Health Benefits of Ginger

In its natural form, ginger root has been used as a “cure” in many cultures for thousands of years, especially in Chinese medicine.  Now even conventional, allopathic clinicians and researchers are starting to recognize its benefits. Anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antiulcer effects of ginger have been proven in many scientific studies.  Ginger contains over 200 hundred natural compounds some of which can help to reduce inflammation, pain, and risk for several chronic conditions according to recent studies.

Here is a shortlist of just some of ginger’s health benefits:

1- Anti-inflammatory
2- Thins the blood and prevents excessive clotting, which could lead to a heart attack or strokes
3- May help prevent or treat migraine headaches
4- Helps prevent motion sickness
5- Reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis
6- Protects the GI tract and helps with indigestion
7- Helps with nausea from both movement, pregnancy and chemotherapy

Recently a study published in the journal of Cancer Prevention Research has found that ginger may have potential colon cancer-preventing benefits as well.
Many studies on cells have shown that ginger is an anti-inflammatory, like aspirin, but without the side-effects of aspirin.  Other studies have shown that ginger prevented the formation of tumors in animals exposed to a carcinogenic chemical.
Now the researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School, found that humans taking two grams of ginger root a day for 4 weeks had 28% less inflammation in their colons, and inflammation is clearly associated with the development of colon cancer.

Ginger is a major component of the diet of some Asian cultures, which easily consume the 2 grams a day of ginger used in this study.  This amount is considerably more than American’s consume.

For those interested in supplementing with ginger, a powdered root extract containing 500-1000 mg a day is reasonable.  Though there have been no organized long-term studies of the safety of using ginger while pregnant, the long-term use of ginger in Asian diets has not shown any harm during pregnancy.

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

Related article:  Ginger Tea Recipes – Tasty and Healthy

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