Ginger is the spice made from the rhizome, or enlarged underground stem, of the herbaceous perennial plant Zingiber officinale.
Chocked full of antioxidants; for centuries, it has been used in medical traditions throughout the world.
Native to southern Asia, ginger is a warming, stimulating herb which is especially useful for circulation. It is used in Ayurvedic practice, Western herbalism, and aromatherapy to relieve pain, curb inflammation, and settle nausea.
The essential oil distilled from the root smells similar to fresh root ginger.
Ginger is known to have antiviral properties, contains more than 50 antioxidant compounds, and has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that have been shown to aid breathing and respiration. It’s also great at relieving nausea, treating aches and pains in the body, and reducing indigestion. Basically, ginger can both help combat viral infection and alleviate its symptoms.Jaya Jaya Myra
Here is a further look at the properties of ginger:
- Carminative (a drug that relieves flatulence.)
- Antispasmodic (is an agent that suppresses muscle spasms.)
- Diaphoretic (chiefly of a drug) inducing perspiration.
- Anti-emetic (helps to ease symptoms of nausea or vomiting.)
- Rubefacient (is a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin, e.g. by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation.)
- Analgesic (painkillers or pain relievers.)
- Antiseptic (relating to or denoting substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.)
- Promotes sweating
Top 10 Uses of Ginger
#1 It’s An Anti-inflammatory
“Related to superfoods like turmeric and cardamom, ginger contains the compound gingerol, a natural anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.
Naturally occurring anti-inflammatories are important because they can help curb an overactive immune system. Inflammation is your body’s natural and healthy response to injury or illness—and it tells your white blood cells that it’s time to start healing.
But too much inflammation is also associated with a disease, like celiac and fibromyalgia, which is why doctors and nutritionists alike are keen on antioxidants—they help reduce inflammation.
Leafy greens, blueberries, and — you guessed it — ginger, are all high in antioxidants, which means they help minimize inflammation throughout the body.” -coach.nine.com
#2 Ginger and Nausea
“Ginger for nausea works directly on the stomach and is thought to increase the movement of the GI tract.
A 2005 report from Obstetrics and Gynecology analyzed six clinical trials (with a total of 675 participants) and found that ginger was superior to a placebo and similar to vitamin B6 in relieving nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.1
In addition, in a 2006 report from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, investigators sized up five clinical trials (with a total of 363 patients) and concluded that taking ginger is more effective than placebo for post-surgery nausea and vomiting.
In 2012, another study reported in Integrated Cancer Therapy found that ginger was effective in reducing nausea caused by chemotherapy. Ginger was administered to women being treated for advanced breast cancer; the study found that ” A significantly lower prevalence of nausea was observed in the ginger group during 6 to 24 hours post-chemotherapy.” -verywellhealth
Crystallized Ginger for Travel Sickness and Nausea
Directions and Ingredients:
Peel a large piece of fresh ginger and chop it into small cubes. Make a syrup by dissolving 1 cup of sugar in 4 cups of water. Add the ginger and simmer gently until the root is soft. Leave in the syrup overnight, drain, and pack in sterilized jars.
#3 Relieves a Headache
Most headaches are from muscular tension in the head, neck, shoulders, or congestion of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain and muscles.
Suggestion from Chinese Herbalism indicates you should eat a small piece of fresh ginger root or make a tea from the fresh root or tea bags. If you prefer, mix a large pinch of powdered ginger into a glass of cool water and drink it. You can also try powdered ginger in capsules form.
Apply ginger essential oil to your temples
“Massaging ginger oil into the skin decreases pain in people with arthritis and back pain, and may also help to reduce pain from headaches.
For a migraine attack or tension headache, try massaging a few drops of the diluted ginger oil into your temples, forehead, and back of the neck once or twice daily.
The aroma from the oil may also reduce nausea that commonly occurs with migraine. Try placing a drop of ginger oil on a tissue, gauze pad, or cotton ball and inhaling. You might also try adding one to two drops of oil into a warm bath or steam diffuser.
Pure essential ginger oil can be found in pharmacies, grocery stores, or purchased online. Steer clear of perfumed or ginger-scented oils. Before applying to your skin, dilute the oil by placing one to two drops of ginger oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil like olive oil, coconut, or jojoba oil.” -healthline
#4 Reduces Cellulite
Cellulite occurs more in women; then it does in men. Experts think this is due to female hormones. There are also possible triggers that contribute to the build-up of cellulite. These triggers are:
- Poor circulation,
- refined sugars,
- and caffeine
To help combat cellulite, you can eat fresh parsley, which is a diuretic or take ginger which improves circulation and can be chewed daily or taken in a drink form.
Ginger Tonic To Reduce Cellulite
Ingredients and Directions:
- Each morning when you get out of bed, warm-up 8oz of water.
- Next, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice or 2-3 drops of lemon oil.
- Last, add a 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ginger.
This tonic not only helps get rid of cellulite, but it’s the perfect drink to wake up your body for the day.
“The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in the ginger root will help to relieve a sore throat quickly, and they also kill rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the first place.” -foxnews.com
Directions and Ingredients:
- Buy organic fresh ginger and cut a 1 1/2-inch piece.
- Now, finely chop or grate.
- Place your ginger into a tea strainer and then into a cup or mug.
- Boil water and immediately pour it over the strainer in your cup.
- Let the tea brew for five minutes.
- Remove the tea strainer, open and squeeze the very last bits of ginger into the cup with a spoon.
For optimal effect, drink three-plus cups daily until you are well. Or as a preventative drink 1 per day. On cold winter days, this recipe is a great way to warm your body when coming in from the cold.
Reduce the concentration of the tea for children if it becomes too spicy. Lastly, add honey to help soothe a sore throat or to add a touch of sweetness.
Ginger Throat Gargle
Directions and ingredients:
Add 2 drops of ginger oil to 1 teaspoon (5ml.) of vodka and dilute with hot water. When it has cooled sufficiently, use it as a gargle for a sore throat.
#6 How to Reduce Food Cravings With Ginger
We all get a craving for something sweet, but that doesn’t mean we need something that’s bad for us. For a snack or when I’m having a craving, I make Gingerade.
Cool Gingerade Recipe
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (preferably one “with the mother”)
- 1 tsp ginger (ground)
- 2 doonks Pure Stevia Extract Powder or fresh stevia from the garden you’ve dried.
- Ice cubes
- Water (enough to fill the quart jar)
- Flavorings or extracts (optional) I like to add a few drops of lemon oil.
- Mix all the ingredients except the ice.
- Stir well.
- Now add the ice.
This drink not only helps with food cravings, but it’s a much wiser choice for your body. Pop and other sugary beverages add cellulite, rot the teeth, and in no way add to your overall health.
#7 Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness
“Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.
In one study, consuming 2 grams per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises (7Trusted Source).
Ginger does not have an immediate impact but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain (8Trusted Source).
These effects are believed to be mediated by anti-inflammatory properties.”-by Joe Leech, MS
#8 Ginger Lowers Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors
This area of research might be new to some general physicians but not to our ancestors who used ginger for a variety of health problems to include heart health.
“In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12% (11Trusted Source).
It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks.
There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.” -healthline
Although the testing was small, these results are incredibly impressive.
#9 Menstrual Pain
To clarify, menstrual pain is felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
In one study, 150 women who took 1 gram of ginger powder daily for the first three days of their menstrual cycle found that ginger reduced the pain—a more natural approach and just as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen (14Trusted Source).
#10 Improve Digestion
“Several studies have investigated ginger’s effects on the gasses that form in the intestinal tract during digestion.
Some research indicates that enzymes in ginger can help the body break up and expel this gas, providing relief from any discomfort.
Ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are important for digestion.” -MedicalNewsToday
In addition, ginger helps to increase movement through your digestive tract, which helps to relieve and prevent constipation.
“Ginger is available in extracts, tinctures, lozenges, supplements, and teas. It can also be purchased in crystallized form and is included as an ingredient in ginger ale and ginger beer. Most of these products are available in ordinary grocery stores, though some may be harder to find.” -verywellhealth
Consult with your Traditional, Herbalist, or Naturopathic Doctor if you have concerns, are unsure, or are currently taking medication that ginger might have an effect on.
Other than that, stay healthy and have a great week!