Ginger, or also known scientifically as Zingiber officinale Roscoe, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is grown in different areas of the world, with Jamaica being the country where this spice is most produced. Ginger is mainly used as a seasoning to prepare different food dishes. But it is also a plant that is used as a home remedy for the treatment of various conditions for its medicinal properties.
However, are these benefits only for adults or can children take ginger as well? In the following article of we reveal if the smallest of the house can try this food condiment or if, on the contrary, it is contraindicated for the child population. Read!
Nutritional composition and properties of ginger
Ginger is a perennial plant from which the underground rhizome or root is mainly extracted, as it is the most nutrient-rich part of this vegetable. Within its composition we find the following nutrients:
- Essential oils: its content of zingiberene, zingiberenol, zingiberol, limonene and curcumene stands out.
- Resins: in this section we find many of the active ingredients of the plant, which give it its characteristic flavor. Among them stands out its content in shogaols (which has analgesic, antipyretic and sedative properties) and in gingerols (with anti-inflammatory, cholagogue and antitussive properties).
- Amino acids: asparagine, lysine, arginine and aspartic acid.
- Vitamins: Ginger is rich in vitamin C and vitamin B3.
- Minerals: it has a richness of zinc, manganese, boron, cobalt, silicon, phosphorus and aluminum.
Can children take ginger? – here the answer
Surely parents hesitate to give this seasoning to their children due to its spicy active ingredients. For this reason, many of them think that it can be harmful to the little ones. However, children CAN take ginger, except in the following cases where it is contraindicated:
- Children under 2 years: before that age, ginger is contraindicated, since the digestive system of children in this strip is still developing and, therefore, they may have problems tolerating the spicy taste of this seasoning, which can even be toxic.
- Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women: in both cases it is contraindicated, since the consumption of ginger directly affects the pregnant woman or the child who takes the breast. In this case, children may have digestive problems such as heartburn and stomach pain and drowsiness.
Leaving these two cases aside, ginger is a safe food for the child population as long as the consumption is within the appropriate dose that is 2 mg a day in children between 2 and 6 years old. Still, before you start giving ginger root to any child, it is imperative that you consult your pediatrician to assign you the most appropriate dosage.
Uses of ginger in children
Although children can consume this root in different dishes, the most popular use of ginger in children is as a natural remedy to relieve the symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory condition. You may also be interested in how to use ginger for cold.
Thanks to its active ingredients (especially its content in shogaloes and gingerols), ginger root has excellent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antitussive properties that can relieve the most common symptoms of a cold such as fever, cough, nasal congestion and sore throat. Among the most popular home remedies to combat cold in the case of children, we find the following:
To perform this natural treatment, we will have to add in a saucepan a cup of mineral water and heat it until it begins to boil. When this happens, add half a teaspoon of ginger powder and let it cook for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat, strain the drink and add a tablespoon of honey to make the taste more pleasant for the child.
Natural ginger syrup
To make this homemade preparation you will have to add in a saucepan, 5 cups of water along with a thin slice of ginger root and a cinnamon sprig and let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once the time has passed, strain the drink into a glass jar and add a tablespoon of honey for a sweeter taste. Give it 2 to 3 tablespoons a day of this preparation.
This remedy is especially effective for nasal congestion. In this case you will have to add in a saucepan, two cups of water and let it heat up before it starts to boil. At this moment, you will have to add ginger zest to the water and let everything heat for 3 more minutes. Then turn off the heat and place a towel on the child's head so that he or she carefully puts on top of the pot without touching it so that he or she can inhale the steam for a couple of minutes.