Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant. This rhizome usually has a firm, striated texture and a taste that is hot, aromatic and pungent. The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending on the variety.
Ginger is among the healthiest spices on earth and over the years, ginger has found excellent use in eliminating intestinal distress and other discomfort. Recent research has proved that ginger is naturally anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.
Ginger is loaded with the following extraordinary clinically evaluated health benefits:
1. Brain Health
Research has shown that 6-gingerol- a compound found in fresh ginger- increases the activity of acetylcholine and very effective in treating memory loss and dementia. Ginger has also been found to protect the brain from free radical damage, inflammation, toxins, Alzheimer’s disease and increasing the level of neurotransmitters- chemicals that controls your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember, and regulate mood, cravings, addictions, sleep, and more.
2. Diabetes Control
Diabetic patients should incorporate ginger in their diets because study has shown that ginger could help regulate blood sugar level and protects against complications, many of which are neurological.
3. Respiratory and Immune function
According to recent studies by Ayurvedic medicine, ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that make one susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory system. Ginger is also effective at making the body sweat and according to German researchers, sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Combining ginger oil and eucalyptus oil is an effective remedy to boost immunity and improve breathing.
4. Heart Health
You can prevent heart diseases and stroke by incorporating ginger in your diet, especially in combination with other super foods like garlic and onions. This is because studies have shown that one of the active compounds in ginger, 6-gingerol, has been isolated, tested and determined an active factor in lowering blood cholesterol, regulating blood pressure and preventing blood from clotting.
5. Remedy for Ulcer
Ginger is known to cure stomach ulcers because of its anti-bacterial properties but please do not take ginger on empty stomach. This is because compounds in ginger root stimulate an increase in digestive juices which could lead to the formation of ulcers.
6. Nausea and Indigestion
Ginger has been used effectively at calming nausea and indigestion. According to research, ginger may be a powerful option for those suffering from dyspepsia, constipation, bloated stomach, motion sickness, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
The compound gingerol found in ginger have been found to suppress the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Ginger also helps to prevent ovarian cancer.
8. Bacterial and Fungal Infections
A study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials in 2011 showed that ginger extract is effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. It is worthy of note that staph and strep infections are very common in hospitals and often times cause complications to an already immune-compromised patient but you are less likely to get these infections when you go to the hospitals with ginger essential oil.
Fungal infections are increasingly resistant to conventional medicine, but ginger extract is most effective at killing fungus.
9. Relief for pain and inflammation
A recent research published in the journal Pain shows that ginger is an effective natural pain reliever for muscular or joint pain and inflammation.
In a study published in the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,ginger was shown to suppress the pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines) produced by synoviocytes (cells comprising the synovial lining of the joints), chrondrocytes (cells comprising joint cartilage) and leukocytes (immune cells).
10. Other uses of ginger include remedy for cough, bronchitis, migraine, stomach pain, chest pain, low back pain, osteoarthritis, menstrual pain and rheumatoid arthritis. They are also used for the treatment of cholera, malaria, bleeding, baldness, stimulating breast milk, poisonous snake bite and toothaches.
Potential Side Effects
Ginger may be harmful to people with heart conditions, low blood pressure, or who are already on blood pressure medications. Other side effects are mild and include heartburn, diarrhea and general stomach discomfort. So, please consult your doctor before you start taking ginger.