Health Benefits of Ginger
We’ve all experienced unrelenting nausea at some point or another. At these times, you’re first instinct may be to turn to over the counter medications; however, ginger works as a simple, effective antidote.
You can take ginger in whatever form appeals to you. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes.
The unique fragrance and flavour of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
Below is a simple soothing recipe in which ginger and mint — a general stomach-settler — work together to fight nausea.
Zingy Minty Nausea Fighter (2 servings)
- In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 2 teaspoons of dried peppermint (or 1 tablespoon fresh), and 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger.
- Turn off the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain out the herbs.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of honey. Sip for a soothing experience.
Ginger is not just good for nausea and below are some of the super food’s capabilities
- Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Ginger is a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.
The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.
Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy.
Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.
According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea.
Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, but there are currently no studies to support this.
- Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain .
These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
- The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.
In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication.
Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
There are some studies showing ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a very common health problem.
- Ginger Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.
It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.
After eating soup, ginger reduced the time it took for the stomach to empty from 16 to 12 minutes.
In a study of 24 healthy individuals, 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerated emptying of the stomach by 50%.
Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.
- Ginger Powder May Significantly Reduce Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period.
Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.
- The Active Ingredient in Ginger Can Help Fight Infections
Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections.
In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria.
It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.
*Always consult your doctor prior especially if you are on medication to avoid any negative reaction