Understanding the Benefits of Ginger

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More than just a delicious spice or food – discover the health benefits of ginger

Ginger, officially known as Zingiber officinale, is a wonderful spice prized for its taste and medicinal properties. This article will provide you with the incredible benefits of ginger, probably surprising by some.

Ancient Ginger Root

One of the things that make ginger so unique is that it has been used for more than 2,500 years by Chinese herbalists. Although often used for flavoring, the Chinese discovered ginger herb root could heal the body. As the popularity of ginger increased, the Greeks began using it to make bread, thus the creation of gingerbread, and colonists in North America found that by sipping ginger beer, an upset stomach was calmed. For that reason, one of the many benefit of ginger root is for nausea.

In fact, this root is incredibly effective as a digestive aid due primarily from the active ingredients shogaols and gingerols. Both of these natural components work by neutralizing stomach acids, enhancing secretion of digestive juices, and toning the digestive tract muscles. By Lavender Oil soothing the stomach, flatulence is often relieved. An excellent combination for treating flatulence is by mixing grated gingerroot and diluted lime juice.

Health Benefits of Ginger

To fully understand the benefits of ginger, let us break them down. First, for nausea, the problem with regular prescription anti-nausea drugs is that it works by going through the body’s central nervous system. Because of this, a person will often experience drowsiness, an unwanted side effect. With ginger, drowsiness is seldom a problem. Additionally, ginger has been shown to help with anesthesia reaction. Commonly, people undergoing surgery will wake up only to feel nauseated. In a controlled study, it was shown that by taking just one gram of ginger prior to surgery, the effects of the anesthesia were significantly less. However, most medical professionals prohibit ginger prior to surgery because it causes blood platelets to be less “sticky”, which can increase risk of bleeding.

Regardless, being able to control nausea has many benefits. For example, for the individual suffering from motion sickness, just one gram of powdered ginger taken daily can cut the incidences of vomiting and sweats. In fact, one of the benefits of ginger root specific to motion sickness is that it showed to provide a calming effect. The same is true for dizziness, which is a side effect often associated with motion sickness. With gingerroot, the level of dizziness is lessened.

Ginger and Its Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Another one of the health benefits of ginger has to do with chronic pain, a common complaint among millions of people. Since ginger contains an anti-inflammatory component, it can indirectly relieve pain by reducing inflammation. What happens is that prostaglandins, natural pain causing compounds, are reduced providing the person with pain relief. Interestingly, many professional massage therapists will use ginger oil for this very reason. For muscle and joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or even individuals who play sports, one gram of powdered ginger taken daily can provide excellent relief.

Other health benefits of ginger include reducing symptoms associated with allergies, the common cold, and other respiratory problems. Because ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant, it can provide outstanding relief from these symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes. As you can see, there are many benefits of ginger, many unknown. Because of the diversity of ginger, we highly recommend it be added to a person’s list of daily supplements.

Buying Ginger Supplements

When you buy ginger supplements, be sure they contain pungent compounds, again the shogaols and gingerols. Whether buying as powder, in crystallized form, extract in pill form, fresh gingerroot, or as tea, you will enjoy feeling better. You can even benefit from ginger by drinking eight ounces of ginger ale every day. Remember, just one gram makes a huge difference so you are not required to consume large amounts.

Finally, there are a few notes of caution associated with ginger. Pregnant women should not use ginger in treating nausea during the first trimester and for people with gallstones, large amounts of ginger should be avoided. Again, people going into surgery or those who bleed easily should avoid ginger as well since it can cause bleeding.




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