in this article:
Ginger is a plant with unique properties: we find out what its actual benefits are, how to consume it in the best way with some recipes and also how to grow it at home. Ginger is considered a plant with ‘miraculous’ properties. it is capable to help lose weight, make nausea disappear, featuring analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory characteristics, and more.
- 3.57Protein (g)
- 17.86Carbohydrates (g)
- 750Fat (mg)
- 79Calories (KCal)
- 0Sugars (g)
- 14Sodium (mg)
- 78.9Water (g)
- 2Fibers (g)
- 600Iron (mcg)
- 415Potassium (mg)
- 16Calcium (mg)
- 34Omega-3 Fatty Acids (mg)
- 120Omega-6 Fatty Acids (mg)
- 7.7Vitamin C (mg)
- 260Vitamin E (mcg)
- 28.8Choline (mg)
What is ginger? Ginger origin
It is a plant native to Asia traditionally used for food and healing in Chinese medicine and in India that has been using it for thousands of years, due to its remarkable therapeutic abilities, like a true natural antibiotic. In fact it was and is the basis of many medicines. Outwardly it has a stem with lanceolate leaves that does not grow beyond the height of a meter and has greenish-yellow flowers but the therapeutic properties are concentrated in the roots similar to a gnarled tuber which branches out and elongates in the ground.
The root is actually a rhizome and its pulp is rich in starch but it also contains proteins, lipids, vitamin A and tiacin. It is also known as the ‘root of health’, and its extract is considered to be a more potent painkiller than cortisone and ibuprofen and is very indicated in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
There are three types of root: the ‘white ginger’, without peel and produced in Jamaica; the ‘black ginger’, native of China and Sierra Leone, with peel, and the middle way, or partially decorticated, coming from India, Japan, Nigeria and Australia. Its primary active ingredient is gingerol, which gives it digestive properties (promoting the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins), heating, antinausea, stimulants, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-rheumatic, contributes to lowering cholesterol, eliminates intestinal gases, improves blood circulation and relieves toothache and headaches. It is also known for its thermogenic effect: it can stimulate the production of heat, burn calories (therefore useful within slimming regimes).
Ginger in history
In ancient Chinese and Indian medicine this root was used to treat stomach, liver and intestinal disorders, nausea, toothache and rheumatism, and was often used in the kitchen for its beneficial digestive function. From Asia it has come to Arabs, Romans and Greeks. It was also very used in the Middle Ages.
Ginger is perennial herbaceous plant, native to Tropical Asia. From the rhizome we obtain a strongly aromatic and spicy spice, which is said to have been very dear to Confucius (5th century BC) because it cleared the mind and eliminated impurities. This plant, considered a delicacy by the Greeks and Romans who had to pay heavy taxes to consume it, during the Middle Ages was one of the most widely used spices in Europe, known as ‘gengevo’.
Doctors of antiquity attached much value to ginger: Dioscorides thought it capable of heating and calming the stomach; Pythagoras considered it an antidote to the snake bite; Galen, for its spicy taste, classified it as ‘hot’, like all aphrodisiac substances. This corroborating aspect was central to the Arab peoples who took ginger pounded with honey to reinvigorate sexual performance. According to the Salernitana School, the rhizome pushed, or rather forced, the young to love, and this fame contributed to the birth of a potion made of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, breadcrumbs and rose water.
The cursed poet Francois Villon (fifteenth century) among the lines of his ‘Testament’ also listed a hundred roots of ginger which according to him had ‘the property of making the genital organs of the two sexes join’. In the 16th century, the aphrodisiac qualities of the plant were described by Pisanelli as excellent ‘to increase coitus: it is also so as to give strength to a weak stomach’. In traditional Asian medical doctrines, ginger was and is considered a ‘hot’ element. According to the Chinese, he fights the problems caused by cold and digestive problems, while for the Indians it is stimulating and pain-relieving.
Similarly, contemporary European herbal medicine attributes to ginger the property of combating nausea, vomiting and impotence.
Although in the last centuries this spice has lost its centrality in our kitchen, in the oriental one has remained very important for flavoring sweet or savory dishes, sauces, Indian chutneys, mixtures of spices and drinks.
Properties of ginger and contraindications
In more modern times traditional Western medicine has discovered that its therapeutic benefits are due to a particular resin and an essential oil that it contains.
It is an excellent anti-emetic, which is spreading its use in the treatment and prevention of car sickness and seasickness, and in general in disorders related to travel. A chewed piece helps digestion and decreases nausea, including pregnancy.
It is used for gastric pains, in colic and to blast the digestive system and in case of swelling and halitosis. It is also a painkiller: some preparations based on this spice limit menstrual, articular, intestinal and migraine pains; It also fights vertigo and hypotension. It stimulates the production of saliva and bile secretions, for this reason protects, from gastric ulcer, while at the level of intestine rebalances the bacterial flora, also reduces cholesterol and is useful for treating rheumatism, arthritis, tears and muscle pains.
No less important are its aphrodisiac properties, already known to the Arabs, and today it is used for its influence on fertility and for the stimulating action, strengthened when combined with ginseng.
In phytotherapy it is taken as a powder extracted from the rhizome, or as an essential oil. Ginger is also great for preventing colds in the form of ginger and lemon, which also has slimming effects.
When to use ginger? Therapeutic indications of the plant medicine
- Nausea during pregnancy, during which it must be taken prior medical consent
- Motion sickness
- Nausea and vomiting from drug therapies (chemotherapy, antiviral for HIV)
- Postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal tension
- Bad digestion
- Lack of appetite
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Secondary indications include: pain relief of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, respiratory problems, migraine, bronchitis and diabetes.
Sometimes ginger is also used for pains in the chest, stomach and stomach, the interruption of the use of SSRI drugs, anorexia, to increase milk production, diuresis and sweating. It is also used in traditional medicine to treat cholera, bleeding, intestinal infections, baldness, malaria, inflamed testes and venomous snake bites. Fresh juice can be used to treat burns. Ginger oil is mildly pain-relieving and repellent to insects.
Ginger benefits demonstrated in the studies
The phytotherapeutic applications of ginger (or ginger) are varied and varied; the most known and documented concern the antinausea effect. The Chinese sailors use ginger against seasickness since remote times; not surprisingly, in a study conducted on a group of navy cadets, ginger root was much more effective than placebo in reducing vomiting.
The antiemetic efficacy seems even similar, if not superior, to that of clopramide (Plasil ®), but the greater certainties relate to its usefulness during pregnancy, during which the antinausea effect was shown comparable to that of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
Less scientific evidence about the usefulness of ginger in the general treatment of motion sickness (car sickness, plane sickness etc.), as well as post-operative nausea and vomiting or post-treatment with anticancer drugs (such as cyclophosphamide).
Another well known and documented application of ginger concerns its use in the treatment of dyspepsia, ie that variegated group of symptoms associated with a difficult and laborious digestion (belching, stomach swelling, nausea, meteorism and flatulence). The ginger powder for oral use is in fact able to stimulate the normal peristaltic movements of the stomach and intestine (prokinetic effect).
There are also numerous evidences about a cholagogue effect, useful for stimulating liver function; this positive action on biliary secretion would also justify the presumed hypocholesterolemic effect. Some research shows that ginger intake can modestly reduce pain in some people with osteoarthritis. According to popular tradition, ginger would have aphrodisiac and anti-inflammatory properties; this last effect is however really founded on the ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. In topical (external) use ginger is used as a revulsion and as such is present in various antirheumatic preparations.
The daily doses used during the studies, which investigated their phytotherapeutic properties, range from 0.5 to 4 grams of powdered and dried drug per day. Alternatively, ginger is readily available as a dried rhizome. For phytotherapeutic purposes, however, dry extracts are to be preferred as they are standardized in the active ingredients that characterize the drug (gingerols).
Regarding the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness or motion sickness, it is recommended to take a single dose of 1-2 grams of dried and pulverized rhizome, one hour before starting the journey. In the treatment of mild gastric and intestinal dyspeptic disorders (poor digestion, sense of fullness, borborigmi, flatulence, slow digestion) it is necessary to take a single dose of 180 mg three times a day, of dried and pulverized rhizome. The doses refer to the average adult and it is not recommended for use under the age of 18.
Often in herbal preparations, ginger is associated with other drugs with similar activities, such as anise, cardoon, cinnamon, gentian, cumin and fennel.
To obtain a milder action it is possible to use tea (infusions and decoctions of ginger), generally indicated for their digestive and ‘heating’ action; for this purpose 30g of fresh rhizome finely minced in 1 liter of water are generally recommended, to be left in decoction for about 3 minutes, filtering and then drinking a cup after the main meals. Replacing the fresh rhizome of ginger with the dried powder results in a herbal tea with a more pronounced ‘therapeutic’ effect, for which it is advisable to take it under medical supervision.
Indication: prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness or motion sickness (disorders that occur as a result of travel or travel on transport such as ships, planes, trains, cars). If ginger is taken in the form of a pulverized rhizome, enclosed in capsules or tablets: take a single dose of 1-2 grams an hour before starting the journey.
Indication: treatment of mild dyspeptic gastric and intestinal disorders (poor digestion, sense of fullness, borborigmi, flatulence, slow digestion). If ginger is taken in the form of a powdered rhizome enclosed in capsules or tablets: take a single 180-mg dose three times a day.
Examples of herbal preparations containing ginger:
Contraindications and warnings
When should ginger not be used? It is advisable to take particular caution when taking ginger in:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding. The consumption or application of ginger may require medical advice. In case of skin reactions or drug intake, it is essential to ensure that there are no contraindications. In general, a consumption varying from 0.5 to 1.5 g can be sufficient every day to obtain satisfactory results.
- Presence of biliary tract calculations
- Pyrosis (heartburn): ginger can further stimulate gastric secretion.
- Concomitant use of certain drugs
- Haemorrhagic disorders: ginger may increase the risk of bleeding
- Diabetes: ginger may increase insulin levels and / or lower blood sugar. As a result, drug therapy for diabetes may require adaptation
- Uncomfortable cardiac conditions: high doses of ginger could worsen some diseases of the heart.
Ginger can be consumed at any time of day, as it does not cause drowsiness. If the therapeutic dosage is followed, there are no particular precautions to be followed. Ginger consumption is not recommended before surgery due to its anticoagulant properties. It is not specifically contraindicated for pregnant women, but it is recommended not to consume it for too long. At high doses, the essential oil of ginger can cause skin irritation and allergies. If ingested excessively, it can cause stomach pain.
Pharmacological interactions of ginger
What drugs or foods can interact with ginger? Some properties of ginger (anticoagulant) may cancel or, on the contrary, amplify the effects of some medicinal plants (especially onions or garlic) or supplements.
Due to its antithrombotic effect, individuals treated with oral anticoagulants (such as warfarin) or NSAIDs (aspirin type) should take ginger with caution and under medical supervision. Since ginger may be reduced by glycemia, it may be necessary to change the pharmacological dosage to prevent any complications.
Ginger side effects
During the use of ginger, about 2-3% of patients complain of minor gastrointestinal disorders, such as: digestive disorders, nausea, abdominal pain, gastric disorders, lymphocytic colitis. If these side effects manifest themselves in a severe way, or if other side effects occur, consult your doctor or pharmacist. For more information on the correct use of a specific ginger product, and for the full list of side effects, please refer to the package leaflet that accompanies the product. This information should always be read carefully before starting treatment.
Cultivation of ginger
The best time to grow it goes from the end of winter until the beginning of summer. You will need a rhizome with more sprouts already growing, better if organic. If your rhizome has so many sprouts already developed, you could dissect it into several parts in order to obtain a greater number of seedlings.
The rhizomes can be harvested after 5-6 months. This plant does not like low temperatures, but prefers damp and warm climates: therefore protect the plants from thermal excursions and do not expose them to direct sunlight. To cultivate ginger you can use 3 techniques, each of which does not require special care or skills:
Line a wide and deep vase (the more the container is deep, the more rhizomes will have room to develop) with jute or a fabric cloth, and cover the bottom with a layer of expanded clay and fertile soil. Break the roots a few centimeters from the surface and water once a day with a sprayer so that the soil is always moist. Continue in the same way even when the seedlings will be popped up.
In a jute or linen bag
Fill the bag with soil and place the rhizomes about halfway, then roll it up on itself. They must be completely hidden under the soil layer, but not on the bottom, otherwise they do not grow and do not develop freely. Place the bag in a bin and wait for the seedlings to appear, watering regularly. When the leaves of the plant are completely dry, empty the bag and collect the rhizomes.
In a bin
Drill the bottom of the container to promote water drainage and avoid stagnation. Serve a large and deep container to be filled in half with rich soil, in which to place the rhizomes. Cover them with another 4 cm of soil and wait for the plants to grow, as in the case of cultivation in the bag. Each allows you to get a good amount of seedlings that will give you fleshy rhizomes to use in the kitchen to flavor your favorite recipes or infusions, decoctions and other healing preparations to enjoy its many beneficial properties.
The satisfaction of cultivating 100% organic ginger directly at your home is priceless and the result is almost always guaranteed. Here is how you proceed:
Where to buy ginger seeds or ready-to-plant root? ►
In specialized seed shops and on the web, we can find seeds, even if with some difficulty, for sowing. More easily, however, we can use fresh rhizomes to be planted, preferably from previous crops also domestic, or those now available regularly in the fruit and vegetable departments of large retailers.
What is the best time to plant ginger? ►
To obtain the best results in the domestic cultivation of ginger, the best period for planting its rhizomes is between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, or that period of time that in the tropical climate represents the transition from the season dry to that of the rains.
What is the best climate to grow ginger well? ►
Surely the ginger plant finds the best conditions for growth when we can reproduce in the most faithful way the original tropical climate. The plant suffers from the cold, so in winter we will keep it at home. It requires a very humid and luminous microclimate, away from drafts and direct sunlight. A window sill offering these conditions could be a good compromise. Soil mulching could help us, in addition to avoiding weeds, to retain moisture in particularly dry environments.
What is the ideal soil for growing ginger? ►
To grow ginger in the house we will have to get to the greenhouse of the good compost, which offers sufficient nourishment to the seedlings, to be mixed to 50% with our soil in which there is a good clayey / sandy content, so as to favor the drainage of the water and avoid stagnation harmful to the growth and survival of plants.
How much space do you need to grow ginger at home? ►
Every ginger plant to grow regularly must have at least 15-20 cm. The plant develops a discrete root system, therefore it is necessary to use large and even deep vessels to allow a complete development. A bowl of 30-40 cm. in diameter, e.g. can easily accommodate 3 seedlings, which over time will develop large roots and stems with lots of foliage.
When and how much do you need to water the ginger? ►
Homegrown ginger requires daily irrigation, preferably in the evening, which keeps the soil constantly humid, avoiding the stagnation of damaging water. If we notice that the air is too dry, we can improve the microclimate by spraying a little water from time to time. Finally, towards the end of the summer, when the leaves begin to dry, we decrease the irrigation and keep the soil drier: this will help the plant in the formation of the rhizome of ginger.
How and when can ginger be collected? ►
Already after 4 months from planting, we can cut with a knife the outer parts of the rhizomes, then covering with the ground, without hindering the regular growth of the plant. These parts will be less nutritious and tasteless determined than the spice we are used to consuming. If we want, instead, to obtain all its properties and its flavor from the rhizome, we must wait for its complete development, that is 8-10 months, when the leaves are completely dried and fallen from the plant.
At that point we can cut the parts that we need and leave the plants alive (they are a perennial species and will continue to produce rhizomes year after year) and use them for our medicinal and culinary uses, or we can extract the entire roots of ginger having the prudence of retaining some, the most substantial, for future replanting.
We have seen how and what to get to grow ginger at home, and what measures to take to ensure the best chance of success in this crop. Let’s try then to put into practice all these learned notions and apply physically to the cultivation of this prodigious spice. With a little effort and small precautions we will definitely get great results.
- If we have opted for the planting of fresh roots of ginger bought in the store, we choose the most full-bodied ones, which already have the shoots well underlined.
- Let’s remember that these rhizomes may have been treated with growth inhibitors to prevent their sprouting. Then leave them all night in warm water so that they lose the largest amount of these artificial substances.
- We break the rhizomes in 2-3 parts making sure that for each one there are at least a couple of shoots.
- Prepare our large, deep vessel with a 50:50 mixture of nutrient compost and clayey / sandy soil, which facilitates drainage and prevents damaging stagnation of water.
- We interrupt the portions of rhizomes with the buds facing upwards. Two fingers of soil are sufficient to cover them entirely. The distance between the rhizomes should not be less than 15-20 cm. in order to guarantee sufficient space for the complete development of the root system and the stem.
- If we believe that our environment is too dry, we proceed with a light mulch. We will manage to conserve moisture in the soil better.
- Place the pot in a warm and humid place, protected from drafts and direct light. In summer we can also keep it outdoors, but when cold days arrive, it is essential to bring it back inside. The sill of a window, or the area near it could be a good choice.
- At this point our task will be limited to regular waterings, designed to keep the soil constantly humid, but without stagnation. If we decide to grow ginger at home, we must keep in mind that this spice has a relatively slow growth, and only after at least a couple of weeks will we be able to see the first sprouts emerge from the ground.
- We have therefore come to the harvest of our fruits. 3-4 months are enough to have rhizomes still a bit ‘unripe but already usable. We will cut the necessary external parts, covering the remaining part with soil. After 8-10 months, the leaves will dry and fall. At that point the rhizome is completely formed and full of all its peculiar nutritional principles.
We can leave it in the ground and cut the parts we need, letting the plant survive that will continue to produce rhizomes over the years. If, however, we need more ginger for our uses, then we will extirpate the entire plants and conserve the most beautiful and full-bodied rhizomes for the future replanting and proceed with the cultivation of ginger at home. In this last case we will not need the initial treatment in lukewarm water to eliminate the added chemicals.
We have seen how to grow ginger at home and what are the precautions to be taken to grow strong and lush. Recall that this spice has many uses ranging from the ‘famous’ herbal tea ginger and lemon until you get to the homemade preparation of an effective ginger-based cough syrup.
Health recipes with ginger
Aphrodisiac herbal tea with ginger
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) root 30 gr
- Damiana (Turnera diffusa) leaves 60 gr
- Eleutherococcus (Eleutherococcus senticosus) root 30 gr
Put 50 grams of herbal preparation in a liter of boiling water (5% infusion). Leave to infuse for about ten minutes and then filter the tea. Consume a cup of herbal tea 3-4 times a day.
Digestive decoction with ginger
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) root 40 gr
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) bark 30 gr
- Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) seeds 30 gr
Boil 30 grams of herbal mixture in a liter of water for about 3 minutes. Allow to cool and filter. Consume a cup of digestive decoction after meals.
Healing ginger against rheumatic pains: compresses
- Fresh ginger
- Cotton cloths
- Pot with grill for steaming
Heat the water in the pot. Slice 30 grams of fresh rhizome into slices and close it in a cotton cloth. Once the water is boiling, place the cloth with ginger on the grill and close the lid for 10 minutes, so that the ginger will evaporate and release the active ingredients on the cotton cloth. Once the time is up, you can apply and rub the healing cloth on the painful areas until it cools.
Curing ginger against cough and cold: herbal tea
- Fresh ginger
With a juicer or a centrifuge, spermi half a rhizome of ginger so as to obtain the juice. Mix the juice with half a cup of water and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Insert a teaspoon of honey and drink.
Healing ginger against dandruff and hair loss: mask
- Fresh ginger
- Jojoba oil or olive oil
Grate ginger to fill a teaspoon, put in a bowl with a tablespoon of jojoba oil or olive oil. Stir well until it is a uniform and oily compound. Apply to damp hair and massage well for about 20 minutes. Leave the mask to rest for another 5 minutes and rinse with warm water. To achieve effectiveness, repeat the treatment for one month every other day.
Slimming ginger: decoction
- 10 grams of about zero fresh
- An untreated lemon
Wash ginger and grate. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add minced ginger and lemon zest, cut into thin slices. Take the juice from the other half of the lemon and add it to the infusion. Wait 15 minutes, filtered by the still warm decoction.
Curative and antioxidant ginger: smoothie
- Fresh ginger
- Untreated value apples
Cut into thin slices half a rhizome of ginger and two green apples with peel, process in a blender or centrifuge. You have a complete compilation and an account of your preferences, qualifications and qualifications.
Ginger function in the kitchen
The active ingredients that determine the phytotherapeutic properties of ginger also contribute to characterizing its classic pungent taste, particularly appreciated in oriental cuisine. For these characteristics, ginger is used as a spice and more generally as a flavoring. For this purpose it can be added fresh, cut into thin slices whole or minced, or preserved in powder obtained from the drying and milling of the rhizome. As an aroma, ginger is an inevitable ingredient of many types of sushi, meat and fish tartare, cold sauces and in general many first and second courses.
In the Middle Ages, with the Arabs, ginger made its official entry into European cuisine, so much so that today we also find it in traditional dishes, such as the Ferrarese pampepato and the famous gingerbread, so dear to the Anglo-Saxons.
The use of ginger as an aroma for non-alcoholic drinks, beers and liqueurs is vast. Ginger is therefore a real food, however it is good to respect its use as a spice avoiding direct consumption as a side dish; below we will understand better why.
It is used both fresh and dried in powder, but also candied, in pieces. Since it has a strong, spicy odor and taste, prevalently to flavor savory and sweet dishes and as a spice is part of the curry composition. It is also used to make non-alcoholic drinks such as English Ginger Ale and as an aroma for sweets and biscuits, such as the ginger snap typical of the English Christmas tradition.
You can find ginger in many variations: fresh in the fruit and vegetable department, dried, in powder, candied, in brine or crystallized in the spice sector of any supermarket. To obtain the ‘powder’ format, the root is prepared by boiling, then dried and finally ground. Of course, as for many other spices, what we recommend is to prefer, when possible, the fresh version, so as to treasure the best of all its properties.
The ginger is characterized by a very pungent and intense taste, slightly spicy (but with a spiciness that fades after a few instants, unlike that, for example, of chilli pepper, which lasts for a long time even after his assumption), with a fresh and clean scent reminiscent of lemon. This spice is ideal in the kitchen as a flavoring condiment, both for sweet and savory recipes (we suggest it for example to give a scent and a particular taste to jams, creams, fresh or candied fruit, but also baked desserts), liqueurs (in some Anglo-Saxon countries is even used in addition to some types of beer) or ice cream (have you ever tasted ginger ice cream? read on to discover a DIY the recipe!).
The spices that best match ginger in the kitchen are cardamom, nutmeg and pimento, but one of the best known combinations of ginger is the one with cinnamon, with which it creates a bouquet of hints to say the least wonderful: we suggest you to aromatize your teas with a piece of both, or try to scent the apple pie with a teaspoon of these two spices in powder, and a pinch of vanilla: after cooking, in addition to the cake itself, the whole house will have a really unique scent. We also find it as a key ingredient for the preparation of cookies, especially in the northern countries (who does not know the Swedish Pepparkakor?).
During the Christmas holidays: in addition to the flavor, ginger can be in fact exploited its heating capacity, useful to combat the cold typical of winter. It tastes delicious also with chocolate, honey or sugar, and with walnuts. Regarding the savory dishes, we find it in curry dishes with legumes, as an accompaniment to meat, fish and shellfish, in the form of condiments or sauces. Moreover, thanks to its antioxidant action on fats, it is also frequently used as a natural food preservative.
It is used a lot in Asia: the thin slice version in brine, for example, is served with sushi dishes, accompanied by the pungent wasabi. In India we find it in legume soups (daal), and in chutneys (very particular sauces generally used as an accompaniment to fried food), while in Indonesia and Thailand it is the star, along with chili, coriander and other spices, of the famous Thai Curry Pasta.
In the United States, inspired by the ginger beers known in Ireland, we prepare the traditional non-alcoholic Ginger Ale, but we also find it in the fragrant Gingerbread. Did you know that in the Philippines it is even chewed to stimulate the removal of evil spirits?
Recipes with ginger
It is an ingredient with remarkable therapeutic properties as well as being a tasty element to be inserted to flavor the summer dishes. For this, we offer 4 tasty vegetarian recipes with this spice. You will be able to exploit all its beneficial properties, both cooked and raw.