GINGER - THE SPICE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

This amazing healing root is more than thousands of years old. Ginger is supposed to originate in India, but it is almost impossible to confirm this assumption due to the mysterious trade, as well as due to the wide cultivation, which did not leave any proof of its origin or presence in nature.



The official botanical name is Zingiber officiale which was given by a Swedish botanist from the 18th century, named Linnaeus. Linneaus derived the name zingiber (in Slovenian ingverjevec) from his Indian Sanskrit name ''Singabera'', which means ''horn-shaped''. Ginger is described, in traditional sanskrit, as vishvabesay or a versatile medicine.


The experts agree that the milder sorts are more suitable in culinary use, while sharper kinds are the best in drinks and for therapeutic purposes. From a therapeutic point of view, blue-ring ginger is the most suitable. It is reported to have the highest value of proteolytic enzyme which helps to break down protein.


Ginger has kept its economic and cultural significance in the Middle Ages. This is supported by records of deals in England, where 450 g of ginger was worth one shilling and seven pence, which was roughly the price of one sheep. Shakespeare was able to best describe ginger's power. In his work Love's Labor's Lost he said: '''An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy gingerbread.''


The two most known components in ginger are called gingerols and shogaols. Other important ingredients in ginger are also proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, most vitamins, most vitamin C, minerals, and other elements. It also contains potassium and phosphorus.

Ginger tea melts mucus that has accumulated in our body. No side effects were ever discovered in all ginger-related studies in the last 100 years. Doctors, who are familiar with its medicinal properties, warn their patients not to use it too much in combination with other medicine, as prescribed drugs can lose their effect. This is particularly true for blood thinners. And why is ginger so miraculous?



EICOSANOIDS IN GINGER


One of the most important chemical reactions in the body includes components called eicosanoids. These ingredients derive from edible fat, which is known as arachidonic acid. Eicosanoids are divided into three larger groups known as prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. These three groups of eicosanoids affect each other in virtually every organic system in our body. We are healthy when they are in balance. None of these three is entirely negative or entirely positive. For an individual to be healthy, there needs to be a balance between these components.


When they are not in balance, all kinds of diseases develop. Two of the more threatening are increased inflammation and viscous blood, or blood prone to clotting. This can be fatal for people who are susceptible to arthritis or heart disease. Research into ginger components gave interesting results and the most distinctive is the ability to fight inflammation. Ginger maintains the balance between eicosanoids and acts as an antioxidant and helps neutralize free radicals.


We can consume it in tea or add it to sauces, especially at the end of cooking, it is also useful if we juice it and it is indispensable in fasting. If we consume it raw, we need to be careful of the amounts as it can be very spicy. Of course it is important to choose organic ginger roots which don't contain PPPs (Plant Protection Products). In Ayurveda, all three doshas can use it therapeutically, even though the predominant pittas have to be more careful, because it acts as a heating system in the body. Pittas should avoid it especially during summer.


Ginger is therefore a kind of ''medicine'' which should be found in every household, since it reliefs inflammatory processes, melts mucus, improves digestion, acts anti-bacterial, is a wonderful antioxidant, and a great support to our immune system.


Bilka Baloh is an independent researcher and a counselor for a healthy and balanced diet, a scholar of ayurveda, a lecturer and mentor for therapeutic fasting. She is committed to mountains, climbing, yoga, and meditation. She's a visionary who sets her goals high. Her life motto is " Never give up!” She believes that there are no coincidences and that everything in the universe is “on the key.” That life is a predetermined plan we receive at birth and cannot be avoided.

“But we can partially amend it, improve it – by a healthy lifestyle and by ethically sound action towards fellow human beings, animals, nature, and the whole creation. Working on personal development is a healing of past wounds as well as a remedy, because all diseases derive from unresolved conflicts that are deeply rooted in our subconsciousness. When we make them aware, when we express our fears, repressed feelings, anger and distress, we do not only redeem ourselves but also redeem our loved ones. And the key we are all looking for is love for ourselves.''


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