Michael is an author with a passion for health and the longevity of human lives.
Ginger Benefits and Side Effects
Ginger is best known as a spice to complement many different foods, especially in Asian cuisine. One either loves ginger or hates it. Rarely is there an in-between. Eating a bit of ginger every day has a tremendous therapeutic and healing effect on the human body. Originating from Southeast Asia, it's been consumed for thousands of years both for its spicy flavor and its powerful medicinal purposes.
It is most notably used in the treatment of stomach-related problems, but there are other lesser-known benefits as well. The following are ten amazing health benefits and advantages of eating ginger daily!
1. Ginger Boosts the Immune System
Research conducted in Germany discovered that ginger promotes healthy sweating. It not only assists in the detoxification of the body, but it also helps the body defend itself against infections. It can fight off bad bacteria in the stomach and ease colds and the seasonal flu.
It can also relieve upper respiratory tract infections, coughing, and throat irritation due to bronchitis. Enjoying ginger won't just fight off illness, it will proactively protect the body from incoming sickness and infection. It's loaded with beneficial compounds and antioxidants that work to battle bacterial and viral conditions.
2. Ginger Reduces Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack
Ginger may reduce the chance of heart attack and stroke by helping to prevent fatty deposits from building in the arteries. It's widely known that garlic is a natural blood thinner that helps prevent blood clots, but I'd wager that not many people know that ginger surpasses garlic in preventing dangerous blood clots from forming.
3. Ginger as an Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reliever
Ginger has long been used to treat aches and pains attributed to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other joint conditions. Research shows that ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which abate symptoms of pain and stiffness associated with joint problems. These pain-killing compounds are aptly named gingerols.
Many sufferers take small daily doses of ginger root and report increased mobility and a reduction in pain. Also, patients note decreases in muscle discomfort and less swelling. There are some cases in which ginger relieved aches in the chest and knees. Many professionals now compare taking ginger extract to being on a regimen of ibuprofen, except without the risks.
A new study reveals that ginger contains a pungent compound that could be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy in targeting the cancer stem cells.
— Sayer Ji
4. Ginger as Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Active compounds in ginger can aid in preventing cancers and are even being used to treat patients who are already diagnosed with tumorous growths. The American Association for Cancer Research confirmed that ginger successfully inhibited the growth of tumors and defended against colon cancer.
Additionally, utilizing ginger extract helped eliminate cells of cancerous ovarian growths in women. Ovarian cancer is tragically often a case of being caught off-guard, with over 50% of patients diagnosed in advanced stages. Eating ginger daily can greatly prevent or mitigate the growth and spread of ovarian tumors.
5. Ginger Prevents Motion Sickness
It is still inconclusive as to what exactly ginger does to prevent nausea related to traveling, but a recent study points to the effect that ginger has on the nullification of gastric dysrhythmias caused by the motion associated with driving, flying, and being on a boat.
A great natural alternative to drugs and medications, ginger can effectively ameliorate a wide range of intestinal distress. Even the Navy has been using ginger powder to combat motion sickness suffered by its cadets.
If it's being used on that scale for motion sickness, it works! It is also used to treat post-surgical dizziness and vomiting.
6. Ginger Alleviates Morning Sickness
Starting a steady regimen of ginger consumption can greatly reduce nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. Amazingly, even in severe cases in which hospitalization was necessary, ginger was a fantastic, all-natural remedy for expectant mothers. Some standard medications for vomiting can cause birth defects.
Ginger is perfectly safe for pregnant women, considering only a minimal amount is required. Coincidentally, it is used to control and greatly reduce pain and cramps due to menstruation, proving once again that ginger is an invaluable natural herbal alternative to common medications.
Ginger – The smart person’s aspirin
— Rishika Jain
7. Ginger Prevents and Relieves Migraines
The Journal of Phytotherapy Research states that ginger is as effective as many other common migraine medications. Those involved in the double-blind study that were selected to receive ginger instead of the pharmaceuticals did not experience any side effects.
8. Ginger Treats Numerous Stomach Problems
Ginger really shines when it comes to healing stomach problems. Ginger has profound and significant benefits in alleviating nausea stemming from motion sickness, morning sickness, and after surgery vertigo and nausea. It can also treat and reduce upset stomach, heartburn, excessive gas, diarrhea, and colic. Additionally, routinely eating or drinking ginger tea can remedy a loss of appetite. It also has the capacity to aid the digestion process, ultimately leading to the improvement in food and nutrition absorption. It puts Pepto-Bismol to shame in terms of overall effect.
9. Ginger Helps With Respiratory Problems
Ginger is commonly used to combat many respiratory ailments. It helps the lungs contract and expand more effectively, thus helping to remove mucus and phlegm. There are also studies being conducted on its therapeutic impact on ameliorating breathing difficulties.
Individuals that have been diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome also find it quite useful. Many that have been on ventilator support could go more days off the support of a ventilator by taking daily doses of ginger extract.
10. Ginger Lowers Cholesterol
Although there are no conclusive studies, a plethora of clinical studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that ginger can lower cholesterol. One prominent study showed that ingesting three grams of ginger powder daily lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels in those deemed to have above-average cholesterol.
Much like all things enjoyed in life, ginger should be enjoyed in moderate amounts, as to avoid any unwanted side effects surrounding over-consumption.
Precautions and Risks of Ginger Consumption
The unfortunate reality is that too much of anything—even a good thing—can create problems. Before deciding to begin a daily regimen of ginger, it's prudent to discuss the risks and drug interactions with your physician. Generally speaking, ginger in moderation is perfectly safe for most people, yet some may experience the following side effects:
- Skin irritation
- Increased bleeding in women (menstrual)
Additionally, those with bleeding disorders should be cautious with ginger ingestion as it can increase the risk of bleeding. It should also be pointed out that eating ginger during pregnancy is controversial. There are no definitive studies to show that consuming it will harm the fetus, but doctors do concur that it should not be taken too close to the delivery date due to bleeding risks.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information "The Amazing and Mighty Ginger" 2011.
- Michael Greger M.D. F.A.C.L.M. "Ginger for Migraines" 2015.
- Sayer Ji "Ginger: 10,000x Stronger Than Chemo In Cancer Research Model" 2015
- Heather McClees "How to Use Ginger, Turmeric, and Lemon to Care for the Body Naturally" 2017.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 Michael Kismet
Sujatha Guruvayurappan from Gaithersburg, MD on October 28, 2014:
Informative post on Ginger.
Rajesh Kumar Giri from Delhi, India on October 24, 2014:
Undoubtedly the way you represent the facts and information in contents, I am impressed and like to learn more and more from you.
Rajesh Kumar Giri
Michael Kismet (author) from Northern California on October 15, 2014:
Thanks for visiting guys, I appreciate the feedback!
Kevin W from Texas on October 15, 2014:
Very nice article on the health benefits of Ginger Michael Kismet. Thumbs up on your hub.
Marvin Parke from Jamaica on October 14, 2014:
Very informative and well researched.