Ginger is an herb that is native to Southeastern Asia. This herb has long been used by the Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures for a variety of purposes, including culinary and medicinal. Once the ancient Romans acquired ginger approximately two thousand years ago, its popularity took off around the world. Today, it remains as popular as ever and in addition to it being delicious, there are many wonderful health benefits.
Ginger is best known for its symptomatic relief of various gastrointestinal problems. This herb is referred to as a carminative, which is a substance that encourages the elimination excess gas, as well as an intestinal spasmolytic, which is a substance that soothes and calms the intestinal tract. More recent scientific studies have discovered that ginger also has several other therapeutic properties such as being an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant source.
So what specifically can ginger do, and why is it so good for you? Below are a few of the benefits found from the results of several scientific research studies on this herb.
Gastrointestinal Relief: Studies found that ginger was extremely successful at eliminating stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to this symptomatic relief, studies also found ginger to be superior to commercial motion sickness medications at preventing the symptoms of motion sickness.
Morning Sickness Relief: Ginger has been shown to prevent vomiting and morning sickness symptoms in pregnant women. Studies found that ginger root brought about a measurable reduction in the number of morning sickness bouts, as well as the severity of these bouts. Ginger is also extremely safe for the unborn child.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Research has found that the compound found in ginger, known as gingerols, is quite effective at reducing and controlling inflammation. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis showed marked improvement and a drastic reduction in swelling and pain level when consuming ginger regularly.
Cancer Preventative: The same compound responsible for reducing inflammation, gingerols, may also help to slow down the growth of colorectal cancer cells, and may kill ovarian cancer cells.
Immune System Booster: Ginger can help to warm the entire body and promote sweating. This is very beneficial for those suffering from a cold or the flu because sweating helps to rid the body of infections. Researchers have found that sweat contains germ-fighting properties and provides protection against harmful bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus (the common cause of most skin infections), and E. coli. It is also effective at eliminating a common fungus called Candida albicans.
Ginger is so powerful you really only need a small amount to get the full benefit. If you would like to try ginger to relieve nausea, make a simple tea by boiling one or two half-inch pieces of fresh ginger root in water. To relieve inflammation, as little as a quarter inch slice of ginger added to any food should help. Feel free to experiment a bit, and see how you like the taste. You may be pleasantly surprised by the flavor and the results.
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