Ginger is a rhizome, meaning it is an underground stem, which can be used as a medicine or as an herb. Ginger grows in tropical areas and comes from a plant with purple-green flowers. Thought to be native to Asia, traditionally it has been used in Asian medicine to treat various ailments including nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach.
Specifically, ginger is used to treat nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy or chemotherapy, although the evidence for this benefit is not robust. It is also used for treating nausea following surgery, and to help with muscle and joint pain, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The Benefits of Ginger
*Benefits of Eating Ginger:
A chemical found in the roots of ginger is used in anti-acids, laxatives, and anti-flatulence (gas) medications. The chemicals in ginger appear to work in the intestines and stomach. They may also work in the nervous system and brain to aid with nausea.
Some studies indicate that taking moderate amounts of ginger extract can alleviate osteoarthritis pain. For instance, one study indicated that the ginger extract (Zintona) 250 mg, taken 4 times every day significantly reduced arthritis with in three months of treatment.
Some studies also show the another ginger extract known as EuroVita combines ginger with alpinia to decrease after walk pain, pain when standing, and stiffness in the back. Studies have also found the effects of ginger extracts in certain dosages, to be comparable with that of other medicines like ibuprofen.
3. Morning Sickness, Dizziness, and Menstrual Pain.
Ginger appears to help some women with morning sickness although care should always be taken when consuming anything while pregnant. Such women should consult their doctors first before taking ginger for this purpose.
Studies have shown that ginger is helpful in dealing with dizziness and nausea. There is also evidence from a study to indicate that ginger alleviates menstrual pain. According to the study, a certain ginger extract (Zintoma, Goldaru 250 mg), taken four times each day for 3 days at the start of the menstrual period decreased pain in over 60 percent of participants.
4. Other Ailments.
Ginger is also used to treat cold and flu as it acts as a decongestant and antihistamine. Ginger may also help with diabetes, helping to decrease protein levels in urine. It may also assist in decreasing the level of fat and protecting nerves.
As diabetic neuropathy, a nerve damage that can develop as a complication from diabetes, this is an important quality for ginger to have.
5. Cautions regarding Ginger.
As with modern medicines, there are some precautions that should be kept in mind regarding ginger. Consult your doctor before taking ginger with blood thinners. This herb may also interact with blood pressure medicines and may also decrease blood sugar levels.
Despite its uses for many ailments, some of which are listed above, there is not enough evidence to suggest that ginger helps with chemotherapy-related nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, after-exercise, muscle pain, as well as cold, flu and migraine headaches.
Check first with your doctor if you must try ginger for its many claimed (and some patient confirmed) health benefits.