Many know ginger only as a spice to use in the kitchen to give more flavor to different dishes, especially desserts and biscuits. In fact, ginger tastes particulate, very spicy, and because of this heating: it is ideal especially in the cold months, when this spice is able to eradicate all the cold that has managed to penetrate into our body giving us heat and a quiet feeling of well-being. This function is called "diaphoretic" and occurs thanks to perspiration. In addition to the warming effect, ginger is able to free the bronchi and dissolve the mucus, freeing the airways obstructed by seasonal colds; breathing becomes easier and the sore throat also becomes less. Ginger also brings significant benefits to the digestive tract: it helps the body to assimilate and retain proteins and carbohydrates, facilitating digestion and purifying the urinary tract. The expulsion of intestinal gases is facilitated and the body is thus cleaned from the inside. Moreover, not least, ginger plants make blood circulation easier, alleviating problems arising from poor peripheral circulation (cellulite, swelling of the limbs, varicose veins, etc.). They return to the primary function of the ginger, it is important to know that when the cold does not give respite and you are struck by a rather tenuous cold, resort to a good decoction of ginger it could prove to be decisive, especially if the cold is accompanied by sore throat and fat cough or a form of rhinitis.
Uses and composition
The Latin name of the ginger plant is "zingiber officinalis". This spice, of which the root is mainly used, is native to East Asia and belongs to the species of the "zingiberaceae". The root of the ginger is characterized by a spicy, slightly bitter taste, and by beneficial properties known since the dawn of time. In Indian and Chinese culture ginger is a plant destined for a predominantly culinary use, destined above all to flavor meat dishes; in Arab culture, ginger is appreciated as an aphrodisiac, while in Africa it is used to soothe mosquito bites. The composition of ginger is as follows: water (78%), carbohydrates (16%), proteins (2%) and then fibers, sugars and many minerals including sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper and zinc. The world's leading producer of ginger is India, followed by Brazil and Mexico.
The first thing to know when dealing with this spice is that the daily amount of ginger to be taken must never exceed thirty grams (the minimum dose, instead, is ten grams, under which the spice does not carry out any curative function). Half a ginger root must be procured in herbal medicine - or at any grocery store. Fill a saucepan with water and put the root to boil for about five minutes. After this time, let it cool a little and start a careful filtering operation: filter the decoction with a sieve and pour it into a cup. To sweeten it, instead of sugar, you can use honey: particularly suitable for eucalyptus, which helps ginger in combating respiratory problems. To complete the work, after the decoction has warmed up, lemon juice can also be added, which provides a significant amount of vitamin C, also indicated in febrile and parainfluenza states. The decoction should be taken every day at least once a day, maximum two: it is important to be constant in the intake, since the benefits are found after treatments of medium-long duration. Taking this decoction, besides combating inflammation and ongoing infections, also has an aesthetic purpose because it cleanses the body and helps it to get rid of excess fluids, thus fighting water retention.Possible contraindications
Like all spices, an overdose of ginger also has some side effects. If too much decoction of ginger is taken, in fact, the main risk is that of triggering more or less severe and painful forms of gastritis. Precisely for this reason those who already suffer from gastritis or ulcers, or those who have stomach problems, should refrain from taking ginger. The same thing should be done for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Even those suffering from calculations could be affected by the use of the ginger decoction: for all these reasons, before starting a treatment based on any spice, it is advisable to consult your doctor and test your general health conditions.
Grow ginger on your balcony
Ginger can be grown without difficulty even on the balcony of our house or, if we have one, in the garden together with other plants. This will allow us to always have ginger available for our decoctions and for the kitchen. Ginger is an evergreen plant, available in every season, which does not require special care: the important thing is that the temperature never drops below fifteen degrees and that the plant receives all the light it needs. Particular attention must be paid to stagnant water, excessive humidity and fertilization. Very beautiful to look at, this plant also gives off a delicious smell.