Ginger root is a perennial herb, which has innumerable health benefits. Native to India and China, the scientific name of ginger is Zingiber officinale. Though it is referred to as a root, it is actually a stem and grows underground. Ginger has been abundantly used in various kinds of recipe preparations in India, USA, and other countries, for over 4000 years. It has a strong flavor and taste. Along with this, ginger also has innumerable health benefits and comes with replete medicinal properties. The two most active components in ginger root include that of gingerol and zingerone.
Mentioned below are some of the most prominent health benefits of ginger root:
Helps in combating bacterial and fungal infections
The risks of bacterial and fungal infections are quite high. Gingerol, one of the main components of ginger, helps in combating these infections and lowers the risks of the infections as well. This happens because ginger plays a pivotal role in boosting the immune system in the body. Research has shown that ginger has proven to provide better results in combating infections than many antibiotics. Healthier and cleaner mouth is guaranteed with ginger as a growth of oral bacteria is inhibited, thus preventing diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.(1)
Muscle pain is soothed by ginger
Another benefit of ginger is that it helps in soothing muscle pain significantly. When one starts exercising, one might feel soreness in different parts of the body. Keeping oneself motivated for the exercise with the pain is a big task indeed. Gingerol of ginger has anti-inflammatory effects and it helps in bringing down the pain and inflammation, which is caused. Gingerol works on the pain receptors and reduces the muscle soreness. Ginger supplementation after exercising helps in reducing muscle pain significantly.(2)
Ginger helps in clearing congestion
Though the infection-fighting capabilities of ginger are high, you might still feel sick. Ginger acts as a natural expectorant. When you take ginger on a regular basis, you can cough up the phlegm as it gets loosened up. The air passages get cleared and help in easy breathing. People who suffer from asthma and various kinds of allergies will find ginger to be a natural remedy for many bronchial problems. If you have a persistent cough or some stubborn chest congestion, try sipping some warm lemon and ginger tea and see the excellent results of the same.(3)
Helps in lowering cholesterol levels
If you have high levels of triglycerides and high levels of LDL with low levels of HDL, you run at high risks of heart problems. Consuming ginger on a regular basis helps in reducing levels of triglycerides, LDL and other markers which are dangerous for accelerating cholesterol levels in the blood. HDL levels also improve with ginger supplements. Various kinds of cardiovascular ailments can be kept at bay with consumption of ginger. There was less development in atherosclerotic lesions with the ginger intake. People with heart issues have been recommended to increase ginger intake for reaping benefits from the herb.
Helps in protecting against diabetes and betters insulin sensitivity
There is some piece of evidence where it has been established that ginger helps in improving the signs and symptoms of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Usually the kind of diet that people take nowadays are insulin resistant. As a result various kinds of health issues including weight gain, chronic inflammation, metabolic syndrome and diabetes start showing up. It is important to restore insulin sensitivity in the body to maintain the right sugar levels. Blood sugar can be reduced to quite an extent with just 2 grams of ginger powder intake daily on a regular basis. Key markers for long-term blood sugar levels like HbA1C also improve with the ginger intake significantly.
Helps in improving brain functions
The normal aging process of human being is accelerated by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. These are strong factors which contribute to age-related cognitive decline, including that of Alzheimer’s. It has been proved in some medical studies and research that the bioactive compounds and antioxidants, which are present in ginger help in inhibiting the inflammatory responses which take place in the brain. Also, ginger has been seen to enhance brain functionalities successfully. Working memory and reaction time is improved greatly with the ginger intake.
Helps in reducing menstrual pains and cramps
Many women suffer from immense menstrual pain and cramps during their regular menstrual cycle. Instead of popping in pills for dealing with the pain, try something natural like ginger, which can help in alleviating menstrual pain and cramps to quite an extent without fear of any kinds of side effects taking place. By taking just 1 gram of ginger powder each day for the first three days of the menstrual cycle can help in providing pain and cramp relief.
Works excellently in treating chronic indigestion
Chronic indigestion, which is medically also referred to as dyspepsia, comes with discomfort in the upper part of the stomach along with recurrent abdominal pain. One of the main reasons of indigestion is delayed emptying of the stomach. Taking ginger regularly helps in emptying of the stomach in a quick manner. Taking ginger powder before a meal is therefore highly recommended for people who suffer from the problem of chronic indigestion issues. The problem is tackled by almost 50-60% with the ginger intake.
Helps in treating nausea, particularly that of morning sickness
Nausea is a disgusting thing at any time of the day. And if it is particularly morning sickness, the woes are simply doubled. Ginger has proven to be highly effective against nausea. There is much evidence where ginger has shown to have great results for seasickness during the rolling and pitching of the ship. Many people have a tendency of vomiting and nausea post-surgery or even after chemotherapy. Ginger helps in alleviating these symptoms excellently well without any side effects. It is also highly suitable for treating morning sickness, particularly during pregnancy.(9)
You can take raw ginger or ginger powder, whichever is convenient and easy for you to take.