Ginger is an amazing root. I was flipping through this book “The Healing Power of Herbs” by Michael T. Murray, N.D., a book from the 90s so it may not be up to date in everything but it is a good place to start for finding out about some herbs and natural remedies for sicknesses today.
Ginger is mostly starch, with some protein and fat content as well. The most important part of this root are the “pungent principles” which are volatile oils which are active and provide the health benefits we observe with ginger.
Ginger is especially helpful at combating nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, arthritis and migraine headaches. It’s been used for centuries, at least as far back as the 4th century in China.
Interestingly, ginger has also been noticed to prolong the shelf life of pork patties. I wonder if there has been other research on ginger being used to extend shelf-life of other foods.
Ginger shares a characteristic of garlic and onions, where they all inhibit platelet aggregation. Ginger even outdid garlic and onions in some studies.
The properties of ginger can differ whether we talk about fresh ginger or dried ginger powder. In fresh ginger, the primary oil is gingerol, and in dried ginger the primary oil is shogaol. People with heart problems are probably advised to consume fresh over dried because gingerol is best at helping these individuals whereas shogaol can elevate blood pressure.
Ginger can help aid gastrointestinal discomfort because it can improve gastric motility as well as it has antispasmodic effects. Ginger also is shown to inhibit diarrhea.
There has been research done which showed that ginger may help to maintain body temperature though more research was needed, so I should look up to see if people have done more research!
EDIT: A quick web search and I found this one online resource which seems pretty clear and organised, and there’s a page devoted to ginger. http://en.mr-ginseng.com/ginger/