Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. Native to South-east Asia, ginger is an integral component of the region’s diet, and is valued for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. It’s among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.

It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and it’s closely related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The rhizome, (underground part of the stem), is the part commonly used as a spice. It’s often called ginger root, or simply ginger.

Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER

  • Natural Antibiotic and Antiviral

Ginger tea is a great choice at the onset of a cold. Being diaphoretic, it encourages perspiration and can therefore be used to treat feverish conditions such as influenza or cold. The fresh root also appears to have antiviral effects.

  • Role Against Nausea, Vomiting and Motion Sickness

Ginger root has also been anecdotally reported to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats. This could extend to people undergoing surgery and chemotherapy-related nausea, though further studies are required. Ginger has most widely been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with mild pregnancy sickness. However, check with your GP or midwife to ensure it is appropriate for you.

  • Natural Painkiller, Anti-Inflammatory and Remedy Against Burns

Many of the curative properties of ginger relate to its potent anti-inflammatory qualities. These effects appear to be relevant for topical use, with studies supporting the use of a ginger compress for relieving osteoarthritis symptoms. 

Topical applications may also stimulate circulation and soothe burns.

The root, the part of the plant most widely used in alternative forms of medicine, is rich in volatile oils that contain active components such as gingerol. This potent anti-inflammatory compound is believed to explain why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis who consume ginger regularly experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility.

  • Digestive Aid

Ginger has a long reputation as a carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excess gas from the digestive system, and is known to sooth the intestinal tract. Colic and dyspepsia respond particularly well to ginger.

  • Healthy Heart Aid

A number of animal studies suggest ginger may help manage cholesterol levels, reduce damage to the arteries and lower high blood pressure – all of which benefits the heart and cardiovascular system.

  • Antioxidant Effects

Ginger is an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that, for this reason, ginger can reduce various types of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when too many free radicals build up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances produced by metabolism and other factors. The body needs to eliminate free radicals to prevent them from causing cellular damage that can lead to a range of diseases, including cancer. Dietary antioxidants help the body get rid of free radicals.

 

References

  1. Anh, N. H., Kim, S. J., Long, N. P., Min, J. E., Yoon, Y. C., Lee, E. G., Kwon, S. W. (2020). Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled  
  2. Mahassni, S. H., & Bukhari, O. A. (2019). Beneficial effects of an aqueous ginger extract on the immune system cells and antibodies, hematology, and thyroid hormones in male smokers and non-smokers. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, 15, 10–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnim.2018.10.001 
  3. Mashhadi, N. S., Ghiasvand, R., Askari, G., Hariri, M., Darvishi, L., & Mofid, M. R. (2013). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(Suppl 1), S36-42. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
Back to blog