The Health Benefits of Ginger and the Best Ways to Enjoy Them

The Health Benefits of Ginger and the Best Ways to Enjoy Them

Sher Warkentin, guest bloggerPosted by  Sher Warkentin, guest blogger

Ginger is not only a delicious spice, but it can also be used as an effective herbal remedy. Here are some of best ways to enjoy all the wonderful health benefits of ginger.

As a Treatment

Ginger has a long tradition of use as an herbal remedy, treating everything from an upset stomach to menstrual symptoms. The product is still in use today by modern medical practitioners, and is most often recommended as a medicine to curb nausea due to motion sickness, pregnancy, or cancer treatments like chemotherapy. It is also used to treat inflammation caused by arthritis, muscle soreness, and menstrual pain. Some studies have shown that it may help lower cholesterol as well.

Ginger comes in a variety of forms, including extracts, oils, and capsules that can be taken as a daily supplement. Like with any herbal remedy or new medication, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before you begin taking anything to make sure it’s safe—especially during pregnancy.

As a Spice

I discovered ginger as a nausea remedy during my first pregnancy and it has remained my go-to treatment during my second. Ginger ale and ginger teas are always great quick fixes, but my favorite way to use ginger is in cooking. Fresh ginger or ground ginger spice is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into so many dishes. I like using it in a stir-fry, adding it to marinades, and as a seasoning on meats and fish. But my favorite use, by far, is adding it to soups and stews. In addition to its health benefits, ginger kicks up the flavor and adds depth to my favorite fall soups, like pumpkin and butternut squash.

In Your Toothpaste!

If you love the unique flavor of ginger, you might like Tom’s of Maine’s Gingermint Baking Soda toothpaste, with real ginger root oil. Do you ever worry about mint toothpaste flavors interfering with whatever you eat or drink next? This Propolis & Myrrh formula variety could be your solution!

Pumpkin Ginger Bread Muffin Recipe

Another great use for ginger spice is in baked goods. Ginger cookies are a holiday tradition in my family, as well as ginger-spiced bread. This recipe incorporates our traditional ginger bread recipe with pumpkin, another versatile ingredient with great health benefits. I like to bake them as muffins instead of a loaf; that way I can freeze them and have some on hand for the future.

Fresh baked pumpkin ginger bread muffins.

Fresh baked pumpkin ginger bread muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

First, preheat your oven to 350° F. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Then, blend the eggs and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the milk, half-and-half, pumpkin, cooled butter, and spices. The flour and baking soda come next; toss these into the wet ingredients.

Fill your muffin tins about 3/4 high and bake in the oven for 15–18 minutes.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy the health benefits of ginger? Share your ideas in the comments!

Image source: Sher Warkentin