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Ginger root has a powerful taste that combines a unique blend of sweet and spicy qualities. It has been used in Asian and Indian cultures since ancient times in both culinary dishes and as a powerful healing agent. Although technically a vegetable, the root of the ginger plant is often used as a spice or herb to add a punch to your favorite dishes.

You’ve probably seen ginger used in a variety of ways, such as the traditional pickled ginger that comes along with your sushi. Ginger is also consumed in other varieties such as:

  • Powdered
  • Crushed
  • Candied
  • Dried

Perhaps the most familiar form of ginger, is found in the twist that Americans have added by creating sweet treats such as gingerbread cookies and gingerbread martinis!

Photo Credit: Meld Magazine

Photo Credit: Meld Magazine

Not only is ginger a great addition to any recipe, but it also has amazing healing qualities. For centuries, ginger has been used to heal a number of ailments. If you’re weary of ancient medicine, not to worry! Modern scientific studies have backed up these claims. Here are a few ways ginger can be used:

Motion Sickness: Next time you are on a boat or cruise, wait before you go straight for the $10 Dramamine. Instead bring some ginger with you to ease your symptoms. According to the People’s Pharmacy, Chinese seamen have been using this technique for centuries. In a double blind test, scientists found that ginger actually worked better than Dramamine. Just make sure you use ginger before you get motion sickness as a preventative.

Morning sickness: Ginger has been found to be a great alternative to anti-vomiting drugs during pregnancy. A double blind study proved that ginger eased the severity of morning sickness. Anti-vomiting drugs can have terrible consequences, like birth defects. Ginger on the other hand, was found to be very safe with only small doses required. This has been a little controversial so make sure you do your own research and check with you doc first! (via Whole Foods)

Powerful anti-inflammatory: Ginger contains gingerols that help to reduce inflammation in the body. Many people who suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, swear by ginger to helping them reduce their chronic pain.

Photo Credit: EcoSalon

Photo Credit: EcoSalon

Now it’s time to buy some ginger! With so many amazing uses, ginger is one item that should always be on hand in your home.