Ground ginger is used in various ways around the world, including making ginger tea, spicing food and beverages, and creating a base to season meats. In addition, all forms of ginger root, including ground, are sometimes used to treat illnesses. Making ginger tea from scratch normally involves peeling and grinding ginger root, and it is a popular beverage in many countries. Using ground ginger as a spice or a significant part of a culinary dish is also a common way to use this rhizome. Lastly, its vast array of medicinal uses are a mixed bag of scientifically proven, not thoroughly tested, and likely placebo remedies.
To make ginger tea, boiling water is added to ground ginger, which steeps for an amount of time determined by the drinker’s preference. The ginger is then removed, and the tea can be consumed as soon as it is cool enough to drink. Many stores sell ginger tea in teabags, which contain tea that is already ground and normally has other spices like lemon grass and rose hips to further flavor the tea. The taste difference between freshly ground ginger and ginger tea in bags sold in grocery stores can be significant. Some people prefer the taste of older ginger root, however.
As a spice, ginger is used to flavor a plethora of culinary dishes and baked goods. Gingerbread, ginger cookies, and ginger candies all use some form of ginger to give the candy or baked good its flavor. Gingerbread is a popular item in many countries, especially around some holidays, when it is used for gingerbread houses.
Culinary uses of ground ginger go beyond spices. Some people turn ground ginger into a spicy paste to add a bold flavor to other dishes. Others mix it with fruits to make a juice. Still other people use ground ginger to adorn tofu or noodles.
Ginger herb is useful as a medical treatment for some conditions and symptoms to varying degrees with some scientific proof. This herb is considered safe by most experts, but it is typically advised to be careful about drug interactions, as ginger does interact with at least a few drugs. Ginger is considered effective at treating nausea as a symptom of quite a few underlying conditions, and there is also evidence that it might be able to act as a blood thinner and ease arthritic pain. In folk medicine with little or no scientific proof, it is believed that ginger can treat the common cold.