Things You Really Should Know Before You Use Ginger

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Although you probably already know all the tasty reasons to eat ginger: kimchi, masala, ginger beer, ginger cookies, and rum with ginger, but did you know everything about ginger? Did you know that it has been shown to stop cancer? Help with chemotherapy? Improve your body’s absorption of nutrients?

Although you might have used ginger tea for an upset tummy or even taken nausea pills made from ginger, this root is known for being able to do so much more and it is being researched to find out just what else it might be able to do is that we aren’t even aware of!

Ginger is fairly common spice that is used all over the world but did you know:

  • Ginger has a long history. This root has been used for its medicinal compounds in both India and China for at least 5,000 years. It has also been used in cooking for at least that long. Words for “ginger” go back at least 3,000 years. Its current English names comes from the Middle English word gingivere.
  • Where does it come from? Ginger is actually related to capsaicin and piperine. The spiciness comes from the ketones in this root. When ginger is cooking, the gingerol changes to zingerone, which makes this spice sweeter and not as strong. Dried ginger, however, becomes twice as strong.
  • It was a major item in trading. More than 2,000 years ago, ginger was imported from India to the Roman Empire. After the Romans fell, the trade of ginger was controlled by Arab merchants who spread this spice far and wide.
  • Why is pickled ginger pink? If you love sushi, you’ve seen pickled ginger, but if ginger is yellow hen peeled, why does it turn pink when it is pickled? Believe it or not, young ginger root does turn to pink, but older roots do not. To make people believe that the ginger they are using is younger (fresher), the older roots are dyed pink.

Keep reading and find out all the health benefits this one simple root can give you.

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Fresh Ginger Root

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1.  Strengthens Your Immune System

Consuming just a small amount of ginger every day can help to prevent strokes by stopping fatty deposits from building up in the arteries. It helps lower bacterial infections in the digestive system as well as throat irritation. Ginger will improve immune system function, so feel good about that cup of ginger tea!


2.  Stops Inflammation

In one small study done in 2011 that involved 30 subjects, comparing the results of a ginger root supplement versus a placebo on fighting colon inflammation markers, it was discovered that the patients who consumed ginger had much lower reductions in the inflammation markers. Although this was a small study, it was quite promising. Inflammation in the colon is believed to be a precursor to colon cancer.


3. Fights Respiratory Problems

If you often suffer from breathing problems such as asthma, allergies, or even frequent coughs from colds or the flu, ginger can be a great help to you. Ginger loosens up phlegm in the lungs and nasal passages, which will make breathing easier. Breathe in the steam from a hot cup of ginger tea and feel the relief!

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4.  Controls Chemotherapy Nausea

Unfortunately, many people find that chemotherapy makes them extremely nauseous and unable to eat. Research shows that ginger can help to stop those feelings. One study that was performed in 2009 found that consuming ginger along with standard anti-nausea drugs before chemotherapy treatment cut nausea by as much as 40 percent. Speak to your oncologist before consuming ginger to assure that there are no drug interactions.


5. Prevents Cold and Influenza

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a means of treating cold and flu symptoms. Drinking fresh ginger tea two or three times per day can help to stop these annoying virus symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.


6. Motion Sickness

Did your mother give you a can of flat ginger ale when you felt nauseous as a kid? Studies show that ginger works better than a placebo when it comes to stopping motion sickness. Ginger relaxes the gastrointestinal system, including the surrounding muscles, so that you stop vomiting. You will find numerous motion sickness pills containing an extract from ginger for sale at your local health food store.


7.  More Nutrition

Consuming ginger improves the absorption of essential nutrients from the foods you eat by stimulating pancreatic enzyme and gastric secretion.

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8. Arthritis

Since ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds, it’s no wonder that ginger has long used as a means of treating a wide variety of arthritis type pain. The University of Miami found that using a highly concentrated ginger extract reduced inflammation in patients who were suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee when compared to the placebo group.


9. Keeps Normal Blood Circulation

Of the many compounds in ginger, its magnesium, zinc, and chromium are known to improve blood flow in the body, as well as prevent fevers, chills, and excessive sweating.


SEE ALSO: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Ginger Infographic


10.  Morning Sickness

Research shows that ginger works well to fight pregnant women who experience morning sickness. Obstetrics and Gynecology published a review showing that four of six studies that involved ginger found that this spice was much more effective than a placebo and not a single study has shown a side effect to short term use.

One of the great things about ginger is that you can make your own ginger ale and ginger tea with just a few inches of fresh ginger root. Real ginger ale is naturally fermented, which makes it full of healthy probiotics, which are important for digestive health as well as immune system function. Ginger tea is the perfect solution for upset tummies and feelings of nausea. Add a touch of cinnamon to your tea for extra sweetness.

Ginger can have interactions with other medications. If you are under a doctor’s care or are taking blood thinners, diabetes medications, or blood pressure medications, talk to your doctor before consuming ginger to avoid any dangerous drug interactions.