentioned even in Chinese and Indian ancient writings, ginger has been praised for its healing anti-inflammatory, digest-enhancing aromatic qualities.

Though it is native for tropical Asia, the plant grows in the tropical areas of the United States, China, India and Middle East.

The plant is valued for its root, thick knotted underground stem of a beige color. Depending on the variety, the root can also be red or white. It extends about 12 inches above the ground with narrow, ribbed green leaves and yellowish-green flowers. ďSingaberaĒ, Sanskrit name from which gingerís botanical name is derived, means ďhorn shapedĒ and reflects the shape of the root.

While ginger is gardened mostly for the root, flowers are rarely seen. Rich, well-drained, sandy loam or clay soil and plenty of indirect sunlight and water are the best conditions for the ginger growing. The propagation of the plant is performed by planting seed rhizome - portions of the root containing buds or eyes cropping out, which should be put about an inch below the surface of the soil. Ginger is harvested three or four month after planting (depending on the climatic conditions). Aromatic abilities of ginger depend on the time it remains underground before harvest, the more this time limit is - the hotter and spicier it gets, and the better it is for the homeopathic purposes.

Fresh ginger root is superior to the dried one both in flavor and in higher levels of gingerol, gingerís main active component. Young and mature ginger are usually available at the markets, the latter one being more widespread type. It requires peeling to remove the tough skin covering it. The dried ginger is widely sold at the markets and is released in the form of ginger powder, mainly used for culinary purposes. Other varieties include pickled ginger, candied and crystallized root.

Gingerís value is estimated by the action of its main components. One of them, gingerol, responsible for the rootís distinctive flavor, is also the chemical that can prevent the growth of human colorectal cancer cells and also kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and autophagocytosis (programmed cell death and self-digestion). Gingerís hot action also promotes a healthy sweating, being so useful during the colds and flues and providing general detoxification. Gingerolís anti-inflammatory action is a remedy for the people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Shogaol, another active component of Zingiber officinale, protects normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells from beta-amyloid insult (and the Alzheimer's disease as a consequence). Violate oils, widely used in perfumery and cosmetology, is another thing for which ginger is valued.

One can find ginger as a component in a variety of food and herbal preparations, from ginger bread to ginger sticks and ginger ale, often even give to children to calm stomach disorders. Ginger potential is rather an extended matter so just take a couple minutes to browse our site to be in the know!

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Testimonials
alcar
2011-04-12 18:15:45
You mentioned that it has some specific anti-cancer properties. Could you add a reference to any peer-review scientific literate discussing this effect? I am not questioning the validity of this; I would just like to gain a deeper understanding of these properties.
yo
2007-10-16 14:47:02
This site is awesome but the ginger part isn't that great pleese write more about what the ginger does
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More About Ginger...

Health Benefits of Ginger

Zingiber officinale is not the name of a German company producing office equipment. It is the ...

Ginger In Culinary

The aromatic and healing abilities of ginger root, or Zingiber officinale (its botanical name), ...

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