The Covid-19 pandemic has increased people’s awareness to the importance of healthy living for strengthening the immune system in the body. A healthy lifestyle is now becoming a trend, such as eating vegetables and fruits, exercising at home, and consuming herbal drinks. One of the most popular herbal ingredients during the Covid-19 pandemic is ginger.
Some herbal drinks that use ginger are ginger tea, herbs or empon-empon, and wedang jahe. Ginger’s warm and slightly spicy sensation will make our body feel warmer. Ginger drinks are suitable for consumption to relieve an itchy throat and warm our body at night whenever we are not feeling well.
Ginger is a flowering plant with a scientific name Zingiber Officinale. It is characterized with rhizome, a plant stem that sends out shoots and new roots from its nodes. Ginger originated from Asia Pacific, in mainland India and China, to be exact.
In terms of its type, shape, rhizome, and color, ginger is divided into three types, large white ginger, small white ginger, and red ginger. Ginger can grow in soils that have an altitude of 200-600 meters above sea level with an average rainfall of 2,500-4,000 mm/year. However, in Indonesia, ginger commonly grows in the yard of houses.
Benefits of Ginger
- Ginger is scientifically proven to have many health benefits. This plant contains various nutrients such as calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fat, and sugar. In addition, ginger also contains various vitamins and minerals that are good for the body, such as iron, potassium, vitamins B3 and B6, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3). So, no wonder ginger is included in one type of medicinal plant.
- Here are some of the benefits of ginger that we have summarized from halodoc.com.
1. Anti Aging and Anti Cancer
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative characters which can control the aging process. This herbal plant also has antimicrobial potential that can help in the treatment of infectious diseases. In fact, it is believed that ginger can prevent various cancers. However, there is one thing that must be highlighted. According to the journal above, although the anticancer potential from ginger has been well documented, the benefits of ginger against cancer still require further research before claiming its efficacy.
2. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
A regular consumption of ginger drinks can help reduce menstrual cramps. A number of studies have shown that ginger is useful for relieving menstrual cramps in women. It is even said that the efficacy of ginger is not much different from pain relievers such as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid. To get these benefits, try to consume at least four glasses of ginger water. Drink the water for two days at the beginning of menstruation.
3. Lowers Blood Glucose and Cholesterol
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health journal – regarding the efficacy of ginger, a regular consumption of ginger can also significantly lower blood glucose. Not only that, a regular consumption of ginger can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad fat), triglycerides, and increase HLD (good fat) at the same time.
4. Strengthens Immune System
Moreover, consuming ginger regularly can strengthen the immune system so that the body will not easily get sick. Ginger contains a lot of vitamin C and magnesium. The substances help strengthen the immune system in the body. In addition to the two substances, ginger contains gingerols, shogaols, and zingerones which can function as antioxidants for the body.
5. Fight Bacterial and Viral Infections
Ginger can also help the body to fight certain bacterial and viral infections. It is believed that the gingerol in ginger can inhibit bacterial infections such as shigella, E. coli, and others. Drinking ginger regularly can also help soothe colds and flu.
6. Relieve Muscle Pain
According to a study from the University of Georgia, United States, ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect that is also efficacious in reducing muscle pain. However, many sources say that relieving muscle pain is the benefit of red ginger. In that study, experts conducted research on 74 people to do several types of exercise. The subjects of the research were divided into two groups, the first group was given supplements containing ginger and the second group was only given pills containing sugar. The result of the research, the post-exercise muscle pain in the first group was 25% lighter than the second group.
7. Relieves Nausea in Pregnant Women
According to a study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ginger is useful for relieving symptoms of morning sickness or nausea in early pregnancy. Ginger root extract has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat symptoms of indigestion, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, and belching.
8. Overcoming Digestive Problems
Another benefit of red ginger is to overcome and prevent digestive problems. It is believed that ginger oil extract can overcome stomach problems because of its antibacterial nature. Digestive disorders generally occur due to bad bacteria that enter, so ginger consumption is suitable as an antithesis.
How to Plant and Care for Ginger in Poly Bags
After knowing the various benefits of ginger, it’s better for us to stock ginger at home. In fact, ginger is a plant that is easy to cultivate. Instead of buying it, you can grow ginger by yourself at home. No need for a large area, ginger cultivation can use poly bags.
Here’s how to plant and care for ginger in poly bags that you can do at home.
1. Choose the type of ginger to be planted
First, choose the type of ginger you want to grow. There are three types of ginger that are commonly used as spices or medicine, here are the characteristics of each type of ginger:
- Large white ginger with yellowish-white tubers and a size of 8-8.5 cm;
- Small white ginger with yellowish-white tubers, layered, and a size of 3-4 cm
- Red ginger with red or light orange tubers, layered, strong smell, and a size of 4-4.5 cm.
After choosing the type of ginger you want to plant, the next step is seeding. Choose a ginger rhizome that is plump and smooth. Generally, a good ginger rhizome used for seeding should be at least 10 months old. Soak the rhizome in warm water for one night. Then, place the rhizome in the soil until it sprouts. Store it in a dry place and not exposed to direct sunlight.
3. Transfer of Seeds to Planting Media
Prepare a planting medium in the form soil that is mixed with organic fertilizers in a ratio of 1:1. Ginger rhizome that has sprouted can be transferred to the planting medium after the shoots reach 1-2 cm in size. Cut the ginger rhizome into small pieces first. Each piece can have several shoots. Then, place the rhizome about 5-10 cm in the soil.
4. Ginger Plant Care
In order for the ginger to grow well, keep the pot away from direct sunlight and place it in a temperature of 24-30 degrees Celsius. A cold environment will only slow down the growth of ginger, even preventing the seedling from growing. Water the ginger every day. The water should not stagnate so that the ginger does not rot.
The harvest age of red ginger is approximately 10 months. Plants that are old and ready to harvest are the ones that have passed the drying period, where the leaves and stems turn yellow and have dried up.
The process of harvesting ginger that we plant in poly bags is very easy, because we don’t have to dig soils. We could just tear the poly bags that have started to rot. Clean the ginger with water, then dry it. Your ginger is ready to consume.
Isn’t it easy to plant ginger using poly bags? Try this at home!