Aromatic, pungent and spicy, there’s a big reason why so many of our juices contain ginger.
Ginger is an ancient wonder spice and is given the status of a natural medicine chest in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. That’s because this wonder spice has time-tested, digestion-friendly properties, in addition to its numerous other health benefits.
Ginger (the rhizome of zingiber officinale) is a long used and loved spice that has been consumed as a food and as a medicinal spice for good health and health ailments for thousands of years. Ginger has a long list of magnificent health benefits that range from a stomach calmative to a broad spectrum anti-inflammatory.
Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of nausea and vomiting, and for a diversity of other gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from flatulence to colic. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger has broad anti-inflammatory effects mediated by well-researched pathways that spare the body the side effects of commercial nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Many cultures and people around the world use ginger daily. Whether it’s in their meals, munching on pickled or crystallized ginger, or simply steeping it in hot water. It is delicious in sauces, marinades, teas, and smoothies. One teaspoon of grated ginger simmered with 8 ounces of water… with a little bit of honey and lemon… is very soothing for colds and sore throats.
Ginger’s array of health benefits include:
- Digestive Aid
Helps to reduce bloating, flatulence, intestinal colic, IBS and poor digestion as it stimulates digestive acids and secretions thus supporting the digestion of food and nutrient absorption and assimilation.
Reduces nausea and vomiting of any kind including travel or motion sickness, morning sickness and post-operative nausea.
- Blood Glucose Support
One small study saw ginger reduced fasting blood sugar in diabetics along with a reduction in HbAc1.
- Reduces Arthritic Inflammation and Pain
Ginger helps to improve rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or any type of rheumatism including muscle pain and exercise induced muscle soreness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cold Hands & Feet and Poor Circulation
Due to its warming and circulatory stimulating properties it can help cold hands and feet due to improved blood circulation to the extremities and it may help in Raynaud’s disease.
- Painful Periods
No more cramping! Ginger can help to reduce painful spasmodic dysmenorrhea and can also be subscribed for endometriosis due to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.
- Upper Respiratory Infections
Ginger is excellent for supporting the immune system against the common cold and other viral infections. Reduces nasal congestion, coughs and sore throats.
- Lung Disease and Infections
Bronchitis, asthma and bronchial asthma may be supported with the consumption of ginger. These compounds help to support immunity, remove excess mucus and reduces inflammation of the airways.
If your head is aching, it can be helpful in reducing headaches and migraines due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Ginger may also help to protect the memory and support brain function and may reduce brain damage as shown in animal studies.
- Anti-Cancer Properties
Gingerols and other active compounds have shown to be protective against colorectal, prostate and liver cancer.
- Gut Infections
There are some animal studies that demonstrate ginger may inhibit H.Pylori stomach infections and therefore reduce gastrointestinal cancers such as stomach and gastric ulcers. It also shows promise in the reduction of periodontal bacteria.
- Multi-drug Resistance Pathogens
Garlic and ginger combined may possess effective anti-bacterial activity against multi-drug clinical pathogens and can be used for prevention of drug resistant microbial diseases.
This special spice has been used in dishes all around the world, from curries to stews, cookies, sweets, juices and other delicious drinks.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
- Turn up the heat while cooling off by making ginger lemonade. Simply combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.
- Add extra inspiration to your rice side dishes by sprinkling grated ginger, sesame seeds and nori strips on top.
- Combine ginger, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to make a wonderful salad dressing.
- Add ginger and orange juice to puréed sweet potatoes.
- Add grated ginger to your favorite stuffing for baked apples.
- Spice up your healthy sautéed vegetables by adding freshly minced ginger.