Ginger is a peppery root spice widely used in cooking. It is also used in preparing beverages, dietary supplements and food products. Interestingly, this spice has, from time immemorial, been used in different cultures for medicinal purposes. Here are some of the health benefits of ginger.
It fights infections
Ginger has powerful antimicrobial compounds that can help you fight off cold or an infection. It is often used in the treatment of cough especially those caused by common cold. I learnt the effectiveness of ginger in the treatment of cough from my mother, (God rest her soul). She would slice fresh ginger and put it in my mouth whenever I had cough. She would ask me to swallow the extract. Sometimes too, when I had sore throat, she would put slices of fresh ginger in a bowl of hot water and ask me to inhale the vapour. This therapy always brings me relief.
It settles the stomach
Are you experiencing morning sickness? Do you have motion nausea? Are you feeling nauseous after binging on alcohol? Or are you nauseous after your chemo session? I have a natural remedy for you; don’t worry, it is not Goko Cleanser. Ginger is an effective remedy for nausea related to pregnancy, motion sickness and chemotherapy. Researchers have also confirmed its efficacy in reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting.
It eases menstrual pain
Most women who experience menstrual pain will tell you it is not something they’d wish on their enemy. Quite a good number of them rely on over the counter drugs for treatment of dysmenorrhea. Ginger allegedly contains substances known as gingerols which is said to have the ability to turn off pain-causing compounds in the body. It is this property that allegedly makes ginger as effective as ibuprofen in reducing pains associated with painful menstruation. Why don’t you try this remedy the next time you have dysmenorrhea. Who knows? It just might get you get back on your feet.
It may help regulate blood sugar
Those who are living with diabetes know that proper blood sugar control is key to warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease. Ginger supposedly has the ability to help regulate blood sugar. Research has proven that ginger supplementation can promote healthy blood sugar levels thereby helping diabetic patients stay healthy.
Food consumes energy when left undigested. Anyone who has ever had indigestion knows how uncomfortable and tiring it is. And when that indigestion causes heartburn, it can be a very painful experience. So, when next you have indigestion, fret not. The remedy is in your kitchen. Ginger is great for our digestive health. It helps increase the body’s ability to empty food from the stomach more quickly. With this increased motility in the digestive system, it’s less likely that heartburn or indigestion will occur. What is more, when ginger improves our digestion, our metabolism automatically improves. This invariably boosts our energy level.
Positively affects cholesterol levels
Studies have shown that ginger is helpful in reducing blood pressure and controlling cholesterol levels. According to American Heart Association, “LDL cholesterol is called ‘bad’ cholesterol because it contributes to fatty buildups in arteries.” That fatty buildup in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis; it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Ginger intake may help reduce cholesterol levels.
It relieves muscle pain
Because ginger has antiinflammatory properties, it’s often used to help relieve muscle and joint pain, including arthritis. A study published in The Journal of Pain found that athletes who supplemented with it experienced reduced muscle pain after exercise.
In conclusion, ginger is a must have spice in every home. Add it to your shopping list this weekend.
Johanna Sakimura, “10 Surprising Causes of Blood Sugar Swings You Probably Didn’t Know,” Everyday Health
Lauren Venosta, “8 Incredible Health Benefits of Ginger,” Honey Coach