Ginger is one of the most popular home remedies there is. It has been widely used everywhere around the globe to cure various ailments, making scientists more curious about what this root crop can bring to the table. This have launched several studies on the health benefits of ginger, so people can take more advantage of this natural ingredient.
Considered as one of the world’s healthiest food items, ginger is actually a flowering plant with an edible root. Nowadays, it is mostly grown for its roots, as these are the most useful parts of the plant.
As ginger has been used as a spice and traditional medicine for centuries already, tracing where it originated is still a challenge for most experts. A lot of them believe, though, that it has come from the Indian subcontinent. It no longer grows wild nowadays but is already widely cultivated for commercial sale.
Today, ginger is still widely used to flavor food of various cuisines and as a home remedy for a wide array of ailments. It’s a great way to add some zing and spice to stir fry and other dishes and has proven to be effective in curing various maladies.
If you’re curious about what ginger can do, here’s a list of its thirteen science-proven health benefits.
1. Overcome Nausea
For centuries, ginger has been used to treat nausea. It has been a traditional remedy for seasickness as sailors and seafarers are known to chew it raw when the motion sickness sets in. It has also been proven to be effective as a cure for morning sickness during a woman’s early stages of pregnancy.
Due to these, researchers also made efforts to look into ginger’s potency in treating nausea in post surgery patients as well as patients who have just undergone chemotherapy. They determined that ginger root can actually help in such cases and can even boost anti-nausea prescription drugs.
2. Help Treat Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that mainly affects the weight bearing joints like knees, hips, and spine. Its symptoms include joint pains, swelling, and inflammation. While it is very common among older people aged 45 and above, it can also manifest itself in younger people.
There are lots of ways how to deal with osteoarthritis including adequate rest, weight management, and a balanced diet. A wide array of prescription medication are also given to patients, although, long term use may cause side effects and tolerance. This is why some folks afflicted with this ailment look for alternative cures.
Ginger is one of the most popular home remedies for osteoarthritis. Thanks to its potent anti inflammatory properties called gingerols, this natural ingredient can actually help inhibit the induction of several genes that causes the inflammatory response in osteoarthritis.
What’s even better is that ginger is an all natural cure for this disease. Pitted against the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASDs) usually prescribed for the disorder, ginger has ingredients that can suppress leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting 5-lipooxygenase activity. It also has properties that can prevent chronic inflammation, which makes it an effective treatment for managing the disorder.
3. Treat Chronic Indigestion
Everyone experiences indigestion from time to time, so it’s just important to learn about various ways how to deal with it. Luckily, ginger is one of the easiest solutions to chronic indigestion, dyspepsia, and bloating aside from a lot of other stomach issues that you can experience.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the Chang Gung University of Taiwan, ginger has proven itself as an effective natural ingredient for gastric emptying. This helps solve chronic indigestion by helping the stomach process the food you’ve consumed. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise since ginger has been traditionally used to solve stomach problems.
4. Reduce Menstrual Pain
Dysmenorrhea is a common among women. It typically comes during the first or second days of their monthly periods and can bring debilitating pains. There are lots of home remedies for this ailment, but ginger is a science proven cure that you can rely on.
Thanks to ginger’s anti inflammatory ingredients, it can mimic the effects of ibuprofen, allowing it to manage pain caused by dysmenorrhea. Drinking a cup of hot ginger tea can help lessen one’s pain levels and reduce menstrual pain overall.
5. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Since ginger has anti inflammatory properties, experts are also lead to believe that this natural ingredient can also help lower bad cholesterol levels. According to studies, consuming ginger can help activate an enzyme that increases the body’s use of cholesterol, therefore lowering it afterwards.
It has also been tested and proven to help increase good cholesterol in a study conducted in Saudi Arabia. So, not only does ginger proved itself useful in combatting your low density lipoprotein a.k.a. LDL or bad cholesterol, but it can also increase your high density lipoprotein a.k.a. HDL or good cholesterol.
6.Help Prevent Cancer
One of the reasons why ginger is getting a lot of buzz lately is because of its potential cancer fighting properties. According to the American Cancer Society, ginger can combat ovarian cancer by blocking the cancer cells from growing, preventing it from spreading and causing more harm to the body. According to experts, by modulating the secretion of angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells, ginger is can be one of the most potent natural ingredients against this disease.
Research also suggests that ginger can also help in treating prostate cancer. Tests have exhibited how this natural ingredient can trick the cancer cells into killing themselves, which has resulted to tumors shrinking to almost half of its original size.
7. Improve Brain Function
The search for the best brain food has been in motion since time immemorial. What’s more surprising is that one of the best answers is already in most people’s kitchens, waiting for people to take notice. Ginger is actually proven to be beneficial in improving one’s memory, attention, and neurotransmitter balance.
It also increases the production of essential brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which help enhance your mood and combat stress. Cognitive function in middle aged women is also proven to be enhanced by ginger. It can also reduce risks of Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.
Experts found out that ginger is a potent protective agent, helping keep the nervous system in good shape. It can reduce the brain’s oxidative stress as well as minimize MSG’s (monosodium glutamate) neurotoxicity, making it an excellent brain food.
8. Help To Lose Weight
Of course, any food item that can help lose weight is bound to become popular sooner or later. And since ginger can efficiently help you shed some pounds, it’s natural to find it in some of the most well loved natural ingredients.
Ginger can help you lose weight by boosting you satiety. This can lessen food consumption, which will reduce the calories you need to burn. As ginger also helps produce more serotonin and dopamine as well as minimize the production of cortisol, you’re also less likely to succumb to stress eating, as you’ll be able to manage your stress more easily.
Then there’s also the fact that ginger is good for digestion. It can help your digestive system process the food you intake in a jiffy, allowing you to get food in and out of your system smoothly. Combine these three and you have an effective weight loss product on your hand.
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9. Bacterial Infections
If you want to boost your immune system, ginger is also a great natural ingredient you have to get a load of. Studies show ginger has potent antimicrobial properties that can easily kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes more effectively than a lot of commercial drugs. In a separate study, ginger has also proven that it can effectively combat Candida.
And since ginger is a natural product, it is always more preferable than chemical antibacterial drugs. You can even take it as a precautionary measure in case you’re visiting a place that will get you in contact with such bacteria.
10. Combats Stomach Discomfort
Ginger is a centuries-old home remedy for an upset stomach. But what makes it such a popular natural ingredient for tummy aches?
According to some experts, it may have something to do with ginger’s high melatonin content. This antioxidant is said to help reduce stomach acid and prohibits the loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). LES is basically the band of muscles that keeps stomach contents from leaking into the esophagus, so proper control of it is essential to prevent acid reflux.
Some experts also attribute ginger’s effectiveness in treating an upset stomach with its anti-ulcer and anti- bacterial properties. It can specifically fight off the proliferation of the Helicobacter plyori which is a bacteria linked to ulcers. This makes ginger an effective treatment for different kinds of stomach issues.
11. Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness
Gym buffs can also enjoy ginger as a natural remedy for muscle pain and soreness. Thanks to its anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties, ginger can be a natural painkiller after a heavy physical activity.
You can also use ginger oil to massage the sore spot and enjoy its heating ability to manage the pain.
12. Fights Common Respiratory Problems
Thanks to ginger’s anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it can help clear the lungs and the respiratory system from infections that can lead to more serious problems later on.
It is said to be beneficial for those with asthma and other respiratory issues as it can detoxify and clear out the lungs of irritants and pollutants.
13. Improves Your Breath
If you’re battling with bad breath and you’ve already tried a myriad of remedies to solve the problem without satisfactory results, give ginger a try. Sometimes, halitosis or bad breath is caused by digestive problems, so addressing the root cause can solve the issue. As ginger has been used for centuries to calm upset tummies and improve digestion, it is the best natural ingredient to help cure bad breath.
If the halitosis is caused by bacterial growth inside the mouth, ginger is still a good natural remedy. With its anti bacterial properties, it can also easily combat the infection and solve your oral woes.
How to Take Ginger for Various Ailments
There are lots of ways how you can consume ginger to help alleviate certain conditions and treat various ailments. Some of which are the following:
- Add ginger to your meals. They’re great for flavoring various dishes anyway, so why not actually eat them?
- Drink fresh ginger tea regularly. You can either crush a few slices of ginger and steep it in hot water or peel then grate or slice a few ginger roots and boil it in water that you can then drink afterwards. Add some honey or a slice of lemon according to your preference.
- Chew raw slices. If you can withstand its strong flavor, chewing it raw can help you get the most out of ginger’s health benefits as well.
- Take ginger extract. Like other health foods, ginger is also now available in extract form. You can enjoy it as a food supplement, making it easier to take especially if you’re not too fond of its natural taste.
- Ginger oil. You can also find oil made from ginger nowadays. You can use it as a topical product for massages or as an additive to water as an alternative to extract. Some also use it for cooking.
With ginger’s many benefits, it’ll be a shame not to take full advantage of it. It’s inexpensive and easy to find, making it an excellent home remedy. It’s also very easy to use to improve your overall health as it can be taken in so many different ways, so you always have ample options in how you can get the most out of this natural ingredient.
Just make sure not to exceed four grams per day as ginger can also have some mild side effects. Pregnant and nursing women should also take caution and seek their doctor’s opinion before loading up on ginger to avoid any complications that it might cause.