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Ginger: The Super Root?!
For thousands of years, ginger has been used in traditional folk medicine in cultures around the world. With the advent of modern medicine in the early 20th century, its application in medicine fell out of use in the Western world. As a result, many people today simply think of ginger as flavoring.
But with the increasing popularity of alternative medicine in recent years, more people have been turning back to nature and rediscovering the wisdom and healing solutions previous generations took for granted. Health-conscious individuals have been thrilled to experience the incredible ability of ginger to improve numerous conditions and preserve optimal health. This article will break down how this humble root can help you take your health to the next level.
Ginger is a plant which originated in China, but quickly spread across the world through trade. The part of the ginger plant that is used most often is the root. Ginger has a very intense, spicy taste and is often used in Asian cuisines, and has become a popular ingredient around the world.
Ginger’s health benefits, both in food and medicinal applications, are manifold.
Ginger can help shorten colds and clear congestion
A cure for the common cold? Ginger might just be the answer. Try some citrus ginger tea and don’t be surprised if your recovery time drops dramatically. Here are the instructions:
- 1 pot of water
- 1 orange or lemon
- 3 oz of raw ginger (adjust to taste, but remember, a little ginger goes a long way)
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Slice up the ginger root, and peel the citrus fruit. Drop the sliced ginger and citrus peel in the water. (If you used an orange, you can eat the orange for extra vitamin C.) Let boil for 5 minutes, then serve.
The mere scent of this concoction will be enough to clear out most people’s congestion right away. Be careful, the taste is VERY strong. Sip slowly and carefully.
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Ginger Fights Inflammation
There’s that “I” word again. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural mechanism for healing injuries and fighting disease, but it can often occur when it’s not necessary, and can contribute to all kinds of health problems if this happens on a regular basis, even if it isn’t noticeable.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties make it effective for reducing muscle soreness. Researchers found that eating just 2 grams of ginger a day over a course of 11 days reduced post-exercise muscle and joint pain.
Ginger’s natural anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief even for people with serious conditions like osteoarthritis. One study found that supplementation with ginger root extract helped decrease pain in patients with osteoarthritis, lowering the need for medication.
It lowers blood sugar
Some new research offers hope to people suffering from type 2 diabetes. A 12-week study on the effectiveness of ginger in lowering blood sugar found that consuming 2 grams of ginger per day led to a 12 percent reduction in blood sugar levels. It also lowered h1Abc (glycated hemoglobin) levels by 10 percent.
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A study involving 150 women found that consuming just 1 gram of ginger extract per day could reduce pain experienced during menstruation. Participants were instructed to take the ginger for the first 3 days of menstruation, and researchers found that it was just as effective at reducing pain as ibuprofen.
Ginger treats nausea and other forms of gastrointestinal distress
Has anyone ever told you to have a ginger ale to soothe a queasy stomach? There’s a reason for that: ginger contains phenolic compounds that can ease the pain and discomfort of stomach aches and indigestion. Ginger can also provide relief for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.
May improve brain function
Some new research has yielded promising results in improving the symptoms of age-related forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. A study performed on middle-aged female participants found that taking ginger extract in doses of 400-600 mg daily for a period of 8 weeks led to substantially improved working memory and reaction time.
More research needs to be done, and it would certainly be premature to call ginger a “cure” for dementia, but the evidence clearly shows its potential as a cognitive enhancer.
The evidence is undeniable: ginger has long held a reputation as a traditional healing food, and modern science confirms it. You would almost certainly benefit from adding ginger to your diet.