Ginger, or Zingiber officinale as it’s scientifically known, has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years. The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. The ginger rhizome has a firm, yet striated texture and a taste that is aromatic, pungent and hot. Native to southeastern Asia, ginger has been a common ingredient in these parts of the world and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties.
This underground stem, which is used as both a spice and herb, is packed with active ingredients that play a variety of roles in your body and is still a popular remedy for motion and morning sickness. You can enjoy the benefits of ginger in various way, teas, extracts, supplements, and you can eat raw ginger to benefit quickly from its healing powers.
Ginger has helped many a cancer patient fend off nausea and inflammation during treatment. Now it appears it can do even more. Below are some additional uses of ginger that you may not have known about.
Stomach Discomfort. Ginger can relieve nausea and vomiting because of its ability to disrupt and expel gas in the intestine. Ginger appears to accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, which may help alleviate stomach issues. Ginger can safely alleviate nausea and vomiting from morning sickness as well as motion sickness.
Fights Cancer. There are particular cancers that ginger has been shown to help treat, including ovarian cancer. Studies with ovarian cancer cells at the University of Michigan show that ginger causes in vitro cells to die, either by committing suicide (aptosis) or by attacking themselves (autophagy). In addition, ginger keeps cells from acquiring resistance to chemotherapy, a common problem for ovarian cancer patients. Researchers hope similar studies in animals will yield the same results. In other cancers, like colon cancer, it has been shown to inhibit and sometimes even stop the growth of cancer cells.
Provides Pain Relief. Ginger can act as a natural pain reliever, making it a good natural alternative to ibuprofen or aspirin. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help relieve the body of aches and pains it may be experiencing.
Improves absorption. Ginger improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body. It does this by stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzyme secretion.
Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Ginger can help subdue the effects of IBS. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help soothe and reduce the intestinal tract to ease people suffering from IBS. The best part is, you just need to add ginger to your diet, supplements, tea, in your cooking…, to help combat IBS.
Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Research has shown that ginger helps to slow down the loss of brain cells. The loss of brain cells can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s.
Reduces Arthritic Inflammation (especially arthritic). Ginger contains some of the most potent anti-inflammatory fighting substances known and is a natural powerful painkiller. The anti-inflammatory nature of ginger means that it can help with a host of inflammation-based conditions and diseases such as arthritis.
Strengthens Immunity. Ginger helps improve your immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help decreases bacterial infections in the stomach and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation. This is a fantastic feature to ginger that is a selling point of ginger by itself.
Fights Diabetes. Ginger appears to be useful in both helping prevent and treat diabetes. It can significantly reduce blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Ginger has a positive effect on diabetes because it inhibits enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism, increases insulin release and sensitivity and improves lipid profiles.
Maintains Normal Blood Circulation. Ginger gets the blood in your body flowing, which will give you a feeling of having more energy, and can help you with any feelings of sluggishness or fatigue. It also contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.
Whether you want to add ginger to your favorite dish, tea, take it as a supplement, or just eat it raw the benefits are substantial.