Scientific name: Zingiber officinale

Ginger root is very well known and found in most kitchens, almost as much as garlic. It’s not only a tasty addition to meals, it’s very beneficial medicinally too. From nausea, motion sickness (and morning sickness) to helping women soothe their period cramps (and period-induced massive headaches), never go without having some on hand in your home!

Nutrients

  • Essential oils
  • Oleoresin
  • Gingerol (gives ginger its hot taste and stimulating properties)

Health Benefits

  • Arthritis and joint pain: ginger’s proteolytic enzyme has been shown to reduce inflammation and repair damaged joints and cartilage tissue
  • Pelvis circulation improvement: used in reproduction tonics for men and women; helps ease PMS and cramps
  • Assists with diabetes and heart disease: lowers blood level triglycerides
  • Helpful with nausea, motion sickness and seasickness
  • Antiseptic properties: can treat gastrointestinal infection and food poisoning
  • Decongestant: for colds, the flu, and even sore throats

Cooking Tips

There are so many ways to use ginger in the kitchen, from adding to a stir fry and other dishes, using in smoothies and tea, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

  • Smoothie: chop up about 1/2 inch of fresh ginger and put into a blender with:
    • 1 cup romaine
    • 1/2 cup spinach
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1/2 lemon
    • 2-3 ice cubes
    • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
    • a few drops of Stevia or honey (optional)

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Ginger lemon tea: heat 8 oz water with 1-2 Tbsp fresh ginger (grated) just until boiling then let it steep. Strain out ginger if you want and add 1/2 lemon and honey to taste.

How to Grow

CAUTION: there is a species native to North America (Asarum canadense) which is more potent and can be toxic when used in excess.

Planting

Where do you live?

Ginger does best in hot humid environments

Put em in the ground
  • Rich, moist soil
  • Good amount of sun
  • Plant a piece of the rhizome (underground stem – the part that you eat) with one or two growing nubs attached just under the soil (it will rot if planted too deep)

Harvest

  • Usually ready to harvest in 8-10 months after planting

Care

  • If you’re planting ginger in your garden, you will need to do some crop rotation every season to let the soil repair itself
  • Make sure the soil is moist but drains well so the root doesn’t rot