Similar to Cilantro, Ginger lives somewhat of a double life; split between the culinary worlds of spices and herbs (according to some). While not utilized quite as often, the leaves and shoots of the Ginger plant can be used as a garnish similar to green onions and chives. The part you’re probably more familiar with though is the root-looking section of Ginger...but here’s the thing, it’s not actually a root. What you’ve really been cooking with is the underground stem of the Ginger plant called a “rhizome.” And this spicy, aromatic rhizome can do a lot more than add depths of flavor to a dish or act as a palate cleanser. Ginger is part of the very health-forward fam, Zingiberaceae, along w/ cardamom and turmeric (hence why we added all three of these good-for-ya spices to our For the Health of It Collection).
The use of Ginger for medicinal benefits dates back thousands of years. One of the main healing properties in Ginger, Gingerol, is known for its antioxidants, as well as its anti-inflammatory effects reducing joint pain. Most notably, Ginger has been used to help relieve nausea and digestive issues. Even Confucius (dating as far back as 500 B.C.) often spoke of the importance of including ginger in one’s diet to aid in digestion. Ginger is also thought to help w/ regulating blood sugar, migraines, increasing metabolism, DNA breakage, and reducing menstrual cramping, hypertension, and amyloid beta build-up—which is known to be found in Alzheimer’s disease.
We could go on (seriously) but, basically, there are lots of reason to keep your shelves stocked w/ this MVP of “wellness” spices. Try Spicewalla Ginger Powder in teas, breads, sauces, curry dishes, pickles, ginger ale, ginger beer, & desserts!