Ginger (Zingiber officinale) –
In Ancient Times Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc., Zingiberaceae) was used for over 5,000 years in China and India as a functional food. In modern times Ginger has been the subject of many scientific studies for its impact on human and animal health.
Through ancient trade routes ginger spread throughout Europe during the Roman Empire as a luxury ingredient in foods and beverages giving us modern delicacies such as ginger cookies and ginger ale.
Traditionally Ginger has been consumed for thousands of years. In Ayurveda, the ancient traditional science of India, ginger was used universally for wellness.
The Kama Sutra (300 B.C.) describes the uses of ginger as a tonic. In ancient Persia Ginger was known as the spice of Paradise — “And they will be given to drink a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of Zanjabil (ginger) from a fountain of Paradise” – Koran.
Chemically The strong aroma of ginger is the result of pungent ketones, predominantly 6-gingerol and 8-gingerol, the primary active biomarkers that are the focus of research studies and believed to have a wide range of physiological activities.
Ginger is commonly recommended for nausea due to the chemical compounds in ginger that block serotonin receptors and its effects suppressing the production of the hormone vasopressin which affects motion sickness. Ginger also has the enzyme zingibain which can aid in the digestion of food.
Today All across South Asia, ginger is a prized spice. In Japan, thin slices of pickled, fermented ginger ads heat and crunch to sushi and sashimi. In India, ginger is essential to curries and chutneys, and chai tea. In the land of spices, in Kerala in southern India, ginger is often sprinkled with sea salt, honey and a squeeze of lime to support the immune system.
Ginger oil is categorized by the FDA as a food additive and flavoring. It is one of the few natural, approved food additives to be studied in multiple human studies, where it’s shown to support digestive health.
The Ginger family also includes cardamom, turmeric and galangal.
“These statements are for informational purposes only. Alcoholic beverages are not health products by FDA and are no substitute for a healthy lifestyle and diet. People with medical conditions should consult their physician prior to consuming alcoholic beverages.