Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is surprisingly the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today. Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian and Indian cuisine. However, ginger has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries among many cultures.
It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Of the 115 different chemical components found in ginger root, the therapeutic benefits come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These bioactive ingredients, especially -gingerol, have been thoroughly evaluated clinically, and the research backs up why you should use ginger on a regular basis.
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like ginger decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
Proven Ginger Health Benefits
Here are the top ginger health benefits proven by medical studies:
Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea.
Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment. But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.
According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea. However, ginger had no effect on vomiting episodes in this study.
1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.
Compromised Immunity and Respiratory Function
Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history. It believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system.
Dr. Oz says, “By opening up these lymphatic channels and keeping things clean, ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that make you susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory system.” Combining ginger oil and eucalyptus oil is an effective remedy to boost immunity and improve breathing.
A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.
Studies have found that ginger may even help ease dysmenorrhea, or pain associated with menstruation or menstrual cramps. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain .
Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors and Drastically Lower Blood Sugars
Two of the biggest killers on the planet may be kept at bay with regular ginger use, especially when eaten with other key superfoods. Garlic, ginger and onions all have an anti-blood-clotting ability, yet when they’re eaten together they’re a powerful mainstay against heart attacks and stroke!
It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks.
On graph you can see what happened :
Keep in mind that this was just one small study, and they need to be confirmed in larger studies before any recommendations can be made.
Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is 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.
Ginger can actually help the stomach release its contents into the small intestines in people with dyspepsia — a condition in which 40 percent of patients suffer from abnormally delayed gastric emptying.
It helps people who are bloated, constipated and have other gastrointestinal disorders. It relaxes the smooth muscle in your gut lining and helps food move along throughout the system.
Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
High B 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. In a 45-day double-blind, controlled clinical study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, three grams of ginger powder in three divided doses caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
Improve Brain Function and Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
For oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Some studies suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain.
There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly.
Ginger Contains a Substance That May Help Prevent Cancer
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.
University of Michigan researchers confirmed results with “ovarian cancer”. In fact, they found that “Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested.”
However, a follow-up study in individuals at a high risk of colon cancer did not confirm these findings. There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More research is needed!
“The most likely way to administer ginger as a painkiller would be in the form of a tea taken several times a day, but more work needs to be done on the amount of ginger powder needed per dose to take effect, and the time required between doses.”
Basil Roufogalis – executive director of the Herbal Medicine Research and Education Centre
More About Ginger and How to Use It :