Among the numerous spices that are present in almost every cuisine, one ingredient stands out – ginger! People have been using it in cooking and medicine since time immemorial. Popular for its medicinal properties, ginger home remedy has been widely used for certain health issues since the ancient times.
Originally from Southeast Asia, this flowering plant has been traded longer than any other spice. It has grown popularity to many countries for the benefits that it provides. Now, people grow and cultivate ginger anywhere. In fact, it is widely available at any grocery stores or supermarkets.
Ginger was a common ingredient to make sweet delicacies. Nowadays, people add it to almost any recipe. One can also make a tea out of it. In fact, ginger is also found as an ingredient of a refreshing cold beer drink. Who doesn’t love ginger ale?
So, how exactly is ginger beneficial to our health? Here we listed down some of the health benefits that we can reap from ginger.
Cold and Flu Reduction
It is no doubt true that ginger is widely popular as remedy for cold and flu. Ask your grandmother and she will more likely agree. People commonly consume a hot cup of ginger tea to recover from cold and flu. However, does this have any scientific basis or just a mere theory? A study investigated the effectiveness of herbal medicine to treat cold and flu, with ginger being one of the ingredients. While the study found herbal medicines favorable, some of the participants might not have used ginger. Another group of researchers indicated that fresh ginger, not dried, has anti-viral activity against human respiratory virus. Regardless, majority of people who have tried ginger home remedy would attest to its efficacy.
Indigestion is common among people who overeat. Certain foods such as oily and spicy foods also cause indigestion. It results into re-emerging pain and discomfort in stomach. Ginger helps regulate the movement in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby relieving and preventing dyspepsia or constipation. Additionally, ginger can also break up the gas in the digestive tract, thereby relieving discomfort.
Ginger is effective in relieving muscle pain caused by heavy exercise. A study examined that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger reduced exercise-induced muscle pain. Another review suggests the potential efficacy of ginger home remedy in reducing menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea before or during the menstrual cycle.
Inflammation is the reaction of the body when it fights off infection from bacteria and viruses. Although this is a good indication of a working immune system, it can last longer (chronic) and often links to certain illness such as cancer, heart diseases, asthma, diabetes and others. Inflammation results to redness, swelling, joint pains and other symptoms. Ginger is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce and treat inflammation. One study demonstrated ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties as a potential treatment for various inflammatory diseases.
Certain factors cause nausea such as motion sickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, overeating and others. While it is usually harmless, it could sometimes be a sign of more serious health conditions which need immediate attention. Definitely, nobody wants to have an upset stomach. You’d want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Consuming ginger is effective in reducing the feeling of nausea. Several studies have attested to this claim. One study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of ginger as an inexpensive treatment for nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy and chemotherapy. In a study involving adults and children, researchers found that ginger root is effective in reducing nausea caused by emetogenic chemotherapy. Thus, try consuming ginger when experiencing nausea.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Often high cholesterol levels are caused by consuming fatty food. High cholesterol may lead to cardiovascular related diseases. It narrows arteries and restricts blood flow. People who have high cholesterol do not usually experience any symptoms. Thus, if you are prone, regular blood test is a must. Not doing so may lead to heart attacks with no warning. Hence, adding ginger to your diet may help lower the risk. Results of a study demonstrated the positive effects of ginger to lowering cholesterol levels.
Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is another risk factor of heart diseases. It is often the result of stress, obesity, smoking, heredity and many other factors. When left untreated, this not only affects the heart but also the blood vessels, brain, kidneys and eyes. While there are certain medications that doctors may prescribe, going for a natural remedy is certainly worth the try. Ginger, together with hypertensive drugs, is said to be effective as a treatment for hypertension. A study involving hypertensive patients has proven this claim. It increases circulation and reduces overall blood pressure. Apart from that, ginger is also a rich source of potassium which can help lower blood pressure. In fact, it contains more potassium than banana!
There are many health benefits that ginger may provide. These are not only limited to the above list. Thus, it is wise to add ginger to your diet. Nonetheless, you should seek professional medical advice if you’re suffering from serious health conditions.