Do you know that ginger has much more to offer you than flavor for your favorite cuisine? It is a quite common spice in Indian and Asian cuisine. It is most valued for its healing property:
- relief from pain
- nausea issues
- digestive issues
If you have been taking the commercially prepared ginger to relieve your stomach upset, you will be much better off with a tea that contains no artificial flavoring. All feelings of queasiness, vertigo, cold sweat, involuntary vomiting, and unease can be eased with ginger. So today, we are going to be examining the benefits of taking a little ginger every day. But, let’s first take a look at what this plant is and what it’s capable of.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is a flowering perennial plant that originated from South China and was later traded throughout the Middle East, India, Africa, and Asia. For over five millennia, the Chinese and Indians have used and valued it for its healing properties. It got so valuable and rare at a particular time that one had to exchange a pound of it for the equivalent cost of a sheep.
Ginger produces leafy shoots that can go as high as four feet, spikes that produce flowers and bulbous and gnarled rhizomes- which are the most treasured part of it used for medicinal purpose. The rhizomes which are popularly referred to as ‘ginger root’ or ‘ginger’ grows beneath the soil and are usually aromatic.
The plant is closely related to turmeric and cardamon. It comes loaded with 115 constituents, the most active of which is gingerol which is a bioactive compound that has powerful inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Benefits of taking ginger
Following the medicinal use of the root over the centuries, modern researchers have carried out studies and expanded on the therapeutic and healing properties of it. These benefits are not just conjectures, but one backed with scientific research.
If you have not been taking ginger every day, these are seven benefits that could kick-start your daily dosage.
Ginger helps to treat different forms of nausea
Over the years, the root has been effective in treating nausea. This discovery stems from the fact that sailors have effectively used it as a remedy to seasickness over the years. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and surgery patients can be relieved of nausea and vomiting with the use of ginger. Pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) can also be combatted using the plant.
Ginger helps with indigestion
Are you someone that suffers from indigestion and other forms of related stomach discomfort? Ginger has been known to help quicken the delayed emptying of the stomach. It helps to break down food by stimulating muscle contraction in the stomach that helps to speed up the emptying of stomach content in the small intestine. Indigestion could lead to heartburn, abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Ginger helps reduce menstrual pains
Since one of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, the pain felt during a woman’s menstrual period can also be relieved with a dose of the root. Ginger can work as well as pain relievers in reducing menstrual pain. It has to be taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.
The plant can help relieve the body’s cholesterol level
Good cardiovascular health can be maintained when the cholesterol level in the body is regulated. A low high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) accompanied by a high low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) could lead to the risk of stroke and heart attack. The LDL lipoproteins are greatly influenced by the food you eat, and a high level of this ‘bad cholesterol’ has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Researchers have revealed that ginger is one of those low-cholesterol foods that can help reduce bad cholesterol. Studies have been carried out on both humans and animal with a high level of cholesterol. They discovered a significant reduction after the dosage of the plant.
Ginger helps lower the risk of infections
The primary bioactive substance in ginger, gingerol which is high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help prevent the growth of many types of bacteria and also lower the risks of infection. Furthermore, it is very effective against respiratory infections and other forms of oral bacteria that cause inflammation in the lungs.
Ginger combats inflammation
Inflammation is a short-term response our body puts up to protect it against infection, heal injury and notify the body when it comes close to harmful chemicals. Ginger has been heralded as having great anti-inflammatory properties especially with the presence of gingerol. Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can help inhibit inflammation-causing enzymes. However, long-term usage of these drugs can cause some unpleasant health effects.
This spice has been used for centuries and is still being used by those who are aware of it to suppress pro-inflammatory enzymes. There are no problems of long-term use.
The root increases the brain function and protects against Alzheimer
Research has shown that mild cases of Alzheimer can help restore memory and slow down the reduction of brain cells. Early consumption of the plant by someone with traces of Alzheimer in her pedigree will help reduce its future effect.
Ginger may help reduce cancer risks
A study carried out has revealed that the main bio-active constituent ‘gingerol’ can perform some anti-cancer activities.
Conclusion – the benefits of ginger
Ginger could be taken in different forms. It could be powdered, fresh, dried as a spice or crushed to produce juice and oil. Our tip is to take a small piece of the fresh root directly in the morning and eat it. It is hot, but you directly have a free respiratory tract.
If you are one for superfoods, then ginger should be high on your list. It just might look weird and stumpy to you, but remember it is regarded as a gift from the gods by Asians and Indians who use it for its therapeutic and preventative remedy.