From ginger ale to ginger soda and ginger-spiced foods/beverages, ginger root is one of the most widely accepted plants, thanks to its immense benefits. Whether in powder form or as a plant, you can walk into any part of the world today and find this plant. But why is it so popular? Where did it originate? And why do most airplane passengers prefer taking ginger ale? Continue reading to find answers to these questions and learn more intriguing ginger (plant) facts.
1. Ginger Was Banned in Horse Shows
In a process called gingering the tail, horse owners used to place gingers into the anus of the animals to “liven” them. Because skinned ginger root can be irritating, horses would carry their tails high to the excitement of onlookers. In other cases, the plant would make older horses more active. The practice has since been banned in horse shows.
2. The Fetish for Ginger Is Called Figging
There is a sexual fetish where a person places skinned ginger root into their anus to generate a sharp burning sensation. This was seen as a punishment in the past but grew into a DBSM practice. The process is called figging, adopted from the 19th-century word “feaguing.”
3. It is One of the Commonest Spices
Ginger root is a globally accepted spice, but its use varies. It can be used to prepare different food items, including candy, soda, alcoholic beverages, vegetables, and tea. It is a crucial ingredient in Indian cuisine.
4. Ginger Can Be Used As Medicine
Over the years, ginger has been used as a traditional medicine, especially in Asian countries such as Japan, India, and China. The natives believed the plant could cure some diseases and was the perfect dietary supplement. Even though it hasn’t been scientifically proven, ginger root can help heal mild nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.
5. India Is the World’s Largest Ginger Producer
At 43.81%, India is the world’s largest ginger producer, cultivating over 1.7 million tons yearly. Nigeria comes at a distant second, contributing about 17% of the widely sought-after plants. Other countries worth mentioning in this list include China, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Cameroon, and Bangladesh.
6. It Has Its Side Effects
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally categorize ginger as safe. While consuming it in a reasonable amount can be beneficial, excess consumption, especially in powder form, can result in adverse side effects. The most notable ones include gastrointestinal discomfort, heartburn, and it can inhibit the functions of anticoagulants, including aspirin.
7. It Is a Rhizome, Not a Root
While it’s commonly referred to as ginger root, ginger is, in fact, a rhizome (a stem that grows underground). It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family alongside cardamom and turmeric.
8. Ginger Is Traditionally Served with Sushi
Because of its anti-nausea properties, ginger is sometimes served with sushi and used as a palate cleanser. It is also thought to help counteract the consequences of eating spoiled food.
9. Ginger Ale Is One of the Most Preferred Fizzy Drinks When Flying
Most people prefer taking ginger ale when flying to ease stomach upset, especially for nervous fliers. Others consider it an alternative to bubbly soft drinks such as Diet Coke. Interestingly, most ginger ale drinks sold on airplanes have little or no natural ginger in their ingredients.
10. It Is Possible to Overdose on Ginger
Taking too much ginger can cause an overdose, resulting in “ginger jitters.” This happens when a person takes more than 2 grams of ginger per kilogram of their body mass. The effects can be worse depending on the patient’s ginger tolerance.
11. Ginger Originates from Asia
Ginger originated from Maritime Southeast Asia, which includes countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Being a cultigen, ginger doesn’t exist in the wild; humans cultivate it for subsistence and economic use.