Let’s face it. When you are up against the unknown and the mortal, all you’ve got faith is in yourself. Well, in this case, yourself means your immune system.
Did you ever wonder about people who emerged winners in the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic? Those were the people who had natural immunity. Those who eat wholesomely and live healthily had the best armor against the newly discovered coronavirus. If you haven’t been too big on healthy eating or healthy living before, now is the time to cut back on that coffee, ponder about your health and life in general, sipping a cup of immune-boosting ginger tea.
Sri Lankans faced the pandemic with ginger in their daily diet as a natural immune booster. We, easterners, have always been devoted to our spices and herbal tea through numerous generations. When the Covid-19 pandemic started taking over, we just made sure we took our ginger tea three times a day, dutifully.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale ) belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. It’s a flowering plant that is originated in South-East Asia. Its rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and as traditional folk medicine in many countries.
Ginger as a medicine
In Sri Lanka, ginger is used in meals regularly as a spice. In occasions of indigestion, constipation, or vomiting, it is a known fact among the islanders, that drinking raw ginger juice brings instant relief.
Ginger has shown staring potential for treating several ailments due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Also, it has antimicrobial potential as well, which can help in treating infectious diseases.
Benefits of ginger
- Prevent the growth of many types of oral bacteria
- Acts against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV virus)
- Reduce blood cholesterol level
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Reduce hypertension
- Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduce blood glucose level
Ginger as an immune booster
Antioxidants in ginger are believed to enhance immunity. Chewing on a piece of raw ginger root will cure early-stage sore throats. Inhaling ginger aroma also helps to relieve nasal congestion immediately.
Ginger is considered to be warm, and eating too much ginger can be harmful to the digestive system. Hence, moderate consumption of ginger is essential. On average, our body needs around 4 grams of ginger regularly.
How to incorporate ginger in your diet
The best way to introduce ginger to your diet is by adding it to your tea. This will not only spike up the taste but will also increase the health quotient.
Also, ginger can be taken with coriander tea. This drink is made by boiling ginger root with coriander seeds. Coriander with ginger is very popular among Sri Lankans as an immune-boosting drink, and it is the widely used traditional medicine for the common cold.
Undisputedly, ginger is a superfood spice that adds zing, flavor, nutrition, and health to your food. Once peeled and grated, ginger can easily be thrown into various sauces, glazes, and marinades to brighten up the dish. Ginger is crushed or grounded into a paste and widely used in meat-based curries, to amp up the flavor. Make this zingy spice a part of your daily intake, and reap the myriad health benefits it has to offer.
How to grow ginger in your backyard/kitchen garden
Ginger plants grow best in warm, humid locations and love partial shade with 2-5 hours of dappled sunlight each day. They cannot tolerate locations with strong winds or poorly draining soil. In poorly draining soil, ginger roots may not develop properly or develop distorted roots, or they may just rot.
The best soil for ginger in the garden is the rich, loose, fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus. Plants should be treated with mulch after planting to keep soil moisture. During dry periods, ginger plants should not be allowed to dry out and will benefit from a regular, light sprinkling of water.
Ginger roots can be cut up and planted, the same as potatoes. Each root section that is cut off to be planted should have at least one bud. If the ginger roots are bought from a grocery store, you should soak the roots for at least 24 hours before planting.
Ginger plants will benefit from a fertilizer that is substantial in phosphorus. Slow-acting fertilizers can also be used for a better harvest.