The first thing that came to mind with this plant is the popular Nigerian song by Wizkid “….ginger ooo ginger, the way you dey make…” Ginger was a popular rhizome (underground stem) among the Yorubas of Nigeria while I was growing up in the ‘90s. However in the ‘20s, almost everyone could be seen utilizing this beneficial plant even more so today because of the myth that sprung up during the earliest wake of the global pandemic brought forth by COVID-19. This herbaceous plant is majorly regarded as a spice although there are controversies as to whether it is an herb or a spice. Well, I will not be going into any of that today.
Ginger is one of the most commonly consumed dietary condiments in the world (Surh et al. 1999).
A lot of news circulated the internet in 2020 when the pandemic started and nearly everyone began over-indulging in its supposed protective benefits. I didn’t quite know at the time that it could be addictive until some people I know started showing cravings signs for it. I understand the need to take precautions and stay safe, but it will take me a while to understand why we, as humans, become extremists in nature during situations that calls for caution.
12 Interesting Facts about Ginger
Let’s dive a bit into facts about ginger:
- Ginger possesses specific compounds that helps inhibit viral replication and entrance into host cells; hence the widely circulated internet advice to consume ginger dialer to prevent COVID-19
- It is a rhizome herb; a root plant used for medicinal purposes
- Fresh ginger is more effective than its dried counterparts
- It is one of the healthiest and most delicious spice in the world
- It may be useful for weight loss
- Ginger can help treat chronic indigestion
- It has the possibility of drastically reducing menstrual pains
- It can also help reduce cancer risk
- Ginger can be grown all-year round but the best time to plant ginger is the month of March
- It is popularly grown in the warmer regions and tropics
- Its flesh could either be white, yellow or red depending on its variety
- Mature ginger rhizomes is usually harvested after 10-12 months
Did you know that Wikipedia claims that ginger is composed of 79% water? In reality, mature ginger is dry and fibrous while young ginger is wet and juicy. If consumed moderately, ginger has few side effects and; it is on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” list.
Ultimately, it is safe to consume ginger and you have the advantage of gaining its wide list of nutrients as a plus. Although, it is worthy of note that it can cause heartburn if taken excessively in powdered form and rash for allergic reactions.