Health Benefits of Ginger Revealed
One of best known benefits of ginger: ginger for nausea
There are a lot of things I remember about being stuck in bed with the stomach flu when I was a kid in the 1970s -- a black and white portable t.v. with an antenna and shows that were more static than picture, being brought into my room; maybe a new book or toy to pass the time; and a "meal" of ginger ale and dry toast.
As a parent, I too tried to comfort my children when they had an upset stomach. Luckily for them, they got color t.v. with hundreds of cable channels, perhaps a new toy or book if the illness was prolonged, and their choice of soda. It was not until years later that it occurred to me that the healing properties of my mother's soda regimen were not in the fizz of the soda, but were in fact from the ginger in the ginger ale.
With over 200 substances in the oils of ginger, it seems there are numerous benefits of ginger, that go beyond the age-old use of ginger for nausea. Ginger health benefits even show promise killing some types of cancer cells according to some studies. Since it is readily available in grocery stores and easily found as a whole root in the produce section, as a powder in the spice aisle, or as an ingredient in food and drinks, it is worth trying out.
Benefits of ginger go beyond just using ginger for nausea
Ginger can provide health benefits for the following conditions:
- Morning sickness
- Motion sickness
- Nausea and upset stomach
- Migraine headaches
- Colon & ovarian cancer
Ginger and morning sickness
Ginger, it seems, is one of the best morning sickness remedies. And trust me, if you've ever been desperate to figure out how to stop morning sickness, you're willing to try anything to make it go away. So, why not give ginger a try? According to Obstetrics and Gynecology and the review of multiple studies about taking ginger for morning sickness relief, taking ginger for morning sickness is considered effective and safe for the both the mother and unborn child. But it is recommended that pregnant women use fresh ginger root and not the powdered form. If the powdered form is used it should not exceed the recommended powdered ginger doses for pregnant women.
Caution: All pregnant women should always consult their doctor before taking ginger.
Ginger for motion sickness
For motion sickness sufferers, especially those that get seasick, taking ginger for motion sickness may provide relief. In fact, studies show that ginger is more effective than taking the popular over-the-counter medicine Dramamine.
Ginger can be found in some drinks
Ginger as an anti-inflammatory
Inflammation in the body is a bad thing for many reasons. But many arthritis sufferers who use ginger to treat their pain and discomfort, can attest to the fact that ginger often helps relieve chronic inflammation and pain. A study of over 200 hundred patients with osteoarthritis of the knee revealed that those taking ginger extract had less pain and needed to take less pain medication than those receiving a placebo.
Ginger for heartburn, nausea and upset stomach
Ginger's anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties not only alleviate the discomfort of heartburn, but help to prevent it, as well. Ginger goes directly to work on the digestive system making it an effective anti-nausea treatment when you are hit with an upset stomach. The compounds in ginger that give it its distinct flavor and smell, gingerols and phenols, are what make this possible. So, if you tend to get heartburn after eating a meal then consume ginger about an hour or so before you eat. As long as you keep your consumption of ginger within recommended doses, no more than four to six grams per day, then you should not have any side effects.
Ginger can be found in some packaged foods
Ginger for colon and ovarian cancer
Gingerol, the active compound in the ginger root may help slow the growth of colorectal tumors. According to Science Daily, less mice injected with colorectal tumor cells that were given gingerol got tumors in the same amount of time as the control group, and the the tumors that some of the gingerol-fed group of mice got were half the size of the control group's tumors. And lab studies involving ovarian cancer cells and ginger conducted by the University of Michigan showed the cancer cells actually dying.
Both of these studies are preliminary and of course colon and ovarian cancer patients should talk to their doctors.
Caution - All patients should consult their doctor prior to taking ginger. Ginger may cause you to bleed more easily so ginger should be avoided for days before any surgeries.
Ginger for migraine headaches
Prostiglandins can cause muscle contractions, one cause of migraines, and ginger may block this action of prostiglandins. Additionally, ginger and its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties may also relieve migraines and their symptoms.
Side effects of ginger use and precautions
In high doses ginger can cause mild heartburn, diarrhea or irritation within the mouth. People with the following conditions should talk to their doctor about the use of ginger:
- Heart Disease
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
The following groups of people should not take ginger since it can cause the blood to thin:
- People about to have surgery
- People on blood-thinning medications, including aspirin
Recommended doses of powdered ginger
Recommended amounts in powdered form
Children Under 2
Do not give powdered ginger to children under the age of 2.
Children Over 2
May be used for nausea, upset stomach, and headache
Talk to doctor about dose.
250 mg 4 times daily for 4 days
Talk to doctor prior to taking ginger. Do not exceed 1 g per day.
250 mg 4 times daily
Nausea, Gas or Indegestion
.25 - 1 g daily
To Prevent Nausea
1 g every 4 hours
Do not exceed 4 doses daily
Sources of ginger: experience the health benefits of ginger
- Ginger root - Use in food recipes or to make drinks such as hot ginger tea or home-made ginger ale.
- Ginger powder
- Store-bought ginger ale, cookies, bread - Read the ingredients to ensure that real ginger is used and not ginger flavoring.
- Ginger tea bags
- Ginger capsules, tablets or softgels
- Ginger candy - Lollipops, gum, etc. Read the ingredients to ensure that real ginger is used and not ginger flavoring.