Ginger root is touted as a ‘superfood’ due to its potential health benefits. This herb has been around since ancient times and it is consumed across cultures worldwide.
Despite using ginger root as a culinary spice, it is said that it has also been used in Traditional Medicine such as Ayurvedic and Chinese as a treatment for a number of ailments.
It’s not surprising that ginger is found in most household pantries as it is usually used as a home remedy for combating cold especially in winter. Most of us can relate to this, I reckon
Ginger can be consumed in the form of tea. It can also be used as a flavoring agent especially in baking goodies as well as beverages, among other things.
Ginger belongs to a family of turmeric, the herb that is known for its potency due to curcumin present in the plant. Given it is versatility, ginger can be used in various forms, either fresh, dried, powdered, and/or ground or pickled.
The combination of ginger and green tea is believed to make a formidable pair in terms of their potency due to the antioxidant effects they display. This is found to be popular in Asia.
Most families across cultures love ginger purely because of its medicinal properties. Not only that, but also because of its distinct flavor and aroma it elicits when added on foods and beverages.
Well, without further ado, let’s dive in and find out in more details the science behind ginger root and it is efficacy.
Is Gingerol, Compound Found In Ginger, The superpower Behind The Potential Benefits of Ginger?
Ginger is thought to have many bioactive compounds exhibiting potential health benefits. These compounds include, gingerol, shogaol, and zingiberene among other compounds but gingerol takes the center stage.
According to research gingerol is present in abundance in a fresh ginger compared to dried
However powerful gingerol is thought to be, it must work synergistically with other compounds present in ginger, my opinion.
Nonetheless, ginger has been found to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial, anticancer, and cardio protective effect activities that are attributed to the effectiveness of ginger.
Ginger has also been considered considered generally safe but the lack of understanding of it’s mechanisms of action suggest caution in it’s therapeautic use says research.
It Is Believed That The Ingestion Of Ginger Can Help Reduce Exercise Induced Muscle Pain And Joint Pain As Well.
According to ScienceDaily, two studies were performed in which two groups of participants took raw and heat-treated ginger supplements and placebo respectively for 11 days in succession.
On the 8th day, they performed an elbow flexors with a heavyweight to induce moderate muscle pain. It was found that “the daily consumption of ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25% and the effect was not enhanced by heat-treating the ginger”
“Some laboratories and animals studies have found ginger extracts can reduce the production of several chemical substances that promote joint inflammation”, says research
According to research clinical trials were demonstrated to investigate the impact of ginger on osteoarthritis patients.
Different treatments were administered including ginger extract capsules, ibufren and placebo. Although in the first trial ginger proved to be effective in relieving the pain compared to placebo, ibrufen turned out to be more effective.
The last two phases of the trial also demonstrated that ginger was more effective compared to placebo in alleviating the pain. Ibrufen was not included this time.
“The ginger group reported more gastrointestinal side effects, like heart burn but they were relatively mild”
Does Ginger Help in Reducing Menstrual pain in Women?
Since ancient times, ginger has been employed as a home remedy for various health conditions including cold nausea, flatulence, and menstrual pain, among others.
It is currently used as a treatment for nausea post-surgical and chemotherapy according to ResearchGate.
Research indicate ginger to be effective in alleviating menstrual cramps during the menstrual cycle if ingested for 3 to 4 days of the cycle. Compared to the placebo ginger demonstrated to be effective in reducing the pain.
The meta-analysis supports the efficacy of ginger in alleviating primary dysmenorrhea and/or menstrual cramps during the menstrual cycle as ginger was found to be effective than a placebo in relieving the pain.
It’s worth noting that the ginger was used in a capsule form.
Here’s the Ginger Vegetarian Stir Fry Recipe You May Find Useful
Ginger Stir Fry: Author: MedicalXpress
- Two tablespoons sesame oil
- Two cups of sliced mushroom
- Two carrots peeled and thinly sliced
- One green bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- One onion peeled and thinly sliced
- Two tablespoons minced ginger
- Two cups cooked brown rice
- Two tablespoons sodium-reduced soy sauce
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, vegetables, and ginger.
Cook three to four minutes, stirring over until veggies soften. Add rice and soy sauce and toss well
Yield: 4 servings
Tips On How To Make A Homemade Ginger Tea
Ginger tea comes handy especially if you feel a bit under the weather due to cold. It helps to treat yourself with a nice cup of hot homemade ginger tea before things get out of hand and you find yourself knocking at the doctor’s door.
Ginger tea is soothing especially when you feel bloated due to indigestion or feeling cold. You can add lemon and honey ( watch the sugar content), to increase the flavor if you want.
According to research, the consumption of ginger on a daily basis comes with some health benefits.
As indicated above it is thought to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial, anticancer, cardio protective among other things. Studies are ongoing to further investigate the efficacy of ginger.
Here are steps to follow to make your ginger root tea
- First, rinse 1 inch of ginger root and peel the skin
- Cut it nicely into thin slices
- Pour water in a small pot or a saucepan, exactly one cup, put it on a stove and let it boil over moderately high heat.
- Put your sliced ginger into the saucepan with boiling water and let it brew.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes around eight minutes or so.
- Sieve and pour the tea in a cup.
- You can add a slice of lemon and honey to increase the flavor
A word of caution: Those who suffer from kidney stones are recommended to limit foods containing oxalate.
Ginger contains oxalate although in small amounts. Oxalate is found in most plant based foods including herbs. It is anti nutrient and binds to certain minerals, such as calcium for an example and prevent their absorption in the digestive tract.
Overaccumulation of calcium oxalate in the urine leads to calcium oxalate stones.
Ginger, is the herb consumed worldwide and is loved by many purely for its medicinal properties and for its flavor which gives the foods a nice kick. It has been around for thousands of years.
While ginger has been used as a culinary spice for many years. Traditional medicine such as Ayurvedic and Chinese have been using ginger root to tread ailments ranging from cold, nausea, indigestion and so forth .
Modern medicine has also taken an interest in investigating ginger’s medicinal properties and has been found to be generally safe but may have mild side effects to some people, further research is needed.
It has been found that ginger contains bioactive compounds, including gingerol, shogaol, and zingiberene among others. Gingerol is thought to be the major bioactive compound.
These compounds are said to have antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities.
Please note: If you feel the need to change your diet, especially if you have some underlying medical conditions kindly consult your doctor and seek his/her advice.
This content is for educational purposes and to create awareness about ginger root and its potential health benefits, for any advice regarding your health issues kindly consult your doctor.