Health Benefits of Ginger

Health Benefits of Ginger

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  1. Origins

    Ginger has been used for centuries throughout India, China and most of southeast Asia as a remedy for several different health problems. It is used for both medicinal purposes and as a spice to flavor foods.

    The Plant

    The root of the ginger plant is thick and knotted. It’s the most potent part of the plant and is normally ground or boiled before it is used. Ginger contains oils and phenol compounds. Shogoals and gingerols are two of the active components in ginger root.


    Motion sickness, nausea, vomiting and stomach upset are effectively remedied with ginger. It has few reported side effects and is safe for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. It is also safe in relieving stomach upset due to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. 1 gram taken 3 times a day in powdered form can be used to relieve several stomach problems.

    Limited studies suggest ginger may reduce inflammation associated with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis. Patients who suffer from ulcerative colitis may also benefit from the use of ginger. Approximately 2 to 4 grams per day is the suggested amount to reduce inflammation. Ginger poultices can be placed on affected joints or tea and capsule forms can be taken internally.

    Some reports indicate ginger may have the ability to lower cholesterol and aid in the prevention of heart disease. It may also reduce the blood’s clotting ability. Both of these actions may lower the risk of damage to veins and arteries and prevent blockages that could lead to heart attack and stroke.

    It is also thought ginger possesses anti-cancer benefits. Neither the cardiovascular or cancer treatments have been proven effective, but research is underway to determine if there is any credibility to the reports.

    Side Effects

    Ginger has few reported side effects, but overuse can lead to irritation in the mouth, heartburn and diarrhea. Always consult a physician before taking ginger or any other herbal supplement. Herbs may interact adversely with prescription and over the counter medications. Because of ginger’s ability to thin the blood, it should not be taken with medications that are prescribed for that purpose.

    General Doses

    No more than 4 grams of ginger should be taken in a 24 hour period. Standardized ginger, which is guaranteed to have 4 percent of volatile oils or up to 5 percent of the pungent compounds, can be divided into several doses containing up to 2,000 mg with food, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    Available Forms

    Ginger extracts, tinctures and oils can be used in poultices and decoctions. Fresh ginger root can be brewed and consumed as a tea or added to other beverages. Dried ginger can be found in capsule form or added to foods as a spice.

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