The Illustrious Beginnings And History Of Ginger Root

Ginger is an ancient remedy that humans have been making use of for a long time now.

For over 5000 years now, the ginger root has been used a natural anti-inflammatory aid to fight pain and infection.

The name ginger comes from a Sanskrit word which means, “horned root”, giving homage to the ginger roots gnarled appearance.

Ginger is a perennial plant that blooms yearly with meter long stems with narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. The ginger plant starts out with clusters of white and pink flower buds that eventually turn into the yellow leaves. This makes ginger a very aesthetically pleasing plant. Once the plant reaches maturity and starts to wither, the root is dug up and is basically ready for consumption.

Ginger first started populating the western world after India has popularized using ginger. The Roman Empire began trading with India and discovered the wonderful health benefits ginger has to offer.

In these times, trading ginger and other similar spices was a signal of a person’s wealth and influence. It wasn’t long before the ginger root was being traded all across the known world. By the 13th century, the prices of ginger were rivalling the prices of sheep!

Around this time, people began to experiment with different ways of eating ginger. Merchants started to preserve ginger and cover it with sugar, which made for an irresistible snack.

Sometime in the 15th century, Queen Elizabeth the First was credited for coming up with the idea of the gingerbread man cookie! Suffice it to say, the ginger root has a very rich history.

One of the things ginger is best known for is how effective it is at healing stomach ailments. The Greek physician Dioscroides wrote in his famous “De Materia Medica” that ginger “warms and softens the stomach”. Even Confucius was noted as saying he was never without ginger when he ate!

As you can see, ginger has had a very rich history that continues to grow today. Almost every culture makes use of ginger either for medicinal or culinary use. Countries like Nepal, Indonesia and Nigeria are world leaders in producing ginger.

What’s your favourite use for ginger? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by DME Library

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