Have you heard of spiral ginger? Ever tried it before? In this blog, we will talk about the origin, where they grow and some health benefits.
Known by its scientific name, Costus barbatus, the spiral ginger is native to Central and South American countries such as Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. The spiral ginger is also known as the red velvet ginger. Spiral ginger is deeply rooted in the medicinal traditions and cultures of these countries. It is a member of the Costaceae family, which also includes several other species of ginger. This specific plant is well-known for its eye-catching red flowers and inflorescence, which has a spiral form. It has bright red or orange flowers arranged on a cone-like structure in the center. The spiral shape is distinctive and eye-catching which makes it visually appealing. Because of its unusual look and low upkeep needs, spiral ginger is usually seen growing in damp, shaded spots.
Spiral ginger can be grown throughout Florida and is mostly found in areas that have tropical or subtropical climates. It is most suitable in areas of Florida that are damp and have plenty of shade as these conditions are best for the growth of spiral ginger. Spiral ginger may thrive in regions like southern and central Florida that have moderate temperatures and appropriate humidity. Because of its ornamental value and temperature adaptability, it is frequently grown in gardens, landscapes, and even as a potted plant in Florida.
The spiral ginger plant has various characteristics that make it unique. It is abundant in antioxidant properties, and it contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium, contributing to overall health and supporting various bodily functions. It can also be made as a tea. Some of the health benefits of consuming spiral ginger tea are as follows:
Blood sugar regulation
– It is believed that consuming spiral ginger tea may help in regulating and maintaining health sugar levels especially for people who suffer from diabetes or have a possibility of developing it.
– It contains compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body.
Aids in digestion
– Consuming spiral ginger tea can relieve digestive discomfort such as gas and bloating and it also aids in digesting food and promoting a healthy gut.
– For those who prefer to go the natural route when it comes to alleviating pain, spiral ginger contains analgesic properties that help in lessening discomfort such as muscle soreness or arthritis.
Boosts immune system
– Spiral ginger contains immune boosting properties that helps in protecting against common illnesses.
Now for some fun facts about spiral ginger:
- Spiral ginger is a critically endangered perennial herb that is endemic to Costa Rica.
- Spiral ginger not only blooms red flowers, but yellow ones too that also attract hummingbirds.
- Spiral ginger flowers only last for a day, however, it is constantly replaced, hence giving the illusion of long-lasting blooming flowers.
- The sap of young leaves and stems of the spiral ginger can be taken internally for diarrhea, for ear infections and eye infections.
- Spiral ginger has many common names such as: Insulin plant, Insulin flower, Painted spiral ginger, Sour ginger, Spiral flag and Spotted spiral ginger to name a few.
- Spiral ginger is one of the most commonly cultivated Costus species.