Ginger is a flowering plant with its origins in the far east, China. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and it is the root of the plant with a strong striated texture that we call ginger that is commonly used as a spice or a form of traditional medicine. If you cut open ginger, you will notice that its flesh is yellow, red or white in colour. Ginger gives a special taste to many Asian stir fried dishes. Read on to find out more about Ginger Health Secrets.
Ginger is also commonly grown by gardeners all around the world as it is an easy plant to grow. You just need to select a healthy root or also called rhizomes and select those with green points forming at the end of the roots and plant them in sphagnum moss. Once the leaves grow out, gardeners usually transplant them into a pot and as long as there is warmth, humidity, good moisture and drainage for excess water ginger will grow well.
Ginger can be considered one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on earth. It is easily acquired and can be stored in any kitchen for use easily. It is used widely by tea connoisseurs and is widely used in many cooking recipes all around the world. The root contains a high content of nutrients and bio-active compounds that provide multiple benefits to our body and brain as well.
Due to the fact that ginger contains many health benefits, it has long been used as a traditional and alternative medicine to help us overcome several ailments that include digestion problems, combating nausea, fighting the flu bug and also to overcome bouts of the common cold. In fact the medicinal value of ginger have been known for at least 2000 years ago in various cultures and civilisations all over the world. Although we know that ginger originated from China, it has been distributed and used in countries far from China, like the Middle East, Africa, India and even the Caribbean islands.
8 Ginger Health Secrets and How It Can Help You
(1) Aiding Weight Loss and act as a Metabolism Booster
Ginger is able to help the body increase metabolism as it may for a period of time increase thermogenesis in our body. Thermogenesis is a process in which our body burns off the fat so that it can create heat. This process helps improve metabolism in our body and helps reduce fat that is being stored.
When we eat ginger, which is a thermogenic ingredient, it helps to increase our metabolism by up to 5% and the burning of fat in our body also increases by up to 16 percent. When we are dieting, our metabolism rate decreases. Consuming ginger can help fight that and restore or increase our metabolism back up again. As such, dieting individuals are encouraged to consume ginger to help them in weight loss and benefit from one of Ginger health secrets.
(2) Helps Cure Nausea and Morning Sickness
One of the things that ginger is famous for is its ability to fight against nausea and as a sea sickness remedy. Patients who have undergone surgery and encounter nausea have also been given ginger to relieve themselves from the problem. Patients who experience nausea after chemotherapy have also benefited from ginger as it reduces the nausea that they experience after taking ginger.
To combat migraine headaches, one can use herbs like peppermint and cayenne pepper and mix them with ginger in tea for a simple yet beneficial treatment of headaches and migraines. Use all 3 herbs together and boil them together in water before drinking them. Use an inch piece of ginger, a teaspoon of dried peppermint and a pinch of cayenne. Let the water cool down for 15 minutes before drinking. One study have also concluded that ginger can be more effective than over the counter prescriptions like Dramamine which is often prescribed when one has motion sickness. It has been found that ginger was able to reduce nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Nevertheless, it is in pregnancy related nausea that we see ginger playing its most effective role. Ginger have been found to be a very good cure for morning sickness among pregnant women and can even help women experiencing a severe form of nausea known as hyperemesis gravidum. Patients suffering from that form of nausea usually have to be hospitalized, indicating how severe the condition is. A review of 12 studies which involved 1,278 pregnant women have led to findings that 1,1-1.5 grams of ginger can reduce symptoms of nausea to a significant degree.
Another review involving a total of 675 participants, published in the April 2005 issue of the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology has confirmed the effectiveness of ginger in reducing the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The review also confirmed the absence of significant side effects or adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes.
Ginger is generally safe for pregnant women to consume but a visit to your doctor for advise is encouraged as there is belief that taking too much ginger can cause a miscarriage. Although there are no scientific studies to confirm this, it better to err on the safe side and seek the advise of medical practitioners when it comes to this issue.
(3) Is Anti-Inflammatory and Reduces Pain in Joints
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem. It is a condition that causes the joints in our body to degenerate and leads to joint pains and the joints becoming stiff. Ginger have been found to help ease the sufferers of osteoarthritis. Read on to understand more about one of ginger health secrets.
There are some studies which have shown that ginger can help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. A study involving 247 people who had osteoarthritis in their knees was conducted and these people were given ginger extract over a period of time. The study found that they experienced lesser pain and therefore lesser dependency on pain medication after taking the ginger extract. Ginger can also be used topically when it is combined with other ingredients to help osteoarthritis patients. The other ingredients include cinnamon, mastic and sesame oil.
Scientists have identified the anti-inflammatory compound responsible for significantly reducing inflammation and they are known as gingerols. The study on gingerol basically justifies the use of dry ginger in traditional systems of medicine. Ginger hence offer a very powerful antidote to help fight the various types of inflammatory-related health conditions.
Other studies on ginger have also found that gingerols can help reduce pain and at the same time improve the mobility of individuals suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It alleviates pain and swelling in their joints and reduces discomfort caused by the condition stated earlier. The compounds have also known to help reduce swelling in the joints. With these benefits that ginger can provide, it can also help other individuals suffering from other diseases that is related to inflammation such as numerous cancer types, diabetes, overweight problems, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and numerous cancer types.
(4) Cures Chronic Indigestion
Ginger have also been found to help individuals suffering from chronic indigestion or also known as dyspepsia which is a common problem characterised by abdominal fullness and at times pain as well as discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. The problems associated with the condition is related to the fact that there is delayed emptying of the stomach hence causing problems in digestion.
This problem can be alleviated by ginger and the findings of a study on the effects of ginger and published in 2011 found that ginger is able to help speed up the emptying of the stomach process by 4 minutes. When usually the process takes 16 minutes, taking ginger would reduce the time to 12 minutes. With the ability of ginger to help in the emptying of the stomach, ginger can benefit people with indigestion problems (Another one of ginger health secrets) and also individuals who often experience discomfort in their stomach.
(5) Fights Cancer
We have seen so far how ginger can help people who suffer from common illnesses. The next question is can ginger help people with more serious illnesses and condition like cancer? One scientific research study on ginger conducted in 2006 by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Center have come to a conclusion from their study that ginger is able to treat ovarian cancer. It has been found that ginger is able to kill off ovarian cancer cells. They have found that ginger caused two types of cell death. The first one known as apoptosis is a situation where the cancer cells kill themselves or in other words, the cancer cells commit suicide. The second type of cell death is called autophagy where the cells digest themselves and attack themselves to death.
Besides treating ovarian cancer, ginger have also been found to treat another type of cancer called for colon cancer. One study published in 2011 on the effects of ginger on colon cancer cells in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown that “Consuming ginger root decreased harmful inflammatory prostaglandins in the colon and was tolerable and non-toxic”. Researchers found that test subjects that were given ginger saw reduced levels of colon inflammation and intestinal inflammation which leads to a reduced risk in colon cancer. Much of the anti-cancer properties can be attributed to 6-gingerol and this substance can be found in big quantities in the raw ginger that we get from our supermarkets. 6-gingerol is able to protect our organs from cancer. Although preliminary studies have found this to be true, further studies still need to be carried out for a stronger conclusion. .
(6) Treats Acid Reflux
There are many acid-blockers in the industry that claims to help individuals suffering from suffering from heartburn and indigestion. In fact there are millions who suffer this problem and they can save quite a bit of their money if they had given ginger a try.
A study conducted in 2007 and published in the Molecular Research and Food Nutrition journal did a comparison between ginger and acid-blockers like Lansoprazole and Prevacid. Ginger has anti-ulcer and anti-Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria that causes ulcer) properties. In that study they found that ginger helps individuals from getting acid reflux and on top of that ginger contains effective proteolytic enzymes. Ginger has the added benefit of not having side effects when consumed in normal quantities whereas the acid-blocker drugs have side effects that may warrant the user to think wisely before sing them. The acid-blocker drugs have been found to increase bone fractures, cancer, pneimonia and malabsorption issues. As such it is clearly wiser for individuals suffering from the above symptoms to take ginger instead of these expensive drugs.
(7) Helps Reduce Menstrual Pain
Traditionally, ginger have been used to rid women of menstrual pain which is also known as (dysmenorrhea). During the menstrual cycle some women experience great pain and ginger have been used to alleviate the women from those problems.
In a particular scientific study, 150 women were given 1 gram of ginger powder each day for the first three days of their menstrual period. It has been found that ginger was able to reduce pain. Best of all, ginger proved to on par and just as effective as modern drugs (mefenamic acid and ibuprofen) used to treat the individual suffering from that pain. When consumed at the start of the menstrual period, ginger have been found to be rather potent in treating pain in women during their menstrual cycle.
(8) Lower Cholesterol in the Body
One of the culprits for an increased risk of heart diseases is a high level of “bad” cholesterol or also known as LDL lipoproteins. LDL levels in our body is determined by our diet and the foods that we consume.
Fast foods like cheese burgers, french fries and even macaroni and cheese should be taken sparingly as these are foods that can lead to a spike in LDL levels in our body. A 45 days study on the positive effects of ginger on LDL was conducted on 85 individuals with high cholesterol found that 3 grams of ginger powder can cause significant reductions in most cholesterol markers. The study found that ginger was able to help reduce the amount of total cholesterol and blood triglycerides (Another one of Ginger Health Secrets).
Evidence from this study and from other studies conducted on ginger have found that not only in humans but also in animals, ginger can help reduce LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels significantly.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site which includes articles, excerpts, studies, etc is intended for educational purposes only. The information should not be used as a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is also not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You are advised to seek prompt medical care for any health issues that arise. You are also advised to consult your doctor before you attempt to use alternative medicine or making a change to your health and medical regimen.