Ginger is the underground stem or rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. It has been used as medicine in Asian, Indian and Arabic herbal traditions since ancient times.
For example, in China ginger has been used to aid digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea for more than 2,000 years. It has also been used to help treat arthritis, colic and heart conditions. In addition to these medicinal uses, ginger continues to be valued around the worLD as an important cooking spice and is believe to help relieve the symptoms of the common cold and the flu.
Today, health care professionals commonly recommend ginger to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy. Conventional prescription and nonprescription medicines that decrease nausea may also cause unwanted side effects, such as dry mouth and drowsiness. Given the safety of ginger, many people find it a welcome alternative to these medications to relieve their discomfort.
Although it is too early to tell if ginger will benefit those with heart disease, preliminary studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and help prevent the blood from clotting. Each of these effects may protect the blood vessels from blockage and the damaging effects of blockage such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Laboratory studies have also found that components in ginger may have anticancer activity. More research is needed to determine the effects of ginger on various cancers in humans.
Ginger is used as an old Ayurvedic remedy that was given to people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It reduces pain and swelling in various amounts in 75 % of the people tested, with no reported side effects.
One professional Ironman triathelete says that ”Ginger is worthy of any diet. Ginger can help the digestion process and ease and upset stomach. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and so aids in the recovery of soft-tissue injuries and help promote quicker healing of strains.” He loads up on ginger as his training increases.
According to Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S. “Ginger lessens your risk of excess insulin by speeding your metabolism and by lowering your glucose level. Gingerroot also helps reduce toxic buildup in the fat cells and supports bile flow.
This tasty little root is amazing and you need to try it yourself. Like everything else the affect it may have on your symptoms may differ from other so experiment. Try some ginger tea to start. Traditional Medicinals has a great ginger tea that I love to drink. If you want to make your own: steep 1.5 teaspoons of powdered ginger or a few slices of ginger root in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and sweetened with honey. Drink up to three cups a day. This offers great temporary relief from acid indigestion or intestinal gas.
With little to no side effects for most people ginger is a safe and natural way to get relief from some of the more common digestive symptoms. Ginger will not eliminate your digestive problems – those can only be taken care of by addressing the cause and modifying your diet and lifestyle.
You deserve to be healthy!