Ginger is a rhizome that first originated in Southeast Asia and is widely known for its distinct pungent taste and smell. As such, it has popularly been used for centuries as a spice in food. In Western cuisine, for example, it is commonly used to flavour sweet foods such as ginger biscuits, ginger chocolates, gingerbread and ginger cake, just to mention a few.
However, it’s benefits do not end with culinary purposes, as it also has many great medicinal benefits for curing a wide range of health problems ranging from migraines to cancer.
To begin with, it is a superb source of vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.
The Health Benefits of Ginger
Other great benefits of this wonder plant are mentioned below:
Relieves nausea and vomiting
Ginger is highly effective in treating gastrointestinal distresses, thanks to two of its constituents; gingerols and shogaols, which are responsible for the root’s pungent characteristics. It also helps in reducing morning sickness that results from pregnancy and the symptoms linked to motion sickness such as nausea, vomiting, cold sweating, and dizziness. It soothes and relaxes the intestinal track and eliminates intestinal gas. It provides relief to the feeling of gas and bloating. It can also prevent the development of stomach ulcers by protecting the lining of the stomach. Acid reflux that causes heartburn can also be eased using ginger. It also helps with fever and other sickness symptoms that result from surgery including chemotherapy.
Treats sore throats and colds
Ginger effectively soothes irritated throats. It promotes the production of mucus, which provides a soothing effect to a sore throat. Because of the root’s antiviral properties, it is popularly used as a home remedy for treating the common cold. Asian countries mostly use ginger tea for this purpose. The plant also encourages healthy sweating that helps alleviate cold and flu. The expectorating effect of the plant’s oil also helps to treat other respiratory problems such as cough, asthma and bronchitis. A blend of ginger and honey is usually recommended for this purpose.
Promotes cardiovascular health
Ginger helps to strengthen the heart and promotes its overall health. It improves blood circulation and reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides from building up in the body. This in turn prevents the formation of cholesterol plaque or clogs in the arteries that are contributing factors to atherosclerosis, a condition that causes stroke and other heart diseases.
The volatile oils are powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents. According to research, these properties not only prevent cancer, but also destroy it – particularly ovarian and colon cancer – without causing any negative side effects. The antioxidant effect also helps to fight free radicals in the body.
Gingerols compound in ginger helps to ease inflammation and swelling that results from arthritis and different types of muscular pains or disorders. By regularly consuming this healthy food, people with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis can experience significant pain reduction and greater mobility.
Other benefits of Ginger
This super food has been known to strengthen the body’s immune system, which will in turn help to fight common ailments. People with diabetes can also benefit from eating it since it reduces blood cholesterol. Ginger juice can also be used to treat minor skin irritations and burns.
All these benefits can simply be accessed by regularly consuming ginger in your food or in tea.