08 Aug 2022

Health In Herbs: The Ginger Tale

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What Are Herbs?

The leaf part of a plant is generally regarded as a herb. These are available in both fresh or dried forms. Although in this article we will be focussing on Ginger which is the underground stem part of the plant. Herbs help add flavour & sometime colour to any dish or drink. Along with this the major purpose of the herbs is their healing and other health promoting properties.
When adding fresh herbs to your food, due to their delicate flavour tendency are preferred to be added towards the last few minutes of preparation. Tasting the dish you’re cooking as you go along helps understand the quantity of flavours used and can be adjusted accordingly. When it comes to herbs a balanced amount of flavour is a must, as too little amount could make the food bland whereas excess could overpower other flavours in the food. 

Health Benefits of Herbs; Deep Insight on Ginger: 

Fresh ginger cut in a platter

Consumption of herbs in daily meals helps to prevent and manage diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other heart problems. It also aids with blood circulation & reduction of blood clots along with anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties. There are multiple researches still going on the advantages of various herbs but some studies have shown that –

  • Herbs such as cloves, cinnamon, sage, oregano and thyme are rich in antioxidants and help in reducing low-density lipoproteins.
  • Many herbs such as garlic, lemongrass & more help lower cholesterol and regulate elevated blood pressure.
  • Fenugreek, flaxseed and cinnamon help control blood insulin and insulin activity

Fresh herbs have higher antioxidants as compared to processed or dried herbs. If your primary aim with the use of herbs is health and not just flavour then consider adding fresh herbs at the end of your cooking or as you serve to preserve the maximum of their properties. 

The Origin & Benefits of Ginger:

Ginger originated in China’s southern parts. Europeans became acquainted with ginger in the 1st century and as we hit the 15th century, it had made its way to the Caribbean. India is currently the highest ginger producing country. It’s a highly popular herb due to its medicinal purposes & cooking. 

Health Benefits: 

Ginger has numerous health benefits. Few of the most common benefits that we are aware of, especially in the Indian households, are the relief from nausea and soothing digestive issues. It aids in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It has anti-inflammatory properties and thus helps with muscle pain. An often Ginger consumption is to calm the usual issues such as common cold & cough and even helps with diseases such as cancer. 

Fresh Vs Dried:

Dried ginger next to fresh ginger

The major difference between dried or fresh ginger is how it affects our body temperature. Fresh ginger helps lower the body temperature, thus making it a brilliant remedy to reduce fever. Dried ginger on the other hand increases the body temperature. People usually find eating crystallised ginger or food containing dried ginger to warm up on a cold day. 

Correct storage of Fresh ginger is n the freezer or refrigerator post peeling. It contains rhizomes that are dry and fibrous, hence when left at room temperature they don’t have a very long shelf life. This stored ginger is useful in multiple dishes and drinks and in various forms of liking. 

Dried crystallised ginger on the other hand can last up to 2 years if stored properly. Always store it in an airtight container and place it in a cool & dark location such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry. The most common forms of use are in tea or other types of drinks. Ginger tea is often consumed as a medicinal drink or wellness drink when feeling under the weather. It is is also used in baked goods to enhance the flavours.

When to use Fresh Ginger?

  • To improve peripheral circulation and induce sweating
  • For menstrual cramps – make a hot tea
  • When you feel an aggravated vata
  • As a mild laxative

When to use Dried Ginger?

  • Sluggish digestion (indication toxins in the body)
  • Clearing kapha (excess mucus or water retention) in the body
  • For high inflammatory conditions like arthritis
  • It is bowel binding in nature
  • It is a better stimulant and expectorant for reducing kapha and increasing agni
  • It is usable in all seasons as a spice or medicine

Cooking With Herbs:

Tea with lemon ginger and other herbs around it

Order your favourite herbs from Milkbasket and ease into daily grocery delivery services. One is only limited by their imagination when it comes to using herbs in cooking and mixing up the flavours. Try adding your herbs to the list of items mentioned below and you’d surprise yourself. 

  • Soups
  • Breads
  • Marinades
  • Butters/Ghee or other fats
  • Sauces
  • Salad Dressings
  • Vinegars
  • Yoghurts
  • Desserts
  • Drinks (it’s a huge variety of recipes out there) 

Now that you know whys and hows of ginger use, go ahead and get yourself the most suited version of ginger to get maximum health benefits.


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