Interesting facts about ginger including history and health benefits of eating ginger as a garnish in cooking.
Ginger is the common name for Zingiber officinale, which was originaly cultivated in China and now equally spread around the world.
Ginger is a herb but is often known as a spice, with a strong distinct flavor that can increase the production of saliva. The part that is used as spice on the plant itself is the rhizomes or ginger root. This ginger root is traditionally used with sweet foods in Western cuisine being included in popular recipes such as ginger ale, ginger snaps, gingerbread, ginger biscuits and ginger cake. It is also used in many countries as a medicinal ingredient which many believe in. Some say it can help cure diabetes, head aches, colds, fatigue, nausea and the flu when used in tea or food.
For over 2 thousand years Chinese medicine has recommended the use of ginger to help cure and prevent several health problems. It is known to promote energy circulation in the body while positively increasing the body's metabolic rate.
List of medicinal properties ginger has been known to have throughout history.
Ginger was widely used by the ancient Romans and it was a very expensive spice, one pound of ginger was equivalent to the price of a whole sheep.
Ginger almost became lost in history after the fall of the Roman empire but became popular again when Europe re-discovered it.
Ginger has influenced the history of man since ancient China, wars were waged and entire dynasties rose and fell with the objective of seizing it.
The trade of such spices were the root of the world's economy for centuries.
Ginger has a wide variety of effects on the human body and is known to be effective for the treatment of cataracts, amenorrhea, heart disease, migraines, stroke, , angina, athlete's foot, colds, bursitis, chronic fatigue, tendinitis, flu, coughs, depression, dizziness, fever, erectile difficulties, infertility, kidney stones, Raynaud's disease, sciatica, and viral infections.
Ginger is cultivated all year round and can be cultivated approximately 3 - 5 months after it was planted.
Ginger is very easy to grow and can be grown indoors or outside in pots filled with potting mix, allow enough room in the pots, about 10 to 12 inches deep, for the actual ginger roots to form.
The best time to plant ginger is in the spring. Simply buy some fresh ginger roots at a local grocery store or Asian market. Choose a smooth, shiny looking root that has some buds beginning to form.
Soak the roots you bought in some warm water overnight. The following day plant them in the pot(s) just beneath the soil level. Water well.
Once the ginger has started to grow, feed every two to three weeks with a general pot-plant feed.
A mature ginger plant will grow between two to four feet tall. Stems and leaves may reach up to a foot long and resemble those of a lily.
Harvest ginger roots after the rhizome has grown for around three to four months.
Harvest ginger roots can either be stored in a dry cupboard or refrigerated for later use.
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