Ginger is one of the most ancient spices well-known for its health benefits, which include its ability to boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite. It helps prevent various types of cancer, improve respiratory conditions, aid in digestion, eliminate arthritis symptoms, and reduce excess gas. It is also good for enhancing sexual activity and relieving the pain related to menstrual disorders, nausea, and flu.
What is Ginger?
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant, whose root or rhizome is used as a spice. In many places, it is mostly used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger beer and wine.
Today, ginger is on the FDA’s list of generally safe foods and is often used to mask the taste of bitter medicines such as cough syrups.
Health Benefits of Ginger
The various health benefits of this amazing root are given below:
Improves Bone Health
Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain. It has a number of unique organic compounds, named gingerols, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These gingerols have been directly associated with improvements in knee inflammation and associated pain, as well as suppressing the inflammatory compounds like cytokines and chemokines at the source before they can begin to affect the body. Ginger represents both a preventative measure and a treatment for inflammation and its associated pain.
Ginger has been used since ancient times to cure diarrhea since it prevents stomach spasms and gas that contribute to and stimulate diarrhea. In China, ginger powder is given to those with diarrhea and this traditional practice is followed for thousands of years; scientists have concluded that the ancient ways are indeed beneficial for this condition.
Removes Excess Gas
Ginger is a very strong carminative, meaning that it induces excess gas elimination. Excess gas does much more than leaving you in an uncomfortable situation. Too much gas built up in your system can go upwards and put pressure on delicate organs in the torso. Ginger acts like a carminative and forces the gas down and out in a healthy way and also prevents additional gas from building up again.
Aids in Digestion
Ginger has been discovered to be a facilitator of the digestive process. The elevated sugar levels after a meal may cause the stomach to reduce its natural rate of emptying its contents. It helps in regulating high sugar levels and soothing the stomach, thus, maintaining its regular rhythm. Along with that, it has a number of compounds that improve the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the food we eat. This is why ginger is frequently used as an appetizer or an aperitif since it can stimulate the appetite while preparing the digestive system for an influx of food.
The organic compounds, like gingerols, in ginger aid in the prevention of cancer. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent carcinogenic activity in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer. Recent studies have also connected these gingerols to apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells, thereby reducing tumors and the growth of cancerous cells, without harming the healthy cells around them.
Detoxifies & Disinfects
Ginger is good at promoting sweating. Sweating cleans out the pores and allows your body to eliminate toxins. Research has also shown that sweat includes a germ-fighting compound, named dermcidin. It has been positively connected to reduced bacterial and viral infections as it can create a sheen on the skin, which is a protective layer of previously unknown proteins.
Increases Sexual Activity
A known aphrodisiac, ginger has been used for years to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity. Its scent has a unique allure that helps in establishing a sexual connection. This root also helps increase blood circulation, hence blood flows more easily to the mid-section of the body, an important area for sexual performance.
Prevents Menstrual Cramps
Ginger helps reduce the levels of prostaglandins in the body, hence it helps in relieving cramps. Scientists believe that high levels of prostaglandins contribute to increased menstrual cramps. Cramps are the body’s way of alarming an individual to some type of danger or damage. In this case, prostaglandins, which are hormones that function as chemical messengers, are the key activators of symptoms such as cramps, pains, and fevers.
Studies have concluded that ginger helps in curing nausea connected with pregnancy, motion sickness, and chemotherapy. Its quick absorption and rapid regulation of body functions cure nausea without the side effects of modern medications.
Ginger has been prescribed to fight illnesses and infection like cold and flu in all ages. It can be used in the form of ginger tea for keeping the body warm. The tea acts as a diaphoretic and induces sweating, which removes toxins from the body and makes you healthy as before.
Uses of Ginger
In Asian cultures, it is directly used by chopping it up or using its powder in traditional dishes and in soft drinks such as coffee and tea.
Ginger’s irresistible fragrance is due to an essential oil in its composition that has been coveted and extracted by perfume makers since ancient times.
Not only is ginger known as an essence and a spice, it is known to be one of the oldest remedies in herbal and aromatic traditional treatments, especially in China, India, and the Middle East. In China, it has been used for over 2,000 years for curing inflammation and diarrhea. Native to the Indo-Malaysian rain forests, ginger favors lush, moist, tropical soils for cultivation.
Its cultivation may have begun in southern Asia, but it has now spread to East Africa and the Caribbean as well. Ginger’s perennial plant grows bright red flowers that come in different shapes such as torch and honeycomb and are often used in seasonal festivals in the South Pacific for the decoration of stalls, houses, and even dresses.
Queen Elizabeth I of England, a fan of ginger herself, was the one to invent the gingerbread man in the 16th century, and it is now loved by millions of children (and adults) around the world. The gingerbread man was presented at a Royal ball, and several were made to resemble respected guests as well.
Word of Caution: Ginger may, at times, have side effects for those suffering from gallstones, since the herb incites the release of bile from the gallbladder. Therefore, if this sort of condition is expected or if you have a history of gallbladder conditions, it is best to consult a doctor before consuming ginger.