The root or rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant is popularly known as ginger, a favorite kitchen spice with many other uses. This plant grows in places with warm climates such as South Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Taste: Its fragrant aroma and its sweet, spicy flavor make it a favorite ingredient in many Asian dishes such as curry and Western food products like gingerbread.
How to buy: To enjoy the benefits of gingerol and active proteases found in ginger, choose fresh rhizomes over dried ginger. Fresh ginger is sold in the young or mature forms, and depending on whichever one is available, choose ginger roots that are smooth, firm, and not moldy.
If you prefer to buy the dried form or ginger powder, it is advisable to buy organic ginger, which has not been irradiated. Other forms of ginger that are commercially available are candied, crystallized, and pickled ginger.
How to store: Fresh ginger must be stored in the freezer or refrigerator unpeeled, where it will keep for several weeks to months. Keep dried ginger powder in a glass container that is tightly sealed and placed in a cool, dry place. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for an extended shelf life of up to one year.
How to cook: Ginger is also believed to have many medicinal properties, which have been one of the interesting topics of research worldwide. It may be used fresh, boiled, stir-fried, pickled, or made into powder.
Aside from its use as a spice for various dishes, it is also popularly used to make tea, pickles, candy, and home remedies.
Ginger has been used for over 2,000 years for the treatment of various symptoms and ailments, including nausea and vomiting, seasickness , morning sickness, indigestion, and intestinal gas. It also is thought to be effective agains inflammation.1