What are the benefits of consuming ginger?

Ginger is a flowering plant whose root (or rhizome) is used as a spice or folk medicine.

Image of a can of ginger spilling over and fresh slices of ginger

Ginger is a perennial herb that originated in tropical rainforests in India and Asia.  It is recognized as a medicinal herb because of its bioactive ingredient, ginerol, which delivers impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Nutritive value is negligible.

HEALTH BENEFIT CLAIMS (many with supporting research)

  • Allergy and asthma relief
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory, which can benefit anyone with an inflammatory condition
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Blood pressure—hypertension protection
  • Brain function improvement
  • Burn treatment
  • Contains 6-Shogaol that protects against neural damage and 10-gingerol, which protects brain tissue from swelling.
  • Cancer-fighting properties
  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Colic relief
  • Diabetes; may increase insulin and decrease blood sugar
  • Diarrhea treatment
  • Digestive aid; helps to protect against toxic damage in the digestive tract, and alleviates constipation and bloating. Use ginger tea regularly for regularity.
  • DNA protection
  • Eczema improvement
  • Hardening of the arteries—protection against
  • Heart disease risk reduction
  • Infection-fighting properties
  • Insect repellent
  • Liver protection
  • Menstrual pain reduction
  • Morning sickness relief
  • Motion sickness treatment
  • Muscle pain reduction
  • Nausea relief
  • Obesity—protects against
  • Oxidative stress protection
  • Radiation therapy—becomes more effective
  • Skin health, with antioxidant protection against UVB

HOW TO USE

Steep ginger roots in boiling water to make tea. It is widely used as a seasoning in Asian cuisine and some people make their own ginger wine.

Ginger is available fresh, powdered, in capsules, in commercial teas, candies, essential oils, extracts and tinctures. You can use the essential oil with a carrier oil applied topically, inhale the vapors, or add drops to a bath or warm compress. Use the fresh root or powder to flavor food. Make your own cough syrups or throat sprays. Tinctures and extracts may be taken internally, diluted in water or other liquid.

CAUTIONS AND CONTRA-INDICATONS

Ginger is considered safe when used properly in moderation. Possible mild side effects:

  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive distress
  • Heartburn
  • Irritation to the skin when applied topically

Consult a doctor before using for some conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • If you want to take high doses
  • Pregnancy

 

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