ginger – Healthy superfoods – by Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando

 

Ginger, one of the healthiest and delicious herbs we ever know is highly nutritious and bioactive. Although we usually add ginger to our food, this herb is used for many centuries as a remedy for numerous health conditions. Use of ginger in culinary is widespread in Asian countries, and this herb is still used in alternative medicine in this part of the world.

The rhizome or the root of the ginger plant is what we use as a herb, and this root is used in oil, juice, fresh and dried forms. The natural oils are solely responsible for adding ginger its beautiful smell and taste. While this herb has many active ingredients that provide the medicinal benefits, Gingerol, the main bioactive compound of ginger has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It is recognized that ginger is an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper and vitamin B6. Let us now have a look at the top 10 health benefits of ginger;

Relieves nausea

Ginger is highly efficient in relieving nausea related to indigestion and flu. It is also known that this herb is helpful in relieving nausea and vomiting that result as a side effect of chemotherapy treatments. Ginger is also an excellent remedy to overcome morning sickness during pregnancy. 1g of ginger for four consecutive days can simply play its magic.

Relieves symptoms of arthritis

Due to its highly active anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can alleviate the inflammation in osteoarthritis and reduce pain and swelling associated with it. Reduced inflammatory status can ease pain and improve blood supply to the joint. This will, in turn, improve the movements of your joints and help you to become more flexible and active. A study carried out in the Stockholm University elaborated that supplementing patients who have arthritis with ginger relieved pain in a majority.

Improves digestion

Ginger can improve digestion and prevent discomfort that results from digestive problems. Consuming ginger with your food neutralizes gastric acids and associated irritation (heartburns) while increasing digestive enzyme release, which ensures healthy digestion. A study carried out in the recent years shows that ginger improves digestion also by increasing the bowel activity. The best remedy for any digestive issue is to consume a cup of ginger tea or 6 oz of ginger beer.

Reduces respiratory problems

This herb is an expectorant and is helpful in managing many respiratory conditions such as cold, cough, flu, asthma and shortness of breath. Ginger actively removes mucus from bronchi and lungs and thus clears the airway from infections and dead cells helping you to recover soon.

Motion sickness

One of the best natural ways of treating motion sickness is to consume ginger. It relieves the squeaky stomach without any side effects. Nausea caused by motion sickness can also be managed with the use of this herb. Drinking a cup of ginger tea or taking a ginger capsules every 15 minutes (total of 4) before 1 hour of traveling will help you enjoy your journey.

Fights ovarian cancer

Ginger might be effective in managing this condition. A study conducted in Michigan cancer center found that ginger effectively induces cell death in all types of ovarian cancer cells. Also, it further explained that ginger was able to relieve the inflammation that contributed to the development of ovarian cancer.

Lowers cholesterol levels

Ginger interferes with the production of cholesterols in the body and thereby reduces the amount of cholesterol that circulates in the body. While a high level of cholesterol can cause heart attacks and strokes, consuming ginger can prevent these conditions. The high antioxidant properties of ginger can also strengthen the heart muscles as well as the vessel walls. A study carried out in the Rappaport family institute for research in medical sciences shows that ginger reduces the plasma cholesterol levels, inhibits bad cholesterol synthesis from free fats (LDL synthesis) and slows the development of atherosclerosis (a state where fat deposits in blood vessel walls are causing clogged vessels).

Prevents migraines

This medicinal herb has the ability to reduce the frequency and strength of headaches and can improve the quality of life of those who suffer from regular headaches such as migraines. The antioxidant properties will not allow the blood vessels to inflame or constrict which results in headaches. Take ginger as soon as you feel the headaches starting. You can either take 2-3 capsules of ginger or take several pieces of raw ginger. But, make sure you take them as soon as the symptoms begin without letting the headaches to worsen.

Prevents blood clots

Several studies show that ginger could act similar to aspirin by interfering in the process of blood clot formation. This may prevent blood clot formation and thereby prevent strokes and heart attacks.

Prevent cold and flu

For thousands of years, ginger is used to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu. Adding ginger with raw honey and lemon juice is one of the most famous remedies coming down from our ancestors. Drinking a cup of ginger tea a day can strengthen your immune system and keep you safe from contracting flu during an epidemic. Anyhow, if you contract the infection, drinking warm ginger tea will help in relieving body aches, throat pain and irritation and also runny nose.

Ginger is available everywhere. You can find it in every store. Even though you did not know how beneficial it is until now, you can decide today to add ginger to your daily diet. Consuming enough of ginger can make you healthy and keep you safe from contracting many health conditions.