Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is not only one of the tastiest herbs; but, it’s also one of the most beneficial. It’s 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

What is Ginger?

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

Fresh ginger root is actually the underground portion of the plant called the rhizome.1 This is the knobby horizontal-growing root, which most people commonly know as ginger.

The Benefits

As previously mentioned, ginger has been used as a spice medicinally for thousands of years. 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!

Anti-inflammatory

Ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory compounds, called gingerols, have been found effective for relieving muscle pain induced by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or following strenuous exercise.2 This also applies to general muscular discomfort.

Digestion

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!

Nausea and Motion Sickness

The same properties mentioned above, which aid in digestion, also help fight nausea! In addition, ginger contains carminative properties. This means it has the ability to break up and expel built-up intestinal gas.2 This in turn reduces the not-so-fun stomach reactions like nausea.

Toxin Elimination

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 when undergoing a flu or infection, which is proven to detoxify the body.

Sources
[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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