Introduction to the Thai Black Ginger
Kaempferia parviflora, also known as Thai black ginger, Thai ginseng or krachai dum, is an herbaceous plant in the family Zingiberaceae, native to Thailand. The Thai black ginger can be found specifically in a village in Phetchabun, Khao Kho, Khek Noi, home to one of the biggest Hmong Tribes. This is because the environment in Khek Noi is perfect for the growing and harvesting of Thai black ginger, being more than 500 meters above sea level, with frequent rainy weather and temperature slightly cooler temperature in comparison to the cities of Thailand.
The benefits of Thai Black Ginger
The Thai black ginger has been popular amongst the Hmongs since the earlier days since they believe it would give them energy. They would bite on some of these before they go out to work in the fields. Today, there is an increased scientific interest in the Thai black ginger and several researchers have been looking into the benefits of Thai black ginger. These have confirmed several health benefits the Thai black ginger can bring. Some of these benefits include:
- Enhancement of energy production
One of the most popular reasons why people look for black ginger is due to its energy production properties. A study conducted by Toda et al. (2015) explained that this is because the Thai black ginger extract contains polymethoxy flavonoids in myocytes and helps with improving glucose, lactic acid and lipid metabolism. These can lead to an increase in locomotive functions, and therefore gives an energy boost when consumed.
- Reduces risk of diabetes, lipidemia and obesity
The improvement of glucose, lactic acid and lipid metabolism mentioned earlier would also lead to reduced risk of diseases such as diabetes, lipidemia and obesity. An example of such can be observed in a study conducted by Yoshino et al. (2014) where mice who were subject to a high fat diet were given doses of black ginger extracts. The study concluded that the black ginger extract was able to suppress high fat diet induced obesity through increased energy metabolism.
- Gastric ulcer
A study by Rujjanawate et al. (2005) suggests that oral doses of Thai ginger extract can significantly inhibit gastric ulcer formation.
The health benefits of the Thai black ginger are non-exhaustive. There are several other possible health benefits to Thai black ginger such as an increased sex drive, possible therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (Youn et al. 2016) etc. There are and will be several ongoing research investigating the effect of the Thai black ginger on health properties. These clearly suggests that the Thai black ginger is a valuable herb that should be treasured.
Identifying Good Thai Black Ginger
While we understand the benefits of Thai black ginger, it is also important to be able to identify black ginger of good quality. Good black ginger plants can be very distinct. We can identify them through their reddish leave edges, and pink underside of their leaves. When you break the rhizome of a good quality black ginger in two, you will be able to see that it is black and pinkish in the insides.
Preparation of Thai Black Ginger
There are several ways you can prepare or consume black ginger. These are three of the most popular ways the Thais use black ginger:
- Boiled with water
This can be prepared with either fresh or dried Thai black ginger. Cut the ginger in slices and boil it in water. The black ginger drink is ready for consumption once the water is boiled. Some may prefer to add honey into the drink for taste.
- Powdered and mixed with honey
Black ginger can also be consumed as a bread spread together with honey. To prepare this, either grind dried black ginger into powder or pound it with a mortar and pestle before mixing it in with honey and spreading it on bread.
- Soaked in alcohol
The Thais also like to drink black ginger with alcohol. One of the more popular ways of doing this is soaking slices of the ginger in a bottle of alcohol (Such as 40 degrees in Thailand) for one to two weeks before consumption.
I hope this short article provided you with some knowledge on the Thai black ginger, its benefits and how it can be used. If you are interested in purchasing fresh or dry black ginger, you can purchase some grown by the Hmongs themselves.
Please contact Kosol Suebtayat at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Line ID: tayatfarm and Phone: +66896951800 for interest in purchasing Thai black ginger.
Rujjanawate, C., Kanjanapothi, D., Amornlerdpison, D., & Pojanagaroon, S. (2005). Anti-gastric ulcer effect of Kaempferia parviflora. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 102(1), 120-122.
Toda, K., Takeda, S., Hitoe, S., Nakamura, S., Matsuda, H., & Shimoda, H. (2016). Enhancement of energy production by black ginger extract containing polymethoxy flavonoids in myocytes through improving glucose, lactic acid and lipid metabolism. Journal of natural medicines, 70(2), 163-172.
Yoshino, S., Kim, M., Awa, R., Kuwahara, H., Kano, Y., & Kawada, T. (2014). Kaempferia parviflora extract increases energy consumption through activation of BAT in mice. Food science & nutrition, 2(6), 634-637.
Youn, K., Lee, J., Ho, C. T., & Jun, M. (2016). Discovery of polymethoxyflavones from black ginger (Kaempferia parviflora) as potential β-secretase (BACE1) inhibitors. Journal of Functional Foods, 20, 567-574.