Ginger has been used in several culinary recipes and is a very popular spice loaded with medicinal properties. Although it originated in Southeast Asia, it has been widely cultivated in several countries worldwide. The spice also has a very long history of use in traditional or alternative medicine and has helped treat digestion, flu, common cold, etc. for ages.

Key health benefits of ginger :

1. Prevents Flu and Cold

For several centuries, ginger has been used as a natural treatment for colds and flu. A 2013 study sought to investigate the complementary self-treatment of the common cold and flu with medicinal plants in Estonia. The findings revealed that ginger was one of the popular herbs used for self-treatment of the common cold and flu in Estonia.

“Respondents have used a combination of Estonian native and non-native species of medicinal plants. To some extent ginger was used to treat the common cold and flu,” said the researchers in their paper published in PLoS One.

2. Reduces Muscle Pain and Soreness

Ginger is effective against muscle pain due to exercise. A 2010 study demonstrated that ginger reduced muscle pain caused by eccentric workouts.

“Daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury. Our findings agree with those showing the hypoalgesic effects of ginger in osteoarthritis patients and further demonstrate ginger's effectiveness as a pain reliever,” read the study’s conclusion.

3. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Although this area of research is relatively new, ginger has exhibited anti-diabetic properties. A 2015 study has demonstrated that 2 grams of ginger powder consumption on a daily basis lowered fasting blood sugar levels by 12% compared to those who didn’t take any of the ginger powder.

“Oral administration of ginger powder supplement can improve fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I and malondialdehyde in type 2 diabetic patients. So, it may have a role in alleviating the risk of some chronic complications of diabetes,” said the researchers.

4. Relieve Chronic Indigestion

Ginger can help speed up digestion and emptying of the stomach which is a major driver of indigestion. It also helps ease discomfort and pain in people suffering from chronic indigestion. A 2008 study has demonstrated the effects of ginger on gastric emptying and improving upper gastrointestinal symptoms. The study participants who consumed 1.2 grams of ginger powder prior to a meal accelerated stomach emptying by 50%.

“Ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers. These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient groups,” concluded the study.

5. Improves Several Types of Nausea Including Morning Sickness

Ginger has long been used to treat seasickness and appears to be very effective against nausea. It can also help relieve nausea and vomiting post-surgery, in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as morning sickness in pregnant women. A 2014 study revealed that ginger was safe and effective to treat pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting.

“Ginger could be considered a harmless and possibly effective alternative option for women suffering from nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP),” concluded the study.

Health benefits of Ginger jmexclusives, Pixabay