Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. It’s among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.
The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It’s often called ginger root or, simply, ginger.
Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice or in infusion. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.
The unique fragrance and flavour of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. It’s responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties.
Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body.
Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. One well known benefits of ginger is the hot infusion with lemon and honey used to treat the flu and cold.
But there are less known benefits of ginger.
Let’s see them.
1. It can treat many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea.
It may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery, and also for chemotherapy-related nausea.
It may be also effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.
Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking it if you’re pregnant.
2. It may help with weight loss
Ginger may play a role in weight loss and in achieving your BMI (Body Mass Index).
It appears that its ability to influence weight loss may be related to certain mechanisms, such as its potential to help increase the number of calories burned.
3. It can help with osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common health problem.
It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to joint pain and stiffness.
Researches have found that a combination of topical ginger, cinnamon, and sesame oil can help reduce pain and stiffness in people with OA.
4. It may lower blood sugars
This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties (not all types of diabetes though).
The results are incredibly impressive, but they need to be confirmed in larger studies before any recommendations can be made.
Therefore, consult your doctor before using large amount of ginger.
5. It can help treat chronic indigestion
Chronic indigestion is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.
It’s believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach.
6. It may reduce menstrual pain
Dysmenorrhea is the scientific name given to pain felt during the menstrual cycle.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, therefore menstrual pain is included.
Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body.
It’s one of the very few superfoods actually worthy of that name.
I like candied ginger and also infusions with lemon and honey to help recovery from flu or cold, as said at the beginning.
What about you? Have you ever tried ginger?