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Top 10 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

Health Benefits of Ginger

11-30-2018 Douglas Won, MD, Regenerative & Longevity Medicine Specialist

Top 10 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has long been used since ancient times as a spice and medicine in Southeast Asia. Considered as a very valuable luxury, ginger was even used for trading by the Roman Empire.

As its popularity spread from one continent to another, other countries also began cultivating ginger. Thousands of years later, what was once a luxury is now a common staple food in many homes. Today, you can easily find ginger in your local grocery stores as well as markets.

Ginger is a great spice to add to your meals. It adds warmth and a unique flavor to any dish. It also contains many therapeutic effects that can benefit your health.

#1 – Anti-Inflammatory

Ginger produces an anti-inflammatory effect . In fact, ginger is considered by many a superfood and can benefit patients with arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer. It can also benefit patients with Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma, psoriasis, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers found that some of the substances found in ginger can inhibit inflammation by preventing the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals.

#2 – Analgesic

Neck and back pain sometimes comes hand in hand with inflammation. When there’s tissue injury, the immune cells flock to the injured area to get rid of irritants. Unfortunately, this process also releases pain-generating chemicals that irritate free nerve endings and cause pain.

Ginger, because of its ability to reduce inflammation, also reduces pain . It has the ability to reduce muscle pain, migraines, and menstrual pain. It also helps reduce arthritis pain.

#3 – Digestive Aid

Ginger, studies have shown, has gastroprotective properties . It relieves constipation as well as dyspepsia. It can also reduce abdominal bloating, belching, as well as indigestion. Ginger also relieves nausea and vomiting.

So if you’re suffering from an upset stomach, a cup of hot ginger tea will do you good. It relieves upset stomach and, at the same time, controls nausea and vomiting. These effects may benefit pregnant women as well as patients undergoing chemotherapy.

#4 – Anti-Diabetes and improve blood sugar level

One study showed that taking 2g of ginger powder orally each day can lower your fasting blood sugar levels . The same study also revealed ginger powder reduces hemoglobin A1c.

This therapeutic effect of ginger benefits patients dealing with type 2 diabetes mellitus. By controlling A1c and blood sugar levels, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is reduced. Ginger also helps reduce common symptoms associated with diabetes.

#5 – Anti-Cancer

Cancer can develop from chronic inflammation as well as infection. Say for example you had an infected skin wound that’s not healing properly. The cells undergo changes that also damage their DNA. These abnormal cells then continue to grow and proliferate, resulting in tumors.

Now, ginger’s anti-inflammatory property helps reduce inflammation. By controlling chronic inflammation, cancer risk is reduced. In one study, ginger also induced the death of prostate cancer cells .

#6 – Antibacterial

Ginger has the ability to control bacterial growth. According to one study, ginger extracts not only inhibited bacterial growth but also significantly reduced bacterial activities. Its antibacterial effects are even potent against treatment-resistant bacteria .

#7 – Antifungal

Candida Albicans is a common type of fungus commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. They can also be found all throughout the body, specifically in warm, moist areas like the vaginal and rectal areas as well as the mouth. Uncontrolled growth and proliferation of Candida Albicans lead to yeast infections like thrush and candidiasis.

Ginger produces antifungal effects . One study showed that ginger is potent against Candida Albicans.

#8 – Antioxidant

Free radicals are a normal byproduct of metabolism. They are also created by air pollution and exposure to ultraviolet rays. Now, high levels of free radicals can be pretty harmful to the body. They damage the cells and cause them to function poorly. They also contribute to the development as well as progression of many diseases and illnesses.

Ginger functions as a powerful antioxidant . It lends some of its electrons to free radicals, rendering them harmless.

#9 – Improve Brain Functions and maintain healthy mind

Low-grade chronic brain inflammation has been implicated in various brain problems such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It also plays a role in the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Research studies revealed that ginger has neuroprotective properties . It reduces chronic brain inflammation as well as controls free radicals in the brain. By reducing their levels, your brain cells are given some time to heal and grow.

#10 – Decrease High Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels contribute to the development of many chronic medical problems like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, as well as peripheral vascular disease. Left untreated, high cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing a stroke or a heart attack.

Ginger, according to studies, lowers high cholesterol levels . One study showed that 3 grams of ginger capsule daily in three divided doses has the ability to reduce high cholesterol and high triglycerides levels.

Best Ginger Dosage for Daily Use

The best dosage of ginger root for adults is about 4g each day. This can come from capsules, fresh ginger root, ginger extract, or ginger powder. This dosage helps improve your immune system as well as digestive system.

For children, the dosage should be limited to 2mg of ginger root daily. However, before you start your child on ginger root, it’s best that you consult with his pediatrician first.

Precautions in Using Ginger

Ginger has many therapeutic benefits. But there are precautions that you need to be aware of, too, before taking ginger root.

Patients with bleeding problems and/or on blood-thinning medications (warfarin) should not take ginger. It increases the risk of bleeding and developing bruises.

Patients who are taking antihypertensive medications should be careful when dosing with ginger root. Ginger is known to cause a drop in blood pressure, resulting in lightheadedness and dizziness.

Patients who are on anti-diabetic medications should also be careful in using ginger root. Taking ginger root together with anti-diabetic drugs can cause a sudden drop in blood resulting, resulting in dizziness, headache, and lightheadedness.

Daily intake of ginger improves your overall health. It boosts your immune system and helps relieve some of your medical problems.

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References:
Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Accessed: November 27, 2018.
The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinalerhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Antifungal Activity of Ginger Extract on Candida Albicans: An In-vitro Study. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women. Accessed: November 27, 2018.
Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial. Accessed: November 27, 2018.

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