The Wonders of Ginger

GingersGinger is a master when it comes to spicing up your dishes. It is a treasure to every kitchen.

Ginger is a plant native to Southeast Asia and is abundantly grown in China, India, and other tropical regions. The ginger root, which actually is a rhizome, is the part of the plant that is utilized for culinary needs or for home remedies as treatment. Its culinary brilliance is very popular in different countries because of the strong distinct flavor and the spicy zest that it adds to your cuisine. It is prepared and served differently in many different parts of the world whether as a spice, a tea, a flavoring to cookies, bread and cakes, or served alongside sushi. But not only is ginger rising in popularity in the kitchen but is now also making its name in the medical world along with hard evidences for its brilliant performance whether as a home remedy for treatment or as commercially produced drug in forms of a capsule or powder for combating and treating several health problems.

Ginger is one of the ancient, revered medicines of India, China and Asia. One could wonder how one herb could affect so many different varieties of diseases. Let’s take a look at what ginger has got to be this powerful.

Anti-inflammatory

Our bodies’ natural healing response to illness and injury is inflammation. The pain, the heat and the swelling in it is its way of preventing you to move the affected area while it is healing. The inflammation subsides as the injury is healed. On the other hand, in conditions like arthritis, diverticulosis, gallbladder inflammation, and heart disease, the inflammation does not go but becomes more persistent leading to more serious damage.

Fortunately, ginger partially inhibits the formation of two enzymes — cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase (LOX) — that are responsible for inflammation thus giving relief to inflammation and pain. However COX also has beneficial effects on the digestive tracts, including protecting the stomach, and can be blocked when it is strongly inhibited. Ginger does not irritate the stomach but instead helps in protecting it unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs that cause side-effects like ulcers.

Antinausea

Ginger has long been used as an alternative for relieving nausea, a type of gastrointestinal distress resulting from motion sickness and in some studies has been proven to be more effective than some commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Aside from that, ginger is proven safe and only a small dose is required.

Analgesic (Pain Killer)

Ginger, being anti-inflammatory, is a natural analgesic (pain killer) that helps soothes and relieves the scratchy pain and irritation in sore throats which often results to coughing. Therefore, as common cough medicines cause drowsiness and nausea, ginger may just be the best alternative for you. You can chew fresh ginger root or drink ginger tea to suppress your cough.

Decongestant and Expectorant

A strong tradition exists in using ginger for treating symptoms of the common cold. It also is an effective decongestant for it helps shrink the inflamed mucous membrane in the nose and relieves tight, painful and congested sinuses and its expectorant properties helps to repel mucus from the respiratory system.  And because ginger has no side effects, it is makes it an all-natural alternative to pharmaceutical decongestants.

Antiviral and Antibacterial

Ginger has proven to be an excellent choice for combating viral and bacterial infections. Colds and flu are caused by viruses. In case of flu, symptoms could include headache, muscular pain, fever, weakness and nausea. Ginger helps to reduce these symptoms; one is because of its antipyretic properties which helps bring down fever.

Anticancer

Amazingly, ginger is well known for its ability to shrink tumors. It is even more effective than many cancer drugs which are known to be highly toxic and therefore may even accelerate death.   A study has shown that ginger can help shrink tumors. With its strong anti-inflammatory properties, ginger also inhibits the growth of precancerous tumors.

Weight Loss

If you are looking for a remedy to help you lose weight safely, ginger might just be the thing for you. Ginger helps regulate your digestion process and also helps trigger and even accelerate metabolism which helps burn fats. Adding ginger to your dishes or having it as tea can also restrict fat accumulation in your body. Now this is why ginger has made its way to the list of “top 10 weight loss foods.”

Amazing isn’t it? How such one small root could incredibly affect so many different health disorders and have unnoticeable adverse effects in our body. It truly is such a powerful alternative medicine not to mention being readily available and very affordable. So why don’t we all make it a habit of always keeping this brilliant herb in our storage, and adding it to our daily diet.