Medicinal benefits of Ginger you Probably didn’t know
Medicinal benefits of Ginger you Probably didn’t know
Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China. It 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.
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 flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Ginger is one of the most widely used ingredients in home remedies. It has carminative properties, making it the perfect condiment to have for various health conditions. And winter is the perfect weather to use it, let’s see how…
*—– Ginger contains compounds like gingerols and zingerone that are believed to keep the body warm. It helps combat cold extremities.
How to use it – Take 1 tablespoon of sliced ginger and put it in two cups of boiling water for ten minutes. After pouring, add a few drops of honey in this ginger water and drink it for at least 2 or 3 times a day.
*——- As discussed, ginger has a warming effect on the body, it does wonders to the sore and cold feet.
How to use it – In a pot of boiling water, add a handful slices of ginger. Once it starts to cool, soak your feet for 15 minutes. Following this at least twice a day will keep your feet healthily warm.
*——– If you are suffering from cold and cough, this remedy will definitely soothe your symptoms. Make a cough syrup at home using ginger and honey and get speedy recovery.
How to use it – Take a tablespoon of raw honey and add a few drops of ginger in it. You can grate it to extract the juice. Stir well and drink this mixture. Having it at least 2 to 4 times a day will help in quick healing.
*——- Due to its inflammatory properties, ginger is considered to be the best natural painkiller.
In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises.
Studies indicate, Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
How to use it – Add ginger in your daily meals or prepare ginger tea to reduce body pains and inflammation.
To prepare ginger tea, peel some ginger and boil it in water for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Add lime juice and honey to taste.
*——— This hot and fragrant spice effectively treats an upset stomach. 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.
How to use it – Eating 1 gram of freshly peeled ginger per day can relieve stomach ache and even gastric problems. You could also add ginger as a spice in your food to get relief from an upset stomach. Alternatively, cut fresh ginger into small pieces and sprinkle salt on every piece. Whenever possible, chew these pieces.
*———- If you regularly suffer from stomach ache, make ginger juice at home and drink it. 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.
How to use it – You can mix 2 teaspoons of ginger juice, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of table salt or black salt. Stir the mixture properly and consume it with or without water.
*———- High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels.
In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
This is supported by a study in hypothyroid rats, where ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol to a similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin.
Both studies also showed reductions in total cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
*———- Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger.
There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
*———- Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process. They are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory. There are also numerous studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function.
*———– 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.
*———- Ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties. It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks. There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.
*———- 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.