Ginger has long been considered a natural remedy for dozens of ailments, including nausea, cramping and indigestion. Crystallized ginger, or ginger root that has been preserved in sugar, makes the product tastier and easier to consume.
Crystallized ginger is ginger root that has been dried. After the ginger root is hardened, it is preserved using a sweet sugar coating. This gives the product a crystallized, rock candy-like appearance. Crystallized ginger is sold in bags in organic and health stores, as well as most grocery stores.
Ginger is one of the oldest food products, dating back to the earliest records. Ginger is discussed in the Jewish Talmud, was mentioned by Marco Polo and was once recommended to King Henry VIII to treat the black plague. The rhisome is native to Asia and India.
Crystallized ginger serves a wide variety of natural homeopathic purposes, according to Project Aware, a website that provides health information for women. The product helps to ease the discomfort caused by indigestion, colds and nausea, specifically sea sickness and motion sickness. Ginger is also used to strengthen the heart, improve blood circulation and strengthen the arteries and capillaries, according to Nutritional Supplements Health Guide. In addition, many older women claim the product reduces hot flashes significantly.
Use in Tea
Although crystallized ginger can be eaten as-is, many consumers enjoy using crystallized in a cup of tea. Adding the product to tea lessens the full-bodied taste and maintains all the benefits of solidified ginger. To use ginger in tea, add one ounce to a mug of hot coffee. If this does not melt the ginger, heat the ginger in a small saucepan and add the syrup to a mug of tea.
Make Your Own
To make crystallized ginger, get 10 oz. of ginger, which will make approximately 6 oz. of crystallized ginger. Choose ginger that is young, tender and fresh; generally, the skin is evenly brown, has minimal give, is well-shaped with few protrusions, and has a pleasant odor. Peel the brown skin from the root and cut out any discolored spots. Cut the root into 2-inch lengths and slice into 1/8-inch slices. Punch holes in the slices using a fork, then combine the ginger with 2 cups of sugar. In a frying pan or wok, add 1 tbsp. of water and the sugared ginger. Slowly, bring the ginger to a low simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, stirring only occasionally to separate the strips. The syrup should begin to bubble and crystallize. Do not allow the sugar to caramelize; instead, continue stirring the ginger. When a pile of crystallized sugar can be made in the center of the pan, take the pan off heat and toss gently until cool. Spread in a tray to cool and dry, then store in an air-tight container (Nuts Online).
References and ResourcesRecipe for Candied Ginger
Nutritional Supplement Guide