Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ginger; More Than Just Flavor!

Throughout history, ginger has been used as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal ailments. Research now suggests that the antioxidant found in ginger, polyphenol gingerol, may indeed have medicinal effects. When compared to a placebo, ginger improves symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. Ginger has also been found to help manage motion sickness, has natural antibacterial properties, and is a potent anti-inflammitory for arthritis and other inflammitory conditions.
Fresh and ground ginger have distictively different tastes, so they are not interchangeable in cooking. When buying fresh ginger, look for smooth, not wrinkled skin; roots with more knots or branches will be more pungent. Ginger root will keep in the refridgerator wrapped in plastic for up to one week. Freezing ginger will keep for 3 months. For ginger root tea, place a few slices of fresh ginger in a tea strainer and steep in boiled water for ten minutes. Ginger supplements typically contain 500mg. of powdered ginger. For therapeutic use, try these suggested doses:
Indigestion: 2-4 grams per day.
Motion sickness:
1 gram 30 minutes before travel.
Arthritis: 1-2 grams per day.

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