The spice Ginger and it’s health benefits:
This pungent spice is found in cuisine around the globe, but ginger has also been used for more than 2,500 years for its medicinal properties. The ancient Chinese knew that it aided in the absorption of many herbal preparations and they prescribed it extensively as a digestive tonic.
A native root of southeast Asia, ginger is a potent ally in the treatment of nausea, motion sickness, and joint pain. Current research confirms ginger’s efficacy as an anti-inflammatory, GI calmative, and antihistamine. The active ingredients found in ginger — gingerols and shagoals — lower levels of prostaglandins, the chemicals responsible for pain and inflammation in joints and muscles. By reducing prostaglandins, ginger can even have a positive effect on heart health and circulation because chronic, systemic inflammation increases the risk of heart attack and blood vessel compromise.
Ginger comes in several forms. Fresh and dried ginger is available in supermarkets for use in cooking. It’s also available in capsules, an extract pill form, prepackaged tea bags, crystallized, and as a topical oil.
Recommended Uses of Ginger for Health:
Motion Sickness and Nausea
- Most medications for nausea and motion sickness work to calm the nervous system and can cause drowsiness and dry mouth. On the other hand, ginger calms the digestive tract directly and has been shown to reduce nausea after surgery and chemotherapy. For motion sickness, take 100 mg two hours before departure and every four hours afterwards or as needed.
Arthritis and Muscle Aches
- Massage ginger oil into affected areas and/or take up to 1 g of powdered ginger daily to reduce inflammation.
Colds and Allergies
- Drink up to 4 cups of ginger tea daily or enjoy authentic ginger ale (made from real ginger).
While ginger has no known side effects, it’s always a good idea to consult your health care practitioner to make sure it’s right for you.