We're getting back to our roots: Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruit Month
We're getting back to our roots by celebrating Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month!
Ginger root is one of our all time favorites so we decided to highlight it!
Top 12 Ginger Health Benefits
Here are the top ginger health benefits proven by medical studies:
1. Stroke and Heart Disease
Two of the biggest killers on the planet may be kept at bay with regular ginger use, especially when eaten with other key superfoods. Garlic, ginger and onions all have an anti-blood-clotting ability, yet when they’re eaten together they’re a powerful mainstay against heart attacks and stroke!
2. Indigestion and Nausea
Whether we’re talking about curing a simple tummy ache or morning sickness and severe nausea from pregnancy, ginger has been used for thousands of years as an effective digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. Recently, Taiwanese researchers discovered that three capsules (1.2 grams total) of ginger can actually help the stomach release its contents into the small intestines in people with dyspepsia — a condition in which 40 percent of patients suffer from abnormally delayed gastric emptying.
This is one reason why ginger helps people who are bloated, constipated and have other gastrointestinal disorders. It relaxes the smooth muscle in your gut lining and helps food move along throughout the system.
One 2012 study even found that ginger may help relieve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, but ginger only seemed to help relieve nausea and vomiting in the first six to 24 hours after chemotherapy. (1)
Key takeaway: Eating whole ginger, drinking fresh ginger juice and inhaling diffused ginger essential oil are all highly effective ways to curb stomach disorders.
Proper food transport (and nutrient absorption) from the mouth out through your colon is the mainstay to health. If food gets stuck somewhere in between, it can ferment, rot or (even worse) cause obstruction, which is a life-threatening emergency.Improper digestion can also cause improper assimilation of the nutrients in your food. Either way, both cause malabsorption, and your body suffers from nutrient deficiencies. This is why ginger is so important. Like we’ve seen above, it helps promote regular digestion and metabolism of your food and is largely responsible for promoting a strong immune system.
4. Compromised Immunity and Respiratory Function
Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history. It believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system.
5. Bacterial Infections
The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials published a study in 2011 that tested just how effective ginger is in enhancing immune function. Comparing the ability of ginger to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes with conventional antibiotics, Nigerian researchers discovered that the natural solution won every time!
Key takeaway: If you ever need to go to the hospital for surgery or to visit a friend, make sure you bring some ginger essential oil with you and add a couple drops to your water. You’re less likely to get a dangerous staph infection, and it can help speed the healing process!
6. Fungal Infections
One of the trickier issues to control because they’re increasingly resistant to conventional medicine, fungal infections don’t stand a chance against ginger. Of the 29 plant species evaluated in a Carleton University study, ginger won the prize for having the extract most effective at killing fungus.
7. Ulcers and GERD
Since the 1980s, researchers have known that ginger can cure stomach ulcers. More recently, Indian scientists have been able to more closely quantify this medicinal effect. In a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, they discovered the ginger was six to eight times more potent than Prevacid, the drug of choice to treat GERD, or acid reflux!
Ginger is known for its anti-pain property. Very similar to how capsaicin works to relieve pain, gingerol acts on vanilloid receptors, which are located on sensory nerve endings. Similar to the initial intense burning feel you get when you consume spicy pepper, ginger’s burn only lasts but a second, and researchers discovered that it “affects the pain pathways directly but also relieves the inflammation, which in itself causes pain.”
Working with mice without immune systems, University of Minnesota scientists discovered that three weekly feedings of -gingerol delayed the growth of colorectal cancer cells. University of Michigan researchers confirmed these results with ovarian cancer. In fact, they found that “Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested.”
Key takeaway: The executive director of the Herbal Medicine Research and Education Centre, Basil Roufogalis, advised that, “The most likely way to administer ginger as a painkiller would be in the form of a tea taken several times a day, but more work needs to be done on the amount of ginger powder needed per dose to take effect, and the time required between doses.” For most people, taking 1,000 milligrams of powdered ginger root is effective — or two drops two times daily of ginger essential oil.
Gingerols are widely known to naturally improve diabetes and enhance insulin sensitivity. Building off this knowledge, a 2006 study out of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that they could also suppress sorbitol accumulation in human blood cells and sugar-fed rats. Simply put, ginger not only helps prevent and reverse diabetes itself — it protects against and improves diabetic complications like diabetic retinopathy!
In a 45-day double-blind, controlled clinical study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, three grams of ginger powder in three divided doses caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers (4). Another study, which analyzed hypothyroid rats, supports these findings. Researchers found that ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol to a similar extent as atorvastatin, which doctors prescribe to lower cholesterol levels (5).
In a study on the effects of ginger on osteoarthritis, researchers found that the ginger extract group experienced higher rates of reduction in knee pain on standing (63 percent) as compared with the control group (50 percent). Further analysis showed a consistently superior response in the ginger extract group compared with the control group, when analyzing reduction in knee pain on standing, reduction in knee pain after walking and reduction in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis composite index. (6)
We use it in our Ginger and Sugar Body Polish and our Therapeutic Shea Butter for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxifying agents. It soothes muscles and joints as well as stimulate digestion and circulation. Scrub away toxins with each use of our Body Polish!
Best Ways to Use Ginger
There are many forms and ways you can use ginger to benefit for your health. The most common forms of ginger include:
- Raw Ginger — You can put raw sliced ginger (the size of your thumb) in a smoothie every morning or use it in making homemade vegetable juice.
- Ginger Essential Oil — The most potent form of ginger is ginger essential oil because it contains the highest levels of gingerol. This is the No. 1 way ginger can be used as medicine. It can be taken internally to treat health conditions or rubbed topically with a carrier oil on an area of pain. Typically, two to three drops of essential oil is the recommended therapeutic dose.
- Ginger Tea — This liquid form of ginger is commonly used to relieve nausea, settle the stomach and relax the body. Have one cup two to three times daily to reduce inflammation. Also, adding a bit of raw honey and lemon to the tea makes it taste great!
- Ginger Powder — Using ground ginger powder for cooking is an excellent way to take advantage of this super spice. I use it in making Chicken Curry, homemade pumpkin pie and a ginger berry smoothie for breakfast. Also, it can be taken in supplement form as a capsule with the recommended dose of 1,000 milligrams daily.