Ginger is one of the most ancient spices worldwide. It has become well-known for its health benefits, which include its ability to boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, increase appetite, prevent various types of cancer, improve respiratory conditions, aid in digestion, eliminate arthritis symptoms, reduce excess gas, enhance sexual activity, and relieve pains related to menstrual disorders, nausea, and flu.
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is inaccurately referred to as “ginger root”, although the edible section sold in the markets and used in dishes is actually the stem or the rhizome. In many places, it is mostly used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger beer and wine. Ginger is well known for its ability to alleviate nausea and vomiting, but it boasts many other additional health benefits, extending from reducing pain and allergy symptoms to serving as a source of cancer-fighting antioxidant. A veritable host of ailments throughtout the body has shown a positive response to ginger.
Ginger is commonly used as a digestive aid. For this reason, some may eat fresh ginger before a meal. Post-meal, ginger improves food and nutrient absorption. The ingredient is even known to reduce bloating and gas. Ginger also delivers anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities, which may reduce the pain of arthritic joints, sore muscles, headaches, and menstrual cramps. The antioxidant properties of this herb have also shown an ability to kill cancer cells. In some regions, ginger juice is even used as a topical treatment for burns.
The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production and suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the GI tract.
During cold weather, drinking ginger tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within. As such, in the wake of a cold, ginger tea is particularly useful.
A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%. Ginger has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea (severe pain during a menstrual cycle). In one study, 83% of women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms compared to 47% of those on placebo.
Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions. A study published that a ginger root supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colon within a month. Researchers on the study explained that by decreasing inflammation, the risk of colon cancer is also likely to decrease. Ginger has also shown promise in clinical trials for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
Two of the biggest killers on the planet may be kept at bay with regular ginger use, especially when eaten with other key superfoods. Garlic, ginger and onions all have an anti-blood-clotting ability, yet when they’re eaten together they’re a powerful mainstay against heart attacks and stroke!
Whether we’re talking about curing a simple tummy ache or severe morning sickness, ginger has been used for thousands of years as an effective digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. Recently, Taiwanese researchers discovered that three capsules (1.2 grams total) of ginger can actually help the stomach release its contents into the small intestines in people with dyspepsia — a condition in which 40 percent of patients suffer from abnormally delayed gastric emptying.
Gingerols are widely known to naturally improve diabetes and enhance insulin sensitivity. Building off this knowledge, a 2006 study out of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that they could also suppress sorbitol accumulation in human blood cells and sugar-fed rats. Simply put, ginger not only helps prevent and reverse diabetes itself — it protects against and improves diabetic complications like diabetic retinopathy!
Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea caused by HIV/AIDS treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
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