Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is not only one of the yummiest herbs . . . it’s also one of the most beneficial. There are a range of these ginger health benefits which cultures have been reaping for thousands of years. So, let’s learn about them!

Ginger has been used as a spice for its peppery taste and medicinal properties for thousands of years. It was and continues to be brewed into teas and soups to naturally treat gastrointestinal ailments and nausea.1

The ginger plant is a herbaceous flowering perennial, bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Part of the Zingiberaceae family, it’s a close cousin to turmeric (Curcuma longa) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum).

Fresh ginger is actually the underground portion of the plant called the rhizome.1 This knobby horizontally grown root is what we know as ginger.

As previously stated, ginger has been used as a spice medicinally for millenia. Today it is grown in South Asia and the Caribbean Islands, where it’s a culinary staple.1

Ginger is noted for its anti-inflammatory medicinal properties and its ability to aid digestion and ease the symptoms of nausea. Keep reading to learn more!

Ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory compounds, called gingerols, have been found effective for relieving muscle pain induced by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or that which follows strenuous exercise.2

This also applies to general muscular discomfort.

Ginger directly affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract by increasing its motility.3 This means it helps the GI mix and propel its contents through the tract.

So, if you’re feeling bloated or backed up, brew a ginger tea with 1/2 tsp grated ginger mixed into 12 oz boiling water!

Those same properties which promote healthy digestion also help fight nausea.

Ginger also contains carminative properties. This means it helps break up and expel built-up intestinal gas,2 reducing the not-so-fun stomach reactions like nausea and motion sickness.

In addition to all of the previously discussed benefits of ginger, ayurvedic tradition states that the herb is thought to warm the body, therefor reducing the accumulation of toxins in the organs. Those particularly affected are the lungs and sinuses.2

This promotes healthy sweating and the body’s detoxification when suffering from a flu or infection.

[1] Wright, H. (2006). Ginger: Pungent, Yet Soothing to the Stomach. Environmental Nutrition, 29(1), 8.
[2] Smith, M. D. (2014). medicinal foods: garlic and ginger. Better Nutrition, 76(10), 64-69.
[3] Starbuck, J. J. (2000). Ginger & Peppermint. Better Nutrition, 62(1), 44.

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