Latin Name: Zingiber officinale
Common Names: Black ginger, Canton ginger, Cochin ginger, Common ginger, Garden ginger, Gingembre, Imber, Jamaican ginger
Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, anti-emetic, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, carminative, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, diaphoretic, lymph-cleansing, mild laxative, perspiration-inducing, warming.
Uses: wind, colic, irritable bowel, nausea associated with pregnancy and travel sickness, joint problems, arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems. Eases tendonitis, lowers cholesterol & blood-pressure and aids in preventing internal blood clots.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. I do not claim to be a doctor or nutritionist. I have obtained this information from my own research and thought you might find it interesting as well. Use at your own risk and always watch for allergies when trying any new herb or medicinal remedy.
This month’s herbal focus is going to be on Ginger Root! I’ve had a long-time love of this root, however I’ve been very limited on how I’ve used it. So I’m digging through all my herbal books and reading all the sites I can find to learn much more about it. We’ll cover how to use it as well as how to grown your own. I’ve got some really yummy sounding recipes lined up for the next couple of weeks!!
According to wikipedia:
“Ginger or ginger root is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family (Zingiberaceae). Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom and galangal.”
The American Association for Cancer recently recently found, in a startling new study, that ginger actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that the herb was able to fuel apoptosis or the death of cancer cells. Ginger has been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer.
The root contains health benefiting essential oils such as gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, farnesene and small amounts of B-phelladrene, cineol and citral. Gingerols help improve the intestinal motility and have anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, anti-pyretic as well as anti-bacterial properties. Zingerone, a chemical compound which gives pungent character to the ginger root, is effective against E.coli induced diarrhea, especially in children.
Growing Ginger Root
Did you know you can plant the ginger root that you buy in the store to grow your own? It really is that easy!
Ginger thrives in the tropics and warmer regions and is therefore currently grown in parts of West Africa, the West Indies, India and China with the best quality coming from Jamaica where it is most abundant. In the United Sstates, ginger is grown in Florida, Hawaii and along the eastern coast of Texas.
According to this article you can grow ginger root indoors. I have not tried it since I’m in Florida where it grows outside quite well. Either way, this is a super easy plant to grow.
All I did, was this:
1. Took a fresh ginger root that I purchased from my local grocery store, like the one pictured above.
2. Cut it up into small pieces making sure that there are little bumpy looking eyes on each piece.
3. Dug out an area out about 6 inches deep and spaced my ginger pieces around in the hole.
4. Covered with soil and watered well.
A few short weeks later, here is what I now have. Big, beautiful ginger plants!
The plants are now about waist high next to me, I’m about 5’ 2” tall.
I’m trying to cover up part of our ugly trailer with plants. Slowly this whole side will, hopefully, be a line of thick the lush foliage of shade gardening plants. It doesn’t all have to be edible, but it would be nice if quite a lot of it is.
It’s rained here quite a lot this summer, so I haven’t really watered the ginger plants that many times. I’m working on getting some mulch to put out around them, but despite that they seem happy enough. The part of the rhizome that is peeking out of the ground at the base of each looks healthy to me.
I planted them in a pretty shady spot this time. I plan to experiment with different areas; some part-shade/sun, some more full sun, etc…to see where it does the best.
I was told by a gardening recently that you don’t get a good harvest until about the 4th year. We will find out next year when it’s time to harvest ginger.
The variety I have planted is just the standard variety that seems to be in all the grocery stores. This one might have even been from…..*gasp*……China, since that is what I find quite often. I’d like to find some different, exotic varieties to grow. Other varieties are said to have stunning blossoms that smell amazing and can even have variegated foliage.
(now accepting ginger root donations……ahem…hint, hint! LOL!)
So that’s what I know , and have experience so far, with growing ginger root. If you have any experience with it, I’d love to hear about it here or on my Facebook page. I always love, and welcome, your comments!
Next we’ll explore how to use fresh and ground ginger root. I’ve got some delicious recipes in mind!!
Take care y’all,
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