Fresh Ginger: Important Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Explore the health benefits, history, and uses of fresh ginger, a versatile spice with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, in various cuisines and recipes.

What Is Ginger?

  • Ginger is an aromatic and pungent perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family
  • Ginger root has a tough skin with yellow flesh when peeled
  • It is most likely native to southeastern Asia, used as a spice , flavoring , food , and medicine.
  • Ginger is a member of a plant family that includes cardamom, turmeric, and galangal.

Is Ginger Good For You?

Yes! Ginger has many beneficial health properties.

Health Benefits Of Ginger

  1. Ginger is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that prevent stress and damage to your body’s DNA. They may help your body fight off chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, plus promote healthy aging.
  2. Ginger has anti-Inflammatory qualities. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory , meaning it reduces swelling. That could be helpful for treating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This means you may find relief by taking ginger by mouth or by using a ginger compress or patch on your skin.
  3. Ginger has antibacterial qualities. Active compounds in ginger called gingerols can keep oral bacteria from growing, the same bacteria that can cause periodontal disease, a serious gum infection.
  4. Ginger has been found to help with nausea in some people. Ginger root is often recommended for helping with seasickness and for alleviating nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy, and certain surgical procedures.
  5. Ginger may help Improve blood sugar levels. One study suggests that ginger may help with blood sugar control when used over extended periods of time.
  6. Ginger may improve menstrual cramps. In one study , women who took ginger powder once a day for 3 days during their cycle felt less pain than women who didn’t take the powder.
  7. Ginger may help reduce cholesterol levels. One study showed that people who took 3 capsules of ginger per day over 12 weeks had lowered their cholesterol compared to people who didn’t take the ginger.
  8. Ginger may help with low back and muscle pain. A study found that a combination of Swedish massage and aromatic ginger oil reduced some people’s low back pain.

History, Background and General Facts About Ginger

Ginger does not grow in the wild and the actual origins are uncertain, but some say it originated in Southeast Asia. People from India and China are believed to have produced ginger as a tonic root for over 5000 years to treat many ailments. India is the largest producer of ginger. Ginger was an important article of trade and was exported from India to the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, where it was used for medicinal purposes. Ginger's spicy aroma is mainly due to presence of bioactive compound, especially the gingerols, which is the part studied the most for the health benefits. 


The rhizome (the horizontal stem/root from which the roots grow) is the main portion of ginger that is consumed. Ginger can be consumed in a lot of different forms, including fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, crystallized, candied, powdered, or ground. The flavor is slightly sweet and has some heat and the concentration of essential oils increases as ginger ages.

What Are The Cuisines That Regularly Include Ginger?

  • Indian - ginger chicken, curries, biryani
  • American - gingerbread
  • Chinese - potstickers/dumplings, fried rice
  • Korean - Apple Sujeonggwa (Korean Cinnamon-Ginger Punch)
  • Japanese - Stir Fried Japanese Eggplant with Ginger and Miso
  • Thai - ginger chicken

What Is The Best Way To Store Ginger?

The best way to store ginger is in the refrigerator in a drawer.

What Are The Different Types Of Ginger?

There are many varieties of ginger, but two main types used for cooking and medicinal purposes

  • Yellow ginger - native to the Himalayas, Northern Vietnam, Sichuan and most common one we see in the United States
  • White ginger - grown in Hawaii

Toxicity and Side Effects Of Ginger

Ginger is generally considered safe to consume. Talk to your doctor about taking ginger as a supplement if you take medications because it could interfere with some medications.

Nutritional Facts
1 tsp
Amount per serving
0.4 g
0 g
0 g
Saturated Fat
0 g
0.3 mg
0 g
0 g

Best Fresh Ginger Recipes