Ginger: Old uses and everlasting benefits

Everyone knows ginger because it is now used in almost every country.  The root of the ginger plant is the most famous part of the plant. One could make a lot of products of this food like jam or jelly, candy and drinks or sirup. In our Dutch baking tradition it is used a lot in cookies, cakes and pies. Actually, the etymology of ginger goes far back in time and is found in Sanskrit srngaveram; srngam ‘horn’ plus vera ‘body’. So it is a root with a horned utterance. A name in medieval English from the 14th century is gingifer. This word could be derived from old French gingembre, meaning spirit or temper. And this is exactly what ginger gives you.

History

Following the history stories, ginger is brought to Europe by Marco Polo. He traveled to China and brought a lot of nice stuff back to Venice.  But actually it was already known in Europe in the 9th century.  It was described in the Old English Medicinale Anglicum compiled in the 9th century in the time of Alfred The Great. In the medieval book Physicians of Myddvai from 13th century Wales ginger is also treated. This book is a mixture of fairytales, old medical wisdom with practical remedies. The myddvai-dokters were said to have ancient knowledge about medicines.

In China the health benefits of ginger were already praised 2000 years ago in medical books. Ginger was cultivated in China and India for more than 3000 years ago and maybe long before that because it plays an important role in the ayurvedic healing system. In one old verse it is said that one should take fresh ginger before each lunch and dinner. So it is obvious that this herbs is deeply rooted in Indian culture because it is used in a lot of traditional medicine recipes. It is used for digestive problems, overall sickness and a lot of other nasty ailments. There is a distinction between fresh and dried ginger root because they have a different effect in your body. Fresh ginger is good for nausea and digestive problems. Dried ginger is better for neurological disorders and respiration problems.

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I made my own herbal ginger infusion with fresh and dried ginger.

Benefits

Personally I drink ginger because it is revitalizing, cleaning, curing and it works against nausea. Actually it should be considered as a holistic medicine good for a lot of miseries. It is also important to prevent  sickness and improve your overall health.

– Ginger can be used as a food preservative.

– It is said it enhances the absorption of nutrients.

– It prevents blood clotting because it thins the blood.

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Here I put some instant ginger powder to the mixture.

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Finally, I can enjoy a healthy drink and ponder about ancient culture.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Grandmother's Wisdom, Herbs, Herbs, Health and Hash, Middle Ages, Recipes

2 responses to “Ginger: Old uses and everlasting benefits

  1. Pingback: Asarum Europeaum, European Ginger | Find Me A Cure

    • Thank you for this suggestion. I didn’t know this European version of ginger. The Dutch names ‘Hazelwortel’ and ‘Mansoor’ on the contrary sound very familiar. It is indeed called ‘wild ginger’. It is known to be toxic. This could be the same version as menitioned in the old European manuscripts. But we are not sure.
      Personally I would not use it! 🙂

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