Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet as you all know and it is quite loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
It is a flowering plant that originated from China and the rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.
It 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.
- The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract.
At the same time, ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, and to increase motility through the digestive tract. This suggests it could help prevent colon cancer and constipation.
- Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment and pregnancy.It appears to be highly effective against nausea especially pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.
For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication.
Although it 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.
- During cold weather, drinking its tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within.
To make ginger tea at home, slice 20 to 40 grams (g) of fresh ginger and steep it in a cup of hot water. Adding a slice of lemon or a drop of honey adds flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
This makes a soothing natural remedy for a cold or flu.
- It has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, the severe pain that some women experience during a menstrual cycle. It manages to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
- Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions.
It has also been found to be “modestly efficacious and reasonably safe” for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
- Other possible uses include reducing cholesterol, lowering the risk of blood clotting, and helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. More research is needed, but if proven, it could become part of a treatment for heart disease and diabetes.