Twelve images of Zingiber officinale, Ginger plant. Ginger is the dried or fresh root of a tropical member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, native to the Old World tropics. Cultivated for millennia, ginger reached the West at least 2,000 years ago. Most of the thousands of prescriptions in Traditional Chinese Medicine are polyherbal combinations; ginger is used in nearly half of them to mediate the effects of other ingredients as well as to stimulate the appetite and calm the stomach. In European herbal traditions, ginger is primarily used to stop nausea and quiet an upset stomach. Ginger is recognized for helping prevent symptoms of motion sickness. It has been studied for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain-relieving, anti-ulcer, anti-tumor, and other properties. One component in ginger 6-gingerol is known to increase the secretion of bile, and help transport cholesterol out of the body. Ginger may have the potential to help the body’s own mechanisms to reduce cholesterol levels and arterial plaque, Its value as a flavoring is universally enjoyed.
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