Home » Is Ginger Good For You?

Is Ginger Good For You?

What is ginger good for and in what ways is ginger good for you when it comes to your health? So, if you are considering adding “a dose of ginger” into your daily routine let’s see what it can do for you.

The herb, ginger, has been used for centuries to cure a variety of ailments. It is part of the Zingiberaceae family (which also includes the herbs: turmeric, cardamom and galangal). Ginger is offered powered, fresh, dried and/or added to juice or oil. In some countries, ginger is applied to wounds, skin infections and burns to relieve pain and encourage healing. It is even used to flavor food, tea, sodas and coffee. In addition, it is sometimes added to soaps and cosmetics to give them a spicy fragrance.

Is ginger good for you

Ginger is good for treating a variety of conditions such as: cancer, diabetes, excess weight/obesity, pain, cellular edema, ulcers and liver damage. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that ginger can also be useful for treating migraines/headaches, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal distress (i.e. upset stomach, morning sickness, colic, flatulence and nausea/vomiting), menstrual cramps/premenstrual syndrome, muscle pain, arthritis and respiratory ailments (i.e. cough, asthma, bronchitis and upper respiratory infection). It is also not unusual for ginger to be added to a variety of products such as: laxatives, antacids and anti-gas medications. So is ginger good for you? Yes, ginger is very good for you.

What can ginger be used for?

Ginger has shown success in the treatment of the following health conditions and ailments:

Weight Loss

Ginger has shown success in the treatment of excess weight and obesity. In other words, it can help you lose those pesky pounds you have been trying to get rid of. Current research studies indicate that ginger aids in weight loss by increasing the rate at which your body metabolizes fat. In fact, ginger not only accelerates fat digestion, it also improves your energy level. These actions ultimately help reduce or prevent the accumulation of body fat.

Cancer

Ginger is also beneficial in the treatment of cancer (i.e. breast, colon and ovarian). According to the American Association for Cancer Research (2006), when cancer cells where exposed to ginger, the malignant cells died and tumor growth was reduced and/or delayed. In other words, ginger improved the condition of the cancer patients. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center also found that ginger solutions delayed and/or prevented the spread of cancer cells by supporting cancer medications.

Cellular Edema

Ginger has been known to help reduce cellular edema (the accumulation of excess fluid in your cells). In fact, when researchers exposed swollen brain cells to shogaol (a key element found in ginger), the cells experienced a reduction in cellular fluid (edema). In addition, when the cells were exposed to shogaol, they experienced an increase in proteins that reduce inflammation and edema.

Liver Damage

Ginger has been known to reverse liver damage, in some people. In fact, when damaged liver cells were exposed to ginger, the condition of the cells improved. This herbal remedy is especially beneficial if you are experiencing liver damage as a result of acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) use. Acetaminophen is a common painkiller and fever-reducer that can cause hepatotoxicity (i.e. liver damage) in those who have a liver disease or disorder. Moreover, a combination of ginger and vitamin E can help reduce and/or prevent liver damage. Ginger is safe and effective to use, if you are experiencing liver damage.

Ulcers

Ginger is also good for you, if you have ulcers. In fact, ingesting ginger for three days can actually prevent ulceration and promote healing. Ginger has healing properties that slow and/or prevent ulceration. In other words, this herbal remedy can help your ulcer heal and prevent future occurrences.

Menstrual Cramps/Premenstrual Syndrome

Is ginger good for you during menstruation? Yes, especially if you have menstrual cramps and/or premenstrual syndrome. In fact, according to the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, ginger can help relieve dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pains). You can reduce your menstrual cramps and/or premenstrual syndrome symptoms by taking ginger capsules three days before the start of your monthly menstrual cycle.

Pain

Ginger contains anti-spasmodic properties that prevent muscles spasms, muscle cramps, joint pain and general pain. In addition, ginger has been known to block pain associated with inflammation, irritation, injuries, wounds, diseases and toxins. Moreover, ginger can alleviate muscle pain associated with exercising. According to the University of Georgia, exercise-induced muscle pain was reduced 25% after ginger supplementation. Sipping on ginger tea, adding ginger to meals and/or supplementing with ginger capsules can ease your pain in no time.

Headaches/Migraines

Why is ginger good for you during headaches? Well, ginger helps banish pesky headaches and migraines. In fact, ginger is as effective as traditional sumatriptan-based migraine medications like Imigran, Imitrex and Treximet. This herbal remedy is especially beneficial, if you have acute migraines without the presence of aura. Supplementing with ginger capsules and/or adding ginger to your tea can reduce your headache pain in no time at all. Moreover, ginger has fewer side-effects than most traditional prescription migraine medications.

Gastrointestinal Distress and Nausea

Is ginger good for gastrointestinal distress? Yes, ginger is a common home remedy for gastrointestinal distress. It is also beneficial if you are suffering from nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, colic, flatulence, heartburn, motion sickness and/or morning sickness. In fact, ginger consists of anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and calming properties that can ease a nauseous and queasy stomach. In addition, ginger can help relieve nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. If you are going through chemotherapy treatments, ginger teas, ginger capsules and ginger spices can actually provide nausea and vomiting relief.

Respiratory Ailments

Ginger is good for you if you are experiencing respiratory ailments such as: asthma, an upper respiratory infection, a chronic cough and/or bronchitis. Ginger can clear your airways and help you breathe better. How is that? Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce swollen nasal passages and thin mucus in your lungs.

If you are experiencing a nasty cold or upper respiratory infection, try sipping on some hot ginger tea or add the spice to one of your meals. This herbal remedy will have you breathing better within minutes. It is important to know that if you have asthma or bronchitis and/or your symptoms appear to be worsening – contact a medical professional immediately. In addition, do not stop or reduce any medications prescribed by a physician.

High Blood Pressure

You may not realize it, but ginger can actually lower high blood pressure. In fact, according to researchers at the Chiang Mai University in Thailand, ginger extract is more effective than traditional prazosin hydrochloride blood-pressure medications. In fact, ginger has the ability to regulate your blood pressure. If you feel yourself becoming stressed and/or overwhelmed, pop a ginger capsule into your mouth. The ginger will prevent your blood pressure from skyrocketing.

As you can see, ginger is good for a variety of conditions and ailments. In fact, it is one of the most overlooked home remedies and alternative treatments. It has been around for centuries and was often the “go to” treatment for many conditions. Now that you understand the benefits of ginger, add the spice to your meals for a little extra kick in flavor, pop a ginger pill in your mouth when you are in a hurry, bake some homemade ginger cookie for dessert and/or brew a cup of ginger tea after a long day at work. Ginger has amazing properties that can revitalize you and/or set you on the path of healing.


References:
Ko, J.K. & Leung, C.C. (2010). Ginger extract and polaprezinc exert gastroprotective actions by anti-oxidant and growth factor modulating effects in rats. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21091998
MNT. (2013). What are the benefits of ginger? Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php
Sehwan Shim, et al. (2011). Anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-shogaol: Potential roles of HDAC inhibition and HSP70 induction. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21864631
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2011)
American Association for Cancer Research (2006)
Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=3925