Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. It is a flowering plant that originated from China. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger. Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few.

Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects

Ginger can treat many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness. For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication. Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness. Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, but there are currently no studies to support this.

Ginger may reduce muscle pain and soreness. Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. It does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.

The anti-Inflammatory effects can help with osteoarthritis, which is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. A combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.

Ginger may drastically lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors. This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties.

Ginger can help treat chronic indigestion (dyspepsia), characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been known to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.

Ginger powder may significantly reduce menstrual pain. Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle. One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. Ginger is said to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.

Ginger may lower cholesterol levels, high levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels. Ginger contains a substance that may help prevent cancer, Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger.

 

By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia

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