Learn about herbs (and other nutritive ingredients) Chapter 1: Ginger
Ginger (zingiber officinale) is a warming spice that’s long been a popular cooking ingredient in kitchens across the globe. In the western world, it is often associated with the holiday season as many of us enjoy it in our hot drinks and baked goods during the festive period. In traditional Asian and Indian cuisines, fresh ginger is used all year round in stir fries, noodle dishes and curries, adding warmth, depth, and a distinctive zingy flavor hit.
For many thousands of years, ginger has also been revered in eastern cultures as a potent holistic spice with myriad potential health benefits. Modern scientific studies have now shown that it contains hundreds of compounds and metabolites that may contribute to good health and wellness.
What are the health benefit?
Scientific studies have shown that ginger contains hundreds of compounds and metabolites (including gingerols and shogaols) that may contribute to good health and wellness.
It has traditionally been used for the following purposes:
Soothing the stomach:
Ginger has been used for centuries, as well as in modern day, as an herbal digestive aid. The Greeks, for example, were known to have wrapped the spice in bread as a post meal digestive snack.
Relief of occasional indigestion and bloating:
Ginger is known to have a carminative, or gas relief effect. It is known to help with dyspepsia, flatulence, and bloating. It can also facilitate gastric emptying. All things that are helpful when we’ve eaten a little too much at lunch.
What is it?
Ginger is a flowering plant that’s part of the zingiberaceae family (along with cardamom and turmeric) and is commonly produced in India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia.
It’s available in several different forms, including:
• Whole fresh roots
• Whole dried roots
• Dried and powdered roots
• Preserved (stem)
Thanks to ginger’s well-documented potential health benefits, the spice is also widely available as a supplement for those who aren’t keen on the powerful taste of fresh ginger root. These can be taken as powders, capsules, tinctures or lozenges and are available at most health food shops and pharmacies.
Do ginger supplements have any side effects?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, ginger supplements are generally safe and have few recorded side effects, but make sure to ask your doctor.
How can I incorporate into my daily routine?
Using fresh ginger as an ingredient in your favorite dishes or sprinkling your meals with the powdered spice is one way of incorporating its powerful health benefits into your daily life.
If you find the taste of fresh ginger root overpowering, you might prefer to take a daily supplement, like Uleva Digest. The recommended dosage depends on the type of supplement (capsule, powder or liquid, for example) and whether you’re taking it to enhance general well-being or tackle a bit of occasional indigestion.
If you’re concerned about taking the right amount of ginger for you, consult the directions on the label of the supplement you’re planning to take and talk to a healthcare professional about an appropriate dosage. Always consult your doctor before adding any dietary supplement to your routine.
Currently, ginger does not have an established Reference Daily Intakes (RDI’s) from the FDA.