Ginger is an ancient spice with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The top health benefits of ginger include its ability to help with arthritis and osteoarthritis, relieve nausea and pain, prevent
cancer , improve respiratory conditions, and reduce flatulence . It also helps boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite.
This spicy root is also good for enhancing sexual activity, mitigating obesity, and relieving the pain related to menstrual disorders.
What is Ginger?
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale , is a flowering plant, whose root or rhizome is used as a
spice. It can be consumed in many forms, fresh, dried, powdered, and in the form of oil and juice. In many places, it is mostly used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger beer and wine.
Today, ginger is on the FDA’s list of generally safe foods and is often used to mask the taste of bitter medicines such as cough syrups.
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 ginger could help prevent colon cancer and constipation.
Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment.
Taking ginger for motion sickness seems to reduce feelings of nausea, but it does not appear to prevent vomiting.
Ginger is safe to use during pregnancy, to relieve nausea. It is available in the form of ginger lozenges or candies.
3. Cold and flu relief
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.
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.
4. Pain reduction
A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25 percent .
Ginger has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, the severe pain that some women experience during a menstrual cycle.
Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions.
A study published in Cancer Prevention Research journal reported that ginger supplements, which are available to buy online , reduced the risk of colorectal cancer developing in the bowel of 20 volunteers.
Ginger has also been found to be “modestly efficacious and reasonably safe” for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
6. Cardiovascular health
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, ginger could become part of a treatment for heart disease and diabetes .
7. Prevents Cancer
The organic compounds like gingerol, in ginger aid in the
prevention of breast cancer and many other types of cancer. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent carcinogenic activity in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer.
A report by Dr. Suzanna Zick, research associate professor at the University of Michigan, US, has shown that gingerol leads to apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells, thereby reducing tumors and the growth of cancerous cells, without harming the healthy cells around them. Gingerol is also known to protect against skin cancer.
Zerumbone, in ginger, is positively linked to the prevention of gastric, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer as it functions as an anti-angiogenic and antitumor drug.
8. Liver Protection
People suffering from tuberculosis can benefit from ginger, as it helps prevent hepatotoxicity. It also protects against the liver-damaging cadmium poisoning caused due to significant ingestion of cadmium. Its
essential oil exerts a protective effect against the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurring because of obesity.
9. Relieves Asthma
Ginger has been used traditionally as a medicine to treat respiratory disorders. Recent studies on it have also seconded its anti-inflammatory property. Zerumbone, an active compound, helps relieve asthma .
Research shows that the allergic airway inflammation is majorly caused by Th2 dominance and the spicy root is successfully able to suppress it.
10. Stomach Ulcers
Consuming ginger regularly can help improve the gut health, says research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal. It prevents the occurrence of ulcers, which are generally characterized by bleeding and acute gastric irritability. In addition, it also inhibits the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which is a major ulcerogenic, thus keeping your stomach healthy.
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can create havoc in the body and leave you restless forever. Anti-inflammatory properties of ginger aid in treating these issues.
11. Reduces Arthritis Pain
Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. It contains gingerol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol has been directly associated with improvements in osteoarthritis, knee inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis, as cited in a
study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism journal. Along with that, it also suppresses the inflammatory compounds like cytokines and chemokines at the source before they begin to affect the body.
12. Detoxifies the Body
Ginger is good at promoting sweating. Sweating cleans out the pores and allows your body to eliminate toxins. Research has also shown that sweat includes a germ-fighting compound, named dermcidin. It has been positively connected to reduced bacterial and viral infections as it can create a sheen on the skin, which is a protective layer of previously unknown proteins.
13. Prevents Infection
Ginger is known to inhibit bacterial, viral, and fungal infection, owing to the presence of gingerol in it. It also helps in maintaining oral health by killing the pathogens in the mouth and keep the teeth and gums intact. Its antibacterial properties help ward off pathogenic bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (UTI),
bronchitis, and pneumonia.
14. Treats Diarrhea
Ginger has been used since ancient times to cure diarrhea since it prevents stomach spasms and gas that contribute to and stimulate it. In China, the powdered form is given to those with diarrhea and this traditional practice is followed for thousands of years; scientists have concluded that these ancient treatments are indeed beneficial for this condition.
15. Skin Care
Ginger can help in alleviating the symptoms of eczema , owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. By adding ginger tea, or the juice to your diet, you can easily bid goodbye to many chronic skin conditions like dermatitis , acne, and
16. Increases Sexual Activity
A known aphrodisiac, ginger has been used for years to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity. Its scent has a unique allure that helps in increasing fertility and establishing a sexual connection. This root also helps increase blood circulation, hence blood flows more easily to the mid-section of the body, an important area for sexual performance.