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Ginger All: The Root’s Uses and Benefits

1-February-2018

 

When one needs a remedy for their ailments, they needn’t look too far beyond what nature already produces. Many fruits and vegetables have benefits, but when it comes roots, perhaps one of the most well-known is the ginger root.


The root’s origin goes back several thousand of years. In fact, the spice was quite common with in the Roman Empire, up until the society fell. It was considered a luxury product, and many people would import it from countries within Southeast Asia. The root was expensive, however; in the 1300s ginger was about the same price as a single animal in a livestock herd.


The name “ginger” itself comes from the Sanskrit word singabera, which in English translates to mean “shaped like a horn.” The root itself has a rough exterior and can come in large sizes. This is fitting as the root needs extensive time and care to grow to maturity. The root grows best outdoors in partially shady to full shade areas in loose, nutrient-rich soil. It takes about 10 months for ginger to fully grow, though bigger roots can be obtained if timed well. Some gingers can survive the winter, but many cannot. It is for this reason why many ginger growers recommend waiting until spring for the frost and ice to fully melt before starting a ginger plot. This gives the root the best chance of growth.


The root’s rugged exterior only vouches for its many health benefits that have been touted for years. Some consumed ginger directly to warm the body when feeling chills. Others used ginger to counteract toxins in certain herbs. Nautical people would eat ginger to prevent scurvy. In a modern society, some drink ginger in drinks such as soda or tea to settle an upset stomach.

Ginger also works in mixes with other ingredients. For example, drinking equal parts honey and gingers juice a few times a day can help mitigate a cold. Ginger can also be used to make sweets, including the holiday confectionary known as gingerbread.


Aside from being edible, ginger has many natural chemicals inside. Some include:

 

-Gingerol (C17H26O4)
-Paradol (C17H26O3)
-Shogaol (C17H24O3)
-Zingerone (C11H14O3)
-Zingiberene (C15H24)


Scientists have conducted many experiments over the years with ginger’s chemicals, from testing the effects of gingerol injections to studying paradol’s antioxidant powers to analyzing zingerol’s strength in breaking down free radicals in the body. While further studies need to be performed, the signs point that ginger on the whole is beneficial for the body.


The next time you drink some ginger ale or eat some gingerbread, take the time to appreciate the root’s history and its bright future in the medical field.


Independent Chemical is a proud chemical supplier in New York. Learn more about the diverse range of high-quality food products that are offered here.

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