Ginger is commonly used as a spice in cuisines throughout the world. Originating in southern China, you see its extensive in Chinese cuisine, for medicinal uses to desserts, in a variety of dishes and soups. It is also used by all other East Asian cuisines. Later, cultivation of ginger spread to India, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Pretty much the use of ginger is prevalent worldwide.
Ginger has also historically been used in folk medicine to treat inflammation, although medical studies as to the efficacy of ginger in decreasing inflammation have shown mixed results. There are several studies that demonstrate a decrease in joint pain from arthritis after taking ginger, though the results have not been consistent from study to study. It may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties, making it theoretically effective in treating heart disease; while early studies have shown some efficacy, it is too early to determine whether further research will bear this out.
Ginger is used in many dishes but it is essential for oriental cooking (although Thais use galangal which is very similar). Ginger appears in everything from cakes and cookies (gingerbread) to curries! Try ginger beer (really). The fresh rhizome is much more interesting than the powdered stuff.
bvoyant · 1 decade ago