Ginger: Good For What “Ales” You

While no one is quite sure about the origin of ginger, it was first grown by the Chinese. In 19th century England, ginger was placed on the pub counters so that patrons could add it to their drinks. Apparently, this was the introduction of ginger ale! Aside from this tidbit of information, ginger does have medicinal properties.

Ginger has been used to treat nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Ginger has a long history of use for all types of digestive upset and can be helpful to increase appetite. Powdered dried ginger root is made into capsules for medicinal use. Although very effective against all forms of nausea, health officials do not recommend taking ginger root for morning sickness commonly associated with pregnancy, although it has been known to prevent morning sickness.

Research has also found ginger to be a powerful antioxidant. Ginger has also been shown in research to have a role in the natural inflammatory response of the body. In India, for example, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headaches. Ginger has also been commonly used to treat inflammation. There are several studies that demonstrate positive results on reducing joint pain from arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. It may also have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties, making it effective in treating heart disease. Ginger is also used for people suffering from gallstones, because the herb promotes the release of bile from the gall bladder. It has also been used to relieve headaches. Another important advantage in the use of ginger is the compound known as cineole, which may help reduce stress.

The anti-inflammatory properties associated with ginger lessen the pain of arthritis sufferers. It also is said to aid in the treatment of respiratory infections. Results in animal trials showed that ginger seems to prevent or slow the rate of tumor growth in cancer. Another study showed that rats given ginger and then subjected to chemicals that induce cancer had a significant reduction in cancer than the control rats.

You may also be interested to learn that in a research study reported in the International Journal of Obesity in October 1992, shows that ginger increases weight loss by calorie burning. Researchers found that ginger made the tissues use more energy. Ginger is very safe for a variety of complaints. Occasional heartburn seems to be the only documented side effect. However, it increases stamina; eases cold symptoms; soothes and promotes healing of minor burns and skin inflammations; is a digestive aid for nausea, vomiting, cramps and motion sickness.

While the health benefits of ginger are many, its efficacy is more potent when purchased fresh. Grating or using a garlic press will give you the maximum benefit.



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