The North East of India is a vast region in the eastern part of India that is filled with natural spaces and natural miracles. The region is home to so many kinds of rare spices, herbs, plants and medicines that not even the people living in these regions have discovered them completely. The region never ceases to astound. These natural resources are unique because they are nurtured by the most potent and fertile soils, fresh clean air, abundant rains and waters of the Himalayas. The resources are so unique in nutritional value that almost everything great that comes out of these soils tends to stand out amongst the counterpart species of the same resource.
What is Ing Makhir ginger?
In the sprawling hills of Meghalaya, there grows an indigenous variety of our regular ginger that is called “ing makhir” or “Sying Makhir” in the local vernacular. This is the species of Ginger that is known for its most potent qualities and highest Gingerol content among ginger species. The content of Gingerol in ginger is what decides the value of the ginger in the market. According to which, the Ing Makhir Ginger is deemed to be placed at a real high value.
The species of ginger has very small fingers and is comparatively sleek and smaller than the regular ginger varieties. It is highly fibrous from the within and the skin is also easy to peel because it is thinner. This particular ginger can be found in abundance in the Jaintia Hills, Sahsniang, Khatkasla and Mookhap regions of Meghalaya.
The ginger is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in the culinary world; it is mostly used to make famous Khasi chutney that goes by the name Tungrungbai. This chutney is made by using chillies, akhuni (fermented soy beans), ing makhir ginger and Black sesame seeds (nei long). The chutney is so leaded with nutrition that the ginger is used to cut down on the excess richness of the chutney and to prevent stomach aches.
The traditional shamans and spiritual healers have long used this ginger to cure ailments such as:
- Fatal Snake bites
- To prepare herbal baths for infants
- To cure a cough, cold or a sore throat
- Prevents children as well as adults from keeping cold and related fever at bay. (at a time when the pandemic was at its peak, the ing makhir ginger was on really high demand to battle the virus and keep patients from developing corona based pneumonia
- Severe tooth aches
- To treat severe joint pains in adults, arthritis, body aching and rheumatism.
Value of Ing Makhir Ginger in the markets
The value addition to these resources is very high and can gain a very high demand if the world came to know about all this pure organic nutritious goodness. Sometimes, the locals who live right by the resource have no idea of how valuable the things that are growing in their very garden are. Sometimes it almost feels like we do not appreciate enough, the world of high quality resources and foods that we get to consume living in these parts. However, the awareness is happening and things are gaining a lot of value.
For example the Lakadong Turmeric that is grown in Meghalaya is not just any other turmeric. Where the local turmeric that is not lakadong has a curcumin content of 3-4 percent; the lakadong turmeric has a curcumin content of 6-7 percent which makes sit the highest curcumin content turmeric in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Now for those of us who do not know what the great deal about a high curcumin content is, curcumin is the compound in the turmeric that gives it its bright yellow color along with increasing metabolism and heat in the body, it is also used for its anti-inflammatory traits and is great medicine to help with arthritis, anxiety as well as hyperlipidaemia.
The Ing Makhir ginger is another such high value ginger that has unique properties and characteristics that make sit such a high value natural resource. This Ginger can be found in Meghalaya in a place called Mookhap where farmers grow this particular of Ginger.
How does one create value for this ginger in the current markets?
Usually it does not take too much effort to introduce such an amazing natural resource in the market, but since the locals who grow this produce are the ones who themselves are unable to estimate its value correctly; it will lead to value depreciation instantly. However, it is easier in the case of Ing Makhri ginger, because the ginger is in high demand amongst the practitioners of medicine in those rural spaces to make medicine.
The Ing Makhir ginger is a very potent species from the Zingiber family or gingers and is known to have the highest Gingerol content. This is the component in ginger that gives the Ginger its unique flavour and aroma and in the case of Ing Makhir, a very strong aroma and flavour that is strikingly prominent. The gingerol content does not only give the aroma and flavour but is a very powerful source of anti-oxidants that helps prevent the decay of cells, anti-inflammatory properties that help with injuries and wounds and anti-bacterial traits that fight bacteria formation in or outside the body. It is this gingerol content in the ginger that decides its market value, in this case, very high for Ing Makhir Ginger. The one thing that might create an issue is that due to the farmers being unaware of its market value and true value, the production is limited to small farming areas and gardens which do not leave a lot of ginger for the market to work with.
Ing Makhir Ginger Benefits for the health
Some of the most common health benefits of this single origin species of ginger include:
- Ing Makhir is a strong source of anti-inflammatory properties that helps with severe joint pains.
- Anti-oxidant levels in the ginger are very high which means that even a little amount of this ginger when consumed; helps prevent the decaying or wearing off of the cells within the body.
- The ginger has a lot of anti-bacterial properties and it prevents the cultivation of bacteria on wounds and injuries both from within and the without.
- The ginger is a great remedy for those suffering from a bad stomach health. This is because the compounds in the ginger help increase metabolism and maintain digestive health. The medicinal practitioners have been using this ginger in ways to treat stomach problems in children as well as adults since ages now.
- The ginger if chewed raw, helps with nausea and alleviates the symptoms.
Cultivation and harvest of Ing Makhir Ginger
The Ing Makhir is a species of ginger that has been cultivated since many generations. This means that it is an heirloom crop and its seeds have been rotated and used over and over again across generations. Amongst the entire growth only the healthiest and the most superior rhizomes are chosen as seeds for the next batch of Ing Makhir ginger. The cultivation of this ginger requires an extremely fertile soil to flourish and a judicious water supply. The ginger is then harvested towards the end of November and throughout December.
The Ing Makhir ginger is quite well known within India as being the most potent ginger. There are still those who have very less idea about this natural miracle and its uses and benefits. There must be blatant awareness being spread about this Meghalaya ginger, this wonder spice, which is found in the state of Meghalaya in the North East.