Close your eyes and think of ginger. The vibrant smell when you snap off a fresh piece, the tingle of the taste of it fresh, or the zippy sweet refresh of candied, that bitey burst it adds to chai and so many other dishes. How does that make you feel? Uplifted and sparkly? That's how this amazing herb makes me feel.
That's just the emotional side of this years Herb of the Year! You can find volumes and volumes about ginger (Zingiber officinale), from recipes to oil benefits and beyond. Ginger is an herb that's been used for thousands of years. At one time it was extremely expensive, but luckily it's much more affordable today.
Ginger is well deserving of the honor of Herb of the Year. It is rich in gingerol, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. You can see why it's so valuable when fighting colds. And it's not lacking in vitamins! Vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin are just some of the ingredients in the power of ginger. Pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin, and salicylate provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Here are just a few health benefits to the delightful rhizome.
One of my favorite things to do is infuse ginger into honey or vinegar. It's just such a versatile herb. The honey is a great addition to tea, or to use on ribs or chicken! Add a little honey and an infused vinegar into some seltzer and you have a healthful gingeralesque beverage. So many options to choose from!
Do you know what else is wonderful about ginger? You can grow more ginger from the one you buy at the store! There are some great tutorials online. Once you get started, you'll always have ginger on hand!
Take some time this year to try ginger in different ways. Add it to new dishes, try it in something sweet or savory, and above all Enjoy!
Perpetual herbal and aromatherapy learner. Lover of creating new and interesting blends.
Looking for our older stories and recipes? Check our older blog here.