Common ginger is a perennial, evergreen, herbaceous plant, up to 1 meter high (according to some sources up to 2 meters). The rhizome is horizontal, tuberous, located near the surface of the soil. Adventitious roots form a fibrous root system. The stem is short and thickened, with strongly converging internodes. The two rows of regular leaves are located closely on it. Leaf blades are simple, whole, lanceolate. In the leaf axils, buds form false stems. The flowers are purple-brown or yellow, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. The Fruit is a tricuspid box, the seeds are oval, with several faces, in a solid box. In the conditions of culture, fruits are not formed.
Currently, ginger is an exclusively cultivated (not found in the wild) plant, cultivated in Australia, Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, West Africa, Japan, Jamaica and Barbados.
For medicinal purposes, ginger rhizomes are used. The excavated rhizomes are cleaned from the ground, quickly washed with cold water, crushed and dried in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 ° C. Sometimes the rhizomes are cleaned from the cork layer.
The useful properties of ginger are explained quite simply: the plant contains a lot of biologically active substances. All vegetative organs and seeds of the plant contain essential oil with a specific aroma.
The rhizomes of the plant contain essential oil (1-3. 5%), starch, resins, sugars, vitamins C, B1, B2, essential amino acids, minerals (sodium, potassium, zinc). The main component of the essential oil is cineole and tsingiberen (up to 70 %) and the corresponding alcohol — zingiberol. In addition, the essential oil contains other terpenoid compounds: bisabolene, borneol, linalool, geraniol, farnesene. The burning taste is caused by resinous substances-gingerols.
One of the main uses of ginger is to use it for the treatment and prevention of colds. Ginger has many useful properties. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, so ginger tea is extremely useful in the treatment of diseases of the oral cavity and throat.
The range of useful properties that ginger root has is very wide, it has an antispasmodic, analgesic, resorbing, stimulating, carminative, diaphoretic, healing and tonic effects. Ginger also has a strong antioxidant and soothing effect, increases the immune system and protects the body from parasites. Aqueous extract of the rhizomes of ginger has antitrichomonal and antifungal activity. Ginger inhibits the growth of gram-negative bacteria (pathogens of anthrax), hemolytic streptococci, diphtheria and tuberculosis Bacillus, pneumococci, Staphylococcus aureus and white.
It has long been known that ginger improves appetite, bowel function, stomach secretion, facilitates the breakdown and assimilation of food, regulates intestinal peristalsis, and is also useful for disorders of fat metabolism. The use of ginger in food relieves all the symptoms of " seasickness (not only nausea, but also weakness, dizziness), reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Ginger is also used as a means for weight loss. It speeds up the process of burning calories, which is necessary to maintain a normal weight.
Ginger rhizome is an official remedy in many countries.
In folk medicine, ginger rhizomes are used for digestive disorders, poor appetite, flatulence, urinary retention, chronic enteritis, edema, rheumatism, angina (in the form of rinses), headache, bronchial asthma.
In some European countries, warmed ginger ale and ginger beer are prepared to treat colds, which are believed to help get rid of the disease faster. And in China, an interesting folk remedy for cough is egg omelet with ginger root, as well as special lollipops made from ginger root. In Australia and India, ginger is used as a prophylactic against the plague.
Ginger is native to South Asia. The ancient Chinese and Indians were familiar with it: ginger is found in old Sanskrit manuscripts. Long before the beginning of our era, this spice was brought to the southern region of Europe by Arab traders. In a Roman cookbook written by Apicius Caelius in the third century ad, ginger is often mentioned.
Medicinal properties of ginger have also been known since time immemorial: even two and a half thousand years ago, in ancient China, ginger tea was prepared for the treatment of colds, as a warming agent, American Indians prepared decoctions from ginger root to overcome nausea. Useful properties of ginger were well known in ancient Japan, India, and other countries of Southeast Asia. And after ginger was first introduced to Europe in the middle ages, the root of the plant quickly became known as a" miracle» medicine to prevent the plague, the worst scourge of European civilization in the middle ages.
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