We’re sure ginger isn’t the first nutrient which comes to mind when talking about your health. But, we believe it’s a fairly unknown diamond in the rough when it comes to its medicinal properties (and there was you thinking ginger was only good for those tasty ginger nut biscuits). This article will enlighten you of; the origin, a few of the many health benefits and how to get your fix of ginger.
Ginger root comes from a flowering plant called ginger (believe it or not!). People have been using this root as a spice and for medicinal purposes as far back as 500 B.C. Ginger first appeared in the southern parts of ancient China. From there, it has spread to the rest of the world becoming a household staple.
Health benefits of ginger
Highly effective against nausea
Ginger has been proven to help treat many forms of nausea especially morning sickness. According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams (1100 – 1500mg) of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. In a single study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first three days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce the pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Another study involving 74 volunteers found that taking daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.
Ginger is very effective against oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Also a number of Chinese studies have shown that ginger helps kill influenza viruses (even avian flu). It is also used to help cure that pesky common cold.
Ginger is very safe for a broad range of complaints, whether it is taken in a concentrated capsule form, eaten fresh or sipped as a tea or ginger ale. Ginger contains moderate amounts of oxalate (a salt or ester of oxalic acid). Individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid over-consuming ginger. If you’re unsure or concerned whether it is safe for you to consume ginger always consult your doctor.
How to get your ginger fix
So now you know some of the key health benefits of ginger, you are probably wondering how you can get it into your life style. We have listed some of these below:
Raw Ginger — You can put raw sliced ginger (about the size of your thumb) in a smoothie every morning or use it to make homemade healthy juices.
Ginger Essential Oil — The most potent form of ginger is in the form of an essential oil. This is because it contains the highest levels of gingerol. This is the No. 1 way ginger can be used as a medicine. It can be taken internally to treat health conditions or rubbed onto the skin combined with a carrier oil on an area of pain.
Ginger Tea — This liquid form of ginger is commonly used to relieve nausea, settle the stomach and relax the body. Have one cup two to three times daily to reduce inflammation. Also, adding a bit of lemon and honey to the tea makes it taste awesome!
Ginger Powder — Using ground ginger powder for cooking is an excellent way to take advantage of this super spice. Adding it to homemade ‘one pots’ and curries means you get your recommended daily amount while getting a tasty flavour. What could be better?
And that’s it! Hopefully this post has highlighted a few of the many health benefits of ginger and how you are able to get your fix without much work.