There are many health benefits of ginger. This powerful herb has been shown to be useful in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. The health benefits of ginger have been known for over 2000 years. In Eastern societies, ginger has always been known for its healing powers. Ginger is said to be excellent for the digestion, but it also has many more health benefits.
Gingers healing properties come from its volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols, which are also responsible for its pungent taste. The oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced which helps with the whole digestion process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea.
Ginger is a perennial plant, distinguished by the white and yellowish-greenish flowers it produces, as well as its thick stem. The ginger plant is known to have originated in China, however it has since then been cultivated in many other countries, including: India, South West Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean. The plant is famous for its concentrated, spicy aroma, which can be attributed to the fact that it is composed of up to 3% natural essential oils. The stem is the part of the plant which is generally sold and used today. It has been made widely available for eating and for the use of flavoring foods. It is also ground up and processed into all sorts of powders, tinctures, crystals, tonics and flavorings and then marketed in health food stores.
Ginger is one of the oldest spices, originating in tropical Southeast Asia. It has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years. The cuisines of Asia are perfumed with its essence, as are the sweetbreads of northern Europe. An ancient food with medicinal properties, ginger contains gingerol, shogaol and zingiberene, which have antioxidant properties. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium, and a very good source of manganese. Ginger root is very low in cholesterol and sodium.
Health Benefits of Ginger
There are endless health benefits of ginger and its root. Ginger has been revered for thousands of years as a universal medicine, especially in areas such as China and India. It has been said to help provide relief for conditions as diverse as asthma, painful menstruation, migraines, indigestion and infection and is said to promote vitality and longevity.
- Ginger root is full of natural anti-inflammatories, and anything that helps keep levels of inflammation low is good for your heart.
- Ginger is also good for headaches. Chew a piece for half an hour to alleviate the pain, advises herbalist Rosita Arvigo.
- New research by scientists in America suggests that symptoms of knee osteoarthritis can be significantly reduced with concentrated extracts of ginger. By comparing ginger with a placebo in a randomized control, they found that knee pain on standing and after walking were all reduced by ginger and that the amount of painkillers needed was also reduced.
- Ginger is also good for the stomach. Japanese researchers found that the gingerols in ginger block the vomit reflex. "Ginger will help settle your stomach and calm nausea after drinking, or anytime you have an upset stomach", says dietician Leslie Bonci of Pittsburgh University.
However, high doses (6 grams or more) may damage the stomach lining and could eventually lead to ulcers. Allergic skin reactions are also possible, but in recommended doses, ginger causes no side effects. Massive doses of ginger can depress the nervous system and cause heart irregularities. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
10 Health Benefits of Ginger
One of ginger's most touted health benefits is its ameliorating effects on digestive ailments. It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It is excellent for reducing gas. Many people report that it will also relieve nausea, and can be effective in treating morning sickness as well as motion sickness. Ginger can also help reduce inflammation. So it can be used to treat any disease that is caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood. It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds. We have listed below the top 10 health benefits of ginger.
- Ginger has carminative properties (anti spasmic) and can be used to calm in upset stomach, providing relief for the relief of bloating and gas.
- The intake of ginger helps stimulate the secretion of mucus, quieting your cough and soothing any scratchiness I your throat.
- Ginger has been proven (in multiple studies) to treat feelings of nausea, particularly in the form of seasickness, morning sickness, motion sickness and as a side effect of chemotherapy.
- Ginger contains anti viral, anti toxic, and anti fungal properties, and is used for the prevention of and treatment against the common cold.
- Ginger acts as an antihistamine and aids in the treatment of allergies.
- Ginger displays anti inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. The chemical components of the root are instrumental in inhibiting the biosynthesis of prostaglandins which are responsible for causing inflammation. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAID's that are traditionally prescribed.
- Ginger contains special enzymes responsible for catalyzing the proteins in your food, thus aiding in digestion and the prevention of cramps. The ancient Greeks used to eat ginger after a large meal in order to ease the digestion process.
- Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger protects against the development of ulcers, unwanted holes in the lining of your stomach.
- Ginger has proven to help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of blood clots.
- Ginger is often used to settle an upset stomach or treat severe stomach ailments such as dyspepsia or colic. It is frequently used today in developing countries to treat diarrhea.
To discover the health benefits of ginger for yourself, simply make a tea by steeping about 5 slices of ginger in hot water. If you prefer it in your food, ginger is excellent in many dishes.
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