Ginger is among the healthiest and most powerful spices on the planet. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberaceae) is a common root (rhizome) loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds. Most Asians use ginger in their dishes as a spice because it has numerous medicinal benefits. Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. It is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant with a firm, striated texture. The flesh of the ginger root can be white, red, or yellow, depending upon the variety. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, and it has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Types of Ginger
- Blue Hawaiian
Health Benefits of Ginger
Gingerol is an active compound in ginger root and is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Naturally occurring anti-inflammatories are essential because they can help curb an overactive immune system. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties protect white blood cells from infection and viruses and reduce inflammation.
2. Fights Germs and Infections
Gingerol helps lower the risk of infections like cold and flu as it has a bioactive compound in fresh ginger. It has analgesic, sedative, antipyretic and antibacterial effects. Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger may help your body ward off germs like E.coil and shigella. Ginger’s antibacterial power may also brighten your smile and keep inflammatory diseases away in the gums, such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
3. Alleviates Nausea
The bioactive compounds in ginger help prevent various types of nausea like morning sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery, and motion sickness. During pregnancy, consume 1-1.5 grams of fresh ginger root per day; that may prevent feelings of nausea and vomiting and is also good for the mother or her future baby. Consuming a cup of ginger tea helps to empty your stomach faster and stave off bloating and gas.
4. Aids Cardiovascular Health
The bioactive molecules in ginger may lower the risk of some cancers like colorectal, ovarian, skin, liver, breast, and gastric cancer. Two nutrients in ginger, potassium and magnesium, assist in regulating blood pressure and also protect the heart, blood vessels, and urinary passages. So, add ginger to your regular diet to maintain good cardiovascular health.
5. Eases Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are very common health problems. Ginger acts as an alternative form of medicine in various places. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, arthritis, and muscular disorders. Also, it aids in reducing swelling. So, the intake of ginger root or ginger tea daily may help prevent the symptom of arthritis and osteoarthritis.
6. Prevents Cancer
Ginger is an antioxidant and a natural cancer fighter. The active molecules 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol in ginger may slow down the growth of certain cancers like colorectal, gastric, ovarian, liver, skin, breast, and prostate cancer. A daily dose of ginger may prevent cancer cell development.
7. Skin and Hair Care
Ginger consists of natural oils called gingerol. Its anti-inflammatory benefits help soothe irritated skin, prevent anti-ageing, reduce white scars, and improve skin appearance. However, ginger, rich in antioxidants, is good for hair that may help prevents hair fall and dandruff and improve blood circulation on the scalp.
8. Curbs Menstrual Pain
Menstruation is an inevitable part of every woman’s life. Ginger is one of the traditional remedies because it comprises numerous herbal benefits. It may help to alleviate menstrual cramps and also control heavy menstrual bleeding. So, intake of a cup of ginger tea during menstrual time may help significantly lower menstrual pain, also known as dysmenorrhea.
9. Relieves Indigestion
Phenolic compounds in ginger help relieve gastrointestinal irritation and lessen gastric contraction. Ginger appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are main for healthy digestion. It is a natural remedy for indigestion because it can reduce stomach acid and also helps in breaking down the food, which ensures proper digestion.
10. Weight Loss
Ginger comprises shogaols and gingerols. Consuming ginger combined with other plant extracts may help stimulate some biological activities in your body and lower your weight significantly.
11. Soothes Muscle Ache
Ginger helps to relieve sore muscles and muscle pain from exercise as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol is a compound in ginger that has antioxidant benefits to help support your immunity. Try sipping ginger tea for a quickie health boost.
12. Sugar Control and Lower Cholesterol
The high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood can lead to major health problems, like diabetes. Diabetes is (chronic hyperglycemia) the most common disease in the human system. Ginger helps to reduce the high blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1C levels. It also assists in regulating insulin and keeps your metabolism humming.
Antioxidants in ginger help battle your bad cholesterol levels (low-density lipoproteins). The high level of bad cholesterol contributes to fatty buildups in arteries. So, add 5-6 grams of ginger to your daily diet that may prevent the risk of heart attack, including stroke and hypertension.
Ginger is a popular and delicious spice worldwide. It is a good source of bioactive molecules such as gingerol and shogaol, and it has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Ginger plays a significant role in menstrual pain, cancer, heart diseases, muscle ache, diabetes, etc. Add ginger to a daily diet to enjoy these several herbal benefits.