Ginger Root Benefits
Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.
Ginger has been well researched and many of its traditional uses confirmed. It is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion. It is a warming remedy, ideal for boosting the circulation, lowering high blood pressure and keeping the blood thin in higher doses. Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems.
Ginger root is a medicinal herb used primarily for the treatment of Dyspepsia (discomfort after eating), this includes the symptoms of bloating, heartburn, flatulence, and nausea. It is also considered helpful as a preventative for motion sickness and as a digestive. Due to it’s antispasmodic characteristic some people have used it to help ease menstrual cramps. In some traditional systems it is credited with the ability to treat arthritis, fevers, headaches, and toothaches.
Ginger may also be taken orally as a herbal remedy to prevent or relieve nausea resulting from chemotherapy, motion sickness, pregnancy, and surgery.
Results of laboratory studies as well as from small studies conducted among seasick sailors or ship passengers, found that ginger generally has more effectiveness for relieving motion sickness than placebo (or sugar pills). Several comparisons between ginger and prescription or non-prescription drugs have been conducted for relieving the nausea of pregnancy, but results are inconclusive.
In some of the studies, similar effectiveness was seen between ginger and the comparator drug, while other studies found less or no effectiveness for ginger as compared to the drugs. In general, no adverse effects were noted from using ginger, for either the mother or the developing baby. Ginger has also been used in folk medicine to treat minor gastrointestinal problems such as gas or stomach cramps. Recent studies may confirm that ginger directly affects the gastrointestinal tract, helping to improve muscle tone and to prevent abnormally rapid and strong intestinal contractions.
Results of limited studies in animals with diabetes show that ginger may reduce blood levels of sugar and cholesterol, while also lowering blood pressure. However, no human studies with similar results have been reported. A few small studies that have been conducted in humans have shown some promise for supplemental ginger in the treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
If a person has exercised too much or suffers from arthritis or rheumatism, ginger has been known to ease inflammation of the joints and muscle tissue. Due to its tremendous circulation-increasing qualities, ginger is thought to improve the complexion. It has reduced nervousness, eased tendonitis, and helped sore throats return to normal. Studies demonstrate that ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver. It may also aid in preventing internal blood clots.
Ginger root was recently the subject of a startling new research report presented at The American Association for Cancer research conference in Phoenix. In the study, ginger actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that the herb was able to fuel apoptosis or the death of the cancer cells. Ginger has been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer. But it had not been shown to halt the progression of cancer until now. However, more research is required to confirm this.
This stimulating herb is warming to the system. In her book ’10 Essential Herbs’ author Lalitha Thomas describes the properties: “The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes (quite similar to the chemical action of turpentine) and an oleo-resin called ginger oil. These two, and other active ingredients in ginger, provide antiseptic, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating, and mild constipation relief qualities along with a potent perspiration-inducing action that is quite effective in cleansing the system of toxins.”