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Ginger
ginger_1
species= zingiber officinale
family = Zingiberaceae

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Ginger is a perennial monocot plant that produces white and pink buds that turn into yellow flowers. The rhizomes from the plant are what are actually used and consumed.
ginger_2

The zingiberaceae family has certain characteristics. The ginger family is a flowering hermaphrodite perennial with rhizomes. The flowers have stamenoids with only one fertile stamen. The ovary is inferior. Its leaves overlap and form a pseudostem.

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Ginger’s notable relatives include tumeric, cardamom and galangal . There are over 1300 species of zingiberaceae altogether.

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Ginger is harvested at about 5 months after it is planted. Dirt is removed from rhizomes and then dried. If the rhizomes are unpeeled they are known as black or green ginger. If the rhizomes are peeled they are known as white ginger.
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NUTRITION
Ginger is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, protein, sodium, manganese, acetic acid and vitamins B6, A and C.

Active ingredients in ginger include pungent phenol compounds like gingerols, shogaol and volatile oils like bisabolene, linalool, citral, limonene, borneol, zingiberol, cineole, phellandrene, zingiberene, citronellol, geranial, camphene


USES
Ginger is used as a spice, as a food, and for medical purposes

Ginger the spice
-added for a spicy lemony-balsamic flavor
-used often in Chinese and Indian cuisine
-can be ground, or sliced/diced into food

Ginger the food
-eaten with sushi
-eaten as a candy
-eaten pickled
IMG_0289.JPG -made into ginger bread and ginger snaps
-made into ginger ale, ginger wine, ginger tea and ginger beer

Ginger the medicine
-used to treat nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, pregnancy, gastrointestinal disorders and cancer chemotherapy
-used to help with muscle spasms/convulsions and muscle weakness
-used to protect the body against bone fragility, paralysis, kidney damage, and damage to the heart
-promotes healthy sweating
-used as a digestive aid for mild stomach upset
-used to help improve circulation in the body
- used to reduce pain of osteoarthritis
-used as an immune-boosting aid
-against colds and the flu
-against e coli
-against fungi
-new research shoes it could be used to treat heart disease, hypertension or cancer




Side effects of using ginger
-heartburn is rare but sometimes reported
-allergies to ginger happen but are uncommon
-ginger may increase the risk of bleeding when taking blood-thinning medications
-ginger may lower blood sugar, so people on diabetes medications should be careful
-ginger may lower blood pressure
-ginger may increase bile secretion so people with gallbladder diseases or gallstones should be careful using ginger
-the effects of using ginger to treat morning sickness during pregnancy are still unknown

Evidence that ginger works in the medical fields
-research suggests that ginger may work better than placebo in reducing some symptoms of motion sickness. BUT studies have found that ginger does not work as well as motion sickness medications.
-research has shown that ginger is effective in treating morning sickness
-research has also shown that ginger can help decrease arthritis pain and swelling
-ginger may also inhibit the growth of human cancer cells
-exposure to the ginger extract caused cell death in all the ovarian cancer lines studied.

Overall, ginger extracts have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. It is also known to help with nausea and gastrointestinal problems. Ginger warms the body so it helps with circulation. More research needs to be done to confirm all of these studies.




All About Ginger. http://allthingsginger.co.uk/ginger.htm

Danish (Jan. 28, 2011). Ginger Nutrition Facts. http://dailyfitnessmagz.com/2011/01/ginger-nutrition-facts/

Garrison, Linda. Flowering Ginger Plants at the Rainforestation near Kuranda. http://cruises.about.com/od/australiaandnzcruises/ig/Rainforestation-at-Kuranda/Flowering-Ginger-Plants.htm

Ginger (2003). Encyclopedia of Species. Retrieved From http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/ginger.html

Grow Hawaii. http://www.growhawaii.com/hawaiian_pink_ginger_plant_2_inch_pot_more_info.htm


Levin, Rachel B. (Jan. 3, 2011). GingerRoot Health Benefits. http://www.gayot.com/lifestyle/health/features/ginger-health-benefits.html

Mdidea (Oct. 11, 2010). Ginger Action and Uses, Ginger Extract, Gingerols. http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new02108.html

National Tropical Botanical Garden Plant Database. Retrieved from http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=11651

The George Mateljan Foundation (2012). The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

Tutorvista.com (2011). Underground Stem Modifications. http://www.tutorvista.com/content/biology/biology-iii/angiosperm-morphology/underground-stem-modifications.php

UCLA (2002) Spices: Exotic Flavors and Medicines. http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm?displayID=15

University of Maryland Medical Center (2011). Complementary Medicine: Ginger. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm