Ginger Medicinal Use
According to the American Cancer Society, ginger has been promoted as a cancer treatment “to keep tumors from developing”, but “available scientific evidence does not support this”. They add: “Recent preliminary results in animals show some effect in slowing or preventing tumor growth. While these results are not well understood, they deserve further study. Still, it is too early in the research process to say whether ginger will have the same effect in humans.”
In limited studies, ginger was found to be more effective than placebo for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy, although ginger was not found superior to placebo for pre-emptively treating post-operative nausea. Some studies advise against taking ginger during pregnancy, suggesting that ginger is mutagenic, though some other studies have reported antimutagenic effects. Other preliminary studies showed that ginger may affect arthritis pain or have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties, but these effects remain unconfirmed.
A 2013 in vivo evaluation demonstrated ginger extract showed a hepatoprotective effect in rats. A 2013 review found that ginger is a free radical scavenger, antioxidant; thus inhibits lipid peroxidation and that these attributes could be contributing to its known gastroprotective effects. A 2012 review found ginger extract and ginger juice possess anti-emetic effects against chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in experimental animals. A 2012 review found the radioprotective properties of ginger extract might be effective to protect against gamma radiation-induced side effects from cancer treatment in mice. A 2011 review found ginger displays chemopreventive and antineoplastic effects. The same review found that ginger appears to be promising for cancer prevention, though further research is necessary to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ginger. Advanced glycation end-products are possibly associated in the development of diabetic cataract for which ginger was effective in preliminary studies, apparently by acting through antiglycating mechanisms. Zingerone may have activity against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in enterotoxin-induced diarrhea in mice.
Ginger Regional Use
In Indian cuisine, ginger is a key ingredient, especially in thicker gravies, as well as in many other dishes, both vegetarian and meat-based. Ginger also has a role in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger is also an ingredient in traditional Indian drinks, both cold and hot, including spiced Masala chai. Across India, ginger is variously called adrak in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, aad in Maithili, aadi in Bhojpuri, aada in Assamese and Bengali, Adu in Gujarati, Allam (అల్లం) in Telugu, hashi shunti (ಹಸಿ ಶುಂಟಿ) in Kannada, inji (இஞ்சி) in Tamil and Malayalam, inguru (ඉඟුරු) in Sinhalese, alay in Marathi, and aduwa(अदुवा ) in Nepali. Fresh ginger is one of the main spices used for making pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. Ginger powder is also used in certain food preparations, particularly for pregnant or nursing women, the most popular one being katlu which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts, and sugar. Ginger is also consumed in candied and pickled form. In Bangladesh, ginger is finely chopped or ground into a paste to use as a base for chicken and meat dishes alongside onion and garlic.
In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles. It is also made into a candy called shoga no sato zuke. In the traditional Korean kimchi, ginger is either finely minced or just juiced in order to avoid the fibrous texture and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process.
In Burma, ginger is called gyin. It is widely used in cooking and as a main ingredient in traditional medicines. It is also consumed as a salad dish called gyin-thot, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds. In Indonesia, a beverage called wedang jahe is made from ginger and palm sugar. Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe, as a common ingredient in local recipes. In Malaysia, ginger is called halia and used in many kinds of dishes, especially a soup. In the Philippines, it is a common ingredient in local dishes and it is brewed into a tea called salabat. In Vietnam, the fresh leaves, finely chopped, can also be added to shrimp-and-yam soup (canh khoai mỡ) as a top garnish and spice to add a much subtler flavor of ginger than the chopped root.
In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes such as fish, and chopped ginger root is commonly paired with meat, when it is cooked. However, candied ginger is sometimes a component of Chinese candy boxes, and an herbal tea can also be prepared from ginger.
In the Caribbean, ginger is a popular spice for cooking, and making drinks such as sorrel, a seasonal drink made during the Christmas season. Jamaicans make ginger beer both as a carbonated beverage and also fresh in their homes. Ginger tea is often made from fresh ginger, as well as the famous regional specialty Jamaican ginger cake.
Two varieties of ginger as sold in Haikou, Hainan, China
On the island of Corfu, Greece, a traditional drink called τσιτσιμπύρα (tsitsibira), a type of ginger beer, is made. The people of Corfu and the rest of the Ionian islands adopted the drink from the British, during the period of the United States of the Ionian Islands.
In Arabic, ginger is called zanjabil, and in some parts of the Middle East, gin-gayu (生姜湯). From its main ingredient ginger tea derives a flavor that is spicy and stimulating. Ginger, known as Adarak in Hindi, is used frequently in tea made in all parts of India as well.
In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, parkin, ginger biscuits and speculaas. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Ginger wine is a ginger-flavored wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea.
Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine which has been made commercially since 1740.
Mature ginger rhizomes are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in Indian recipes, and is a quintessential ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and many South Asian cuisines for flavoring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.
Ginger acts as a useful food preservative.
Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of 6 to 1, although the flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.
Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of confectionery.
Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.