Ginger is a rhizome which is used both in cooking as well as a medicine.
Other members of the ginger family are turmeric and cardamom.
Ginger has its origin in South Asia, but later spread to all parts of the world.
Although ginger is a herb it is considered as a spice.
In the West, ginger is used to flavor sweet foods and beverages a few examples being ginger ale and gingerbread.
China is the leader in ginger production, followed by India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
Despite having numerous medical uses, ginger is used in culinary dishes all over the world.
Ginger is believed to be effective in combating ovarian cancer. Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center were able to show that ginger powder is capable of killing ovarian cancer cells.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota proved that ginger can retard the development of colorectal cancer cells.
Ginger is effective in providing relief from motion sickness.
Ginger taken with tea can provide relief from heartburn.
If taken with brown sugar in tea, this is a popular remedy for treating menstrual cramps.
Ginger is a good substitute for vitamin B6 used to combat morning sickness.
This herb is also effective as an anti-inflammatory medication and is an effective natural painkiller.
It was observed that regular administration of ginger to rats reduced the frequency of diabetic nephropathy.
Ginger is believed to help in migraine treatment by its ability to block the production of prostaglandins which are the originators of headaches in the brain.
A mixture of ginger and honey is a useful remedy for sore throats, common cold and influenza. Ginger is also found to be helpful in treating food poisoning and stomach flu.
People with sore throats, common cold or flu-like symptoms can benefit from taking ginger.
Those who are feeling generally run-down can take ginger regularly as an effective pick-me-up.
As ginger is effective in combating motion sickness, people who are likely to suffer from this are well-advised to take some ginger before embarking on a journey.
Side effects of ginger are extremely rare, but in cases of excessive intake, mild heartburn, irritation in the mouth and diarrhea may occur. These symptoms can be avoided by taking ginger in capsules.
Children below 2 years of age should not be given ginger as medication. A maximum dose of 10 grams a day taken orally is usually the required dosage for adults.