Ginger is a tropical plant that belongs to Ginger family (Zingiberaceae), a plant family that also includes turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. Ginger plant is originated in Southeast Asian and mainly cultivated for its rhizomes (roots) which are used as a spice in Asian cuisine.
However, its healing properties did not go unnoticed in China and in India, where ginger is used today to cure various diseases and health problems. The following are some health benefits of ginger:
- Aids in digestion
Ginger root and ginger oil are probably the best herbs for digestion. They are often used for treating abdominal pain, dyspepsia, colic, cramps, diarrhea, indigestion, and bowel or stomach related problems. Ginger tea is also used to relieve stomach problems and helps increase one’s appetite.
- Reduces respiratory problems
Since ginger is a good expectorant, it is effective in combating various respiratory problems such as colds, coughs, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and shortness of breath. Ginger is also very effective in removing mucus from the throat and lungs. The health benefits of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems are well known.
- Protects against ulcers
Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger protects against the development of ulcers, unwanted holes in your stomach lining
- Relieve arthritis pain
Ginger is also well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Indian and Scandinavian studies have consistently shown that ginger is useful for relieving most kinds of arthritis.
- Treats food poisoning
Ginger is antiseptic and carminative. As a result, it can be used to treat food poisoning. It is also can be used to treat intestinal infections and dysentery bacteria.
- Relieve nausea and vomiting
Studies suggest that the short term use of ginger root can effectively relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting as well as nausea caused by motion sickness, chemotherapy or surgery.
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Ginger root extract can help reduce the LDL cholesterol, and thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart attack.
- Lower high blood pressure
Ginger increases and stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles surrounding blood vessels, facilitating the flow of blood throughout the body.
- Fight ovarian cancer
Ginger may be a powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. In a study conducted at University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, ginger has been found to kill cancer cells in ovarian tissue.
- Prevent colon cancer
Ginger contains Gingerols, an active compound which are found to be effective in preventing and treating colon cancer.
- Prevents migraine
Research has shown that ginger powder is able to stop the effects of prostaglandins, which may cause inflammation in blood vessels, leading to migraines.
- Benefits for Hair
Ginger is also useful for hair treatment. The juice of ginger is useful in treating dandruff.
When you’re going to purchase ginger, choose the fresh rhizome over the dried one. In addition to has a better aroma and taste, it also contains higher levels of the active compound gingerol.