Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia.
Ginger, which is scientifically referred to as Zingiber officinale. A member of the Zingiberaceae family, along with other medicinal superfoods such as turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.
Ginger has been used as a spice and medicinal supplement in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern medicine in China, ginger is used in about half of all herbal prescriptions on the market today.
Ginger is generally available in three forms, fresh ginger root, preserved ginger and dried ginger. General compounds found within ginger, such as Fe, Mg, Ca, vitamin C and flavonoids, along with phenolic compounds (gingerdiol, gingerol, gingerdione and shogaols) have been used for centuries in herbal medicine.
Traditionally used to treat or promote healing for:
- Sore throats
- Muscular ache and pains
- Fever and infectious diseases
- Blood sugar regulation
This wide range of medicinal value can be attributed to the phenolic compounds gingerol and shogaol as they are known to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are known to reduce oxidative stress within the body.
Ginger is likely most known for its anti-nausea abilities, simply smelling ginger can help soothe an expectant mothers stomach and is often a key ingredient in anti-nausea candies and teas for morning sickness and motion sickness.
Studies also show that consuming ginger may help ease chemo-therapy related nausea as well as nausea following surgery.
Blood Sugar and Heart Disease
A new area of study for this traditional medicine is its ability to lower blood sugar levels. A 2015 study of 41 participants with type-2 diabetes, were given 2 milligrams of ginger daily. As a group they saw their average fasting blood sugar decrease by 12%.
The study participants also saw a 28% reduction in the Apolipoprotein B/Apolipoprotein A-I ratio and a 23% reduction in malondialdehyde (MDA) both by-products of oxidative stress.
Ginger root has been used historically to treat osteoarthritis, arthritis and rheumatism due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Arthritis is an extremely common health problem that affects millions of people daily. It is the degeneration of the joints that can lead to severe joint pain, stiffness and loss of movement.
Ginger has been important ingredient in Asian medicine for centuries, particularly for pain relief in musculoskeletal ailments. A recent study shows people who consumed ginger daily showed a significant improvement in their pain and functioning.
While another study shows that using ginger topically in combination with our medicinal ingredients such as cinnamon and sesame oil can help reduce pain and stiffness.
Another study showed that ginger was as, or more effective than ibuprofen for menstrual pain relief in women.
In addition to helping ease chemotherapy related nausea, ginger has shown remarkable anti-cancer activity. Recent studies are suggesting that ginger may be able to actually promote the death of cancer cells!
Other studies have shown that ginger may be beneficial in managing prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, colon and breast cancer while lowering the amount of oxidative stress the body is under.
Ginger is a medicinal power house that is readily available and extremely simple to incorporate into your diet to receive all the benefits it offers.