Uses, Properties, Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Ginger
Ginger is a plant that has been used for more than 5000 years, a traditional medicine that is very popular in China and India.
Here you will find all the benefits of Ginger for colds, to lose weight, for digestion and for blood circulation.
It is also antiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Ginger is perfect to cure headaches, menstrual pain, muscle pain, stomach discomfort, dizziness and nausea. In addition, it helps prevent ovarian and colon cancer.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is an aromatic plant that has undergone numerous scientific studies mainly due to its health and healing effects.
It has a spicy flavor and it is covered with brown skin. Not only it is an incredible plant used for medicinal purposes, but also an ingredient that is widely used in gastronomy.
Ginger has been and is one of the most popular plants in traditional Chinese medicine. As a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps us fight various health conditions which we will talk about in this article.
Composition of Ginger
Ginger is a combination of compounds such as essential oils, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
When it comes to essential oils, it contains lemon, citronellal, camphene and others as well as gingerol which is a main compound and contributes to much of ginger’s medicinal properties. Gingerol also gives it its spicy flavor
Regarding to vitamins, it is rich in B vitamins and vitamin C. In addition, it contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, aluminum and chromium.
Acids are part of its compounds, such as aspartic, linoleic, oleic and ascorbic as well as amino acids such as methionine, niacin, histidine, arginine, tryptophan, leucine and others.
Ginger is also very rich in antioxidants and has enzymes such as protease, zingibaina and phyto nutrients such as flavonoids.
As you can see, this small plant is full of components that are good for dealing with all kinds of discomforts and even diseases.
Properties and Health Benefits of Ginger
Traditionally, ginger has been known as a guaranteed natural remedy to relieve gastric discomfort but it has taken years to discover, after scientific research,that it is not only beneficial for stomach problems, but has many other properties as well.
In fact, it can even help us combat stress as well as reduce migraines, and its antioxidant properties are useful for fighting cellular aging, premature aging and inflammation. It is also a kind of aphrodisiac and recommended for depression.
Here, we will give you a list of properties and benefits of ginger that some of them may actually surprise you. So, let’s have a look at the most important properties of ginger:
Excellent Antioxidant to Prevent Cell Aging
Ginger tea is recommended for consumption due to its antioxidant properties which work against the degradation of tissues and cellular aging.
To prepare natural ginger tea, just heat the water preferably in a copper or clay teapot. Aluminum or metal teapots do not preserve the properties of medicinal plants so well.
When the water starts boiling, add the ginger and let it in for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Now you can add the juice of half a lemon and enjoy your tea!
Excellent Anti-inflammatory Properties
Ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These elements are beneficial for reducing pain in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Clinical studies have shown that the symptoms of these patients do improve if they take ginger in addition to their medication on a regular basis and over time it can reduce joint inflammation and offer some relief.
If in pain, ginger could be one of our first choices in the list of natural medicines as it is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and analgesic ingredient.
Beneficial Against Migraines and Common Headaches
Ginger can block the effects of protasgladine, a substance that causes inflammation in the blood vessels of the brain and can cause migraines. This means that ginger can reduce migraines and even prevent them.
If you are suffering from migraines, ginger infusion can help relieve your migraine pain little by little. You should take it as soon as you feel the start of a migraine as ginger is very good as prevention. Applying ginger oil can also be helpful.
Thanks to its cineole content, ginger can help provide a sense of calmness and reduce anxiety so it is an ideal complement for anxious days or anytime you feel your emotions fluctuating.
Stress is something that millions of people around the world suffer from. Introducing ginger into our daily diet can contribute to our body feeling more relaxed and relieving that pressure.
Reduces Muscle Pain in the Joints
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is the best remedy when you have joints pain deriving from high-performance sports.
To treat these discomforts and ailments, you can consume ginger for eleven days and you should overcome these problems.
Benefits for Constipation and Relieving Symptoms of Cold
When we are constipated, the best remedy is to drink ginger tea and thus we will eliminate this uncomfortable condition.
Ginger is also ideal for relieving the typical symptoms of cold (congestion, chills, cough, etc.) and also calm sinusitis.
It is Considered to Be a Good Aphrodisiac
Ginger is considered to be an aphrodisiac capable of increasing sexual desire and a good natural complement to help men with erection problems.
It should not, however, be considered as a substitute for conventional treatments. You should consult your doctor in case you have doubts about its properties and possible effects on your health.
Benefits For Ovaries - Effective Against Menstrual Pains
For those who suffer from menstrual pain month by month, one of the best natural remedies without any contraindications is ginger.
All you have to do is prepare a ginger tea as a way to relieve the ovarian pains of menstruation. It is also good for women who have irregular periods because it relieves the pain they may feel especially on the first day.
Good for the Digestive System - Relieves Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Ginger is excellent for both stomach problems and gastrointestinal problems. Not only does it relieve discomfort but also boost digestion.
A little ginger tea, like the one recommended above, can relieve gastrointestinal pain almost immediately. If you find yourself in a lot of pain, take a small amount in sips, little by little, and you will notice relief almost immediately.
Effective Against Dizziness and Nausea
Ginger has been shown to be effective in preventing dizziness and nausea since many women are used to drinking ginger tea to avoid nausea during pregnancy, but beware! Today, there are professionals who claim that the consumption of ginger during pregnancy is not recommended.As always, it is preferable to consult your doctor.
Good for Preventing Colon Cancer
The gingerols that are responsible for the spicy taste of ginger can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the colon area. Studies that support this discovery should not be taken as something definitive and you should consult your doctor and take his advice.
Helps Eliminate Bad Breath
If you have bad breath, you can also use ginger which helps refresh your mouth after meals and it increases saliva. It is also helpful if you suffer from dry mouth.
Good for the Immune System
Sweat is a powerful agent to fight germs and infections, healing colds and the flu. If you have ever tried an infusion of ginger, you would know what I am talking about because it really causes a lot of heat.
How to Lose Weight with Ginger Root
After getting to know about the properties of ginger, we can now explain below why there is a connection between the intake of ginger root and weight loss. Many men and women, who take ginger root at times when they are dieting, say that they are very happy with the results in their weight loss efforts.
If you ask yourself why ginger is able to make people lose weight effectively, the answer is simple. If you take ginger root, you will accelerate your metabolism so that it will be easier for you to lose weight.
Nevertheless, it is not advisable to take ginger root if you are breastfeeding (when many women want to lose weight after giving birth.)
The most common and easy way to consume ginger root in order to lose weight is to drink ginger root tea. This tea is very simple to make since all you have to do is prepare some tea with ginger root and hot water.
If you drink this tea once or twice a day, you will not only accelerate your metabolism, as I have already indicated, but also notice that your body does not feel so bloated anymore.
Besides, it will help to sensitize glucose, something that is often related to the concept of losing weight.
Another reason why people take ginger for weight loss is that the consumption of ginger increases serotonin levels, which is precisely what makes our appetite decrease and that is why many people have ginger root tea.
In this case, even one cup of ginger tea will make you feel as if your stomach is full.
Side effects and Contraindications of Ginger
Despite the many benefits of ginger, it should be noted that there are also some contraindications and it is not recommended that we take it in certain cases.
For example, it should not be taken in cases of ulcers, gastritis, colitis or Crohn's disease because ginger can give you an adverse effect making the pain more acute.
Another contraindication is that it can interfere with the formation of the fetus during pregnancy, so if you want to take it to reduce nausea, it is advisable that you consult your gynecologist who will be the one to tell you if you can take it or not.
It is also necessary to avoid taking it if you are having heavy bleeding during menstruation.
In addition, it can interfere with the effects of certain medications.If the patient takes medication for diabetes or other circulatory problems, it is always better to consult a specialist as ginger reduces the effects of medicines to treat these diseases.
It can also produce allergic reactions when used topically including eye reactions.
How to Take Ginger
As we have mentioned before, consuming ginger at the right amount can be very beneficial for your health. You can buy ginger in fresh, dried and powdered form.
As mentioned above, tea is the easiest way to consume ginger. It is easy to make and it only takes few minutes of your time.
If you wish, you can add a little honey to sweeten it as well as lemon and orange or even a little chamomile to give it some flavor.
Ginger oils, juices or capsules
Ginger oils are highly concentrated. You should distribute the intake over a 24 hour period and not take it all at once.
For the capsules, it depends a lot on the composition, so you should follow the instructions that come with the capsules.
Ginger powder: spices
If you want to try ginger in your meals, then the best way is to use it in salad dressings or season the meat or vegetables with it.
Ginger is a very common ingredient in Asian cuisine, do try it and you will love its flavor.
Medical Uses of Ginger
Ginger A Natural Remedy Against The Cold
A very common problem today that mainly affects women and is not necessarily connected to cold winter conditions is suffering from cold hands and feet. The temperature of the hands and feet depend on the proper circulation of blood. The most important factors that affect blood flow are contraction of blood vessels, arterial hypotension and low metabolic rate.
Normally in winter, the blood vessels contract but if our body´s health and function is optimal, the vessels dilate, causing the blood to reach everywhere.
Ginger (Zingiberofficinale)is a tuber originated from South east Asia that can either be easily found fresh in grocery shops and super markets or in the form of powder spice. It is well known for its culinary applications as well as medicinal use, and has a very aromatic spicy flavor and a distinctive aroma.
The root of ginger plant has many uses which include helping to treat the common cold. A cold is a respiratory infection caused by different viruses that penetrate the mucous layer of the nose and throat.
How Does Ginger Help Treat Cold?
Ginger is a natural antiviral that helps fight the bacteria that cause cold, and features antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help boost the immune system.
It also acts as an antihistamine and a decongestant that helps relieve the symptoms of colds and stimulates perspiration, cleansing the system and lowering body temperature. In addition, it can lower fever as well as relieve pain, and works as a mild sedative.
Other Properties of Ginger For Cold
- It increases heat in the body and therefore eliminates pain and stomach discomfort associated with external cold, nausea, vomiting, e.t.c
- Improves blood flow so it relieves feeling cold as well as the pain of muscles and joints. It also improves joint mobility in cases of cold.
- Stimulates energy.
- Protects against external cold.
How to Use Ginger to Recover from Cold
You can use ginger to get rid of cold in many ways. Here are the most common methods:
- Ginger, lemon and honey tea.
- Ginger Ale.
- Ginger with cayenne pepper.
- Ginger Infused Water.
- Cold ginger chicken sauce.
- Ginger soup.
Now let´s see how to prepare each of the above homemade recipes with ginger for cold.
Ginger, lemon and honey tea
Add a cup of boiling water to some grated ginger and let it soak for 3 minutes. Then, mix 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, which boosts the immune system, and 1 tablespoon of honey (it works as a natural antibiotic to help soothe the throat) together, add the mixture into the ginger tea and shake it well to dissolve the honey.
You can also drink this tea regularly to prevent cold.
Chop a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger. Mix it with 2 cups of boiling water, half a cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. Shake it well and cover with a plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink.
To the above recipe, you can also add any of the ingredients listed below to enjoy extra benefits:
Cinnamon: The cinnamon works as an antiseptic that helps kill the cold virus. It also relieves sore throat and promotes sweating to eliminate cold and its symptoms.You can add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your ginger tea.
Garlic: The garlic stimulates the immune system and has antiviral properties that are useful against the cold. All you need to do is add little crushed garlic to the ginger tea, let it stand for 20 minutes, strain the tea and you are ready to drink it.
Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne soothes sore throat and thin mucus. It also boosts the immune system. You can add a pinch of cayenne to your tea before soaking and even mix cinnamon with cayenne. Alternatively, add a couple of Tabasco drops before drinking.
Ginger ale offers relief from the cold and its symptoms. It is also one of the best ways to reduce sinuses and cough.
How to Make Ginger Ale:
Add a cup of sugar and ¼ teaspoon of fresh granular baker´s yeast to a bottle using a funnel. Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger with the juice of a whole lemon or grapefruit,and add it to the bottle along with a little water. Shake the bottle well to help the carbonation process.
Open the bottle and fill it up with clean fresh water. Shake again and place the bottle in a warm place for a maximum of 24 - 48 hours.
If the bottle is difficult to squeeze, then put it back to the refrigerator as the carbonation process is not yet complete. Try to open it the next day and pour the ginger ale into a glass. You can enjoy this drink regularly to get rid of cold symptoms.
Ginger with cayenne pepper
Mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a teaspoon of ground ginger. You can also rub your feet with this mixture, which will help keep them warm and sweat the toxins out of your body to get rid of the cold and its symptoms.
Ginger Infused water
Add 10 grams of ginger that are cut into small pieces in a cup of water and boil the water. Strain the tea and drink it twice a day.
Cold ginger chicken sauce
You will need:
- Chicken - 3 ½ pounds.
- Sesame oil - 2 tablespoons.
- Vegetable, corn or olive oil - 1/4 cup.
- Finely chopped ginger - 1/2 cup.
- Finely chopped green onions - 1/2 cup.
- Salt - 1 teaspoon according to taste.
Place the chicken in a pot and fill it up with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. When the chicken becomes soft, remove it from the pot and let it cool for another 25 minutes. Rinse the chicken with some cold water, pat it dry and rub it gently all over using the sesame oil.
Then, cut the chicken into pieces and refrigerate until cold. In the meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the ginger and green onions, stirring for about 30 seconds and then adding the salt. Finally, pour the hot sauce over the cold chicken. It is ready to eat.
Regular consumption of ginger soup helps eliminate cold symptomsas well as prevent cold. You can try different versions of ginger soup using ginger as the main ingredient.
You will need:
- Unsalted butter - 3 tablespoons
- Carrots - 1 ½ pounds (peeled and cut into thin slices)
- White onions - 2 cups (chopped)
- Ginger - 1 tablespoon (chopped)
- Vegetable broth (or chicken broth) - 2 cups
- Water - 2 cups
- Orange Zest - 3 strips
- Parsley, dill or fennel to garnish
- Salt - according to taste
Melt the butter, add the onions and carrots, and stir them for about 5 - 8 minutes until they soften. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and add the broth, water, ginger and orange peel strips. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes until the carrots soften.
Remove the strips of orange peel and pour the soup into a blender bowl to blend the soup. Finally, garnish with the fresh chopped herbs and drink the soup while it is hot.
In conclusion, it is really surprising how beneficial ginger can be for our health and by being more informed about the many uses, properties, health benefits and side effects of ginger, we can better decide whether it is worthwhile giving this natural food a try.