Ginger is an herb that is native to China and India. It has been used for centuries to help add a unique flavor to meals and help protect the body from illnesses and pain. The whole roots can be found raw in foods such as salads and marinades, which helps to impart a slightly sweet yet spicy flavor. Ginger can be found raw, dried, powdered, in capsules or as a liquid in the form of juice or oil. It is believed that consuming ginger can help to alleviate feelings of nausea and pain, and researchers suggest that the herb may be important for whole-body health.
Ginger can help to decrease nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness, surgery and chemotherapy treatments. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, taking just 1 gram of ginger root each day during pregnancy is a safe and effective way to reduce the nausea and vomiting commonly known as morning sickness. It is believed that the herb helps to increase the production of digestive enzymes and acid, which helps to more quickly break down and empty foods from the stomach. This then decreases feelings of nausea and helps to promote regular bowel function.
According to a study in the "Journal of Medicinal Food," ginger works to stop the activation of the inflammatory response in the body. Because of this, ginger has long been used to help decrease muscle and joint pain and relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Ginger has been shown to possess antibacterial properties, which may help to treat bacterial infections as well as the common cold and digestive system ailments. It is believed that ginger works to improve circulation. This helps to more quickly remove toxins from the body.
Currently, there is insufficient research available to determine whether ginger is effective for the prevention and treatment of heart disease. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that studies have suggested that ginger may help to lower cholesterol in the blood and prevent blood clots. Low cholesterol is associated with a decreased risk for heart disease.
- Journal of Medicinal Food: Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions; Reinhard Grzanna et al.
- The Epicentre: Ginger
- MedlinePlus: Ginger
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ginger
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Ginger
- Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences: Antibacterial Activity and Medicinal Properties of Ginger
- ginger hand with minced and sliced ginger image by David Smith from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.