For more than 2,500 years, ginger has been used to treat ailments
and please the palate. Today the edible portion of the perennial plant
is used worldwide in a variety of ways. In France, it is used to flavor
a liqueur and the United Kingdom produces a ginger flavored wine. In
the Middle East, ginger powder is used as a spice for coffee and in
North America, we use ginger to satisfy our sweet tooth in gingerbread,
ginger ale, ginger snaps—even ginger candy.
Generally ginger is used to improve digestion, absorption and
assimilation. In addition, ginger has been used frequently for
dyspepsia and colic, to ease pain from arthritis, has blood thinning
and cholesterol lowering properties that can help treat heart disease,
and can be an effective treatment for nausea. Gingerols have shown
evidence of aiding the movement of the gastrointestinal tract and have
antibacterial, sedative, antipyretic, and analgesic properties.