A culinary spice and a medicinal powerhouse – the aromatic, spicy, and pungent ginger is a common ingredient in Indian and Asian cuisine. Whether you are suffering from stomach problems, inflammation, diarrhoea, muscle pain, or are looking to shed those kilos – ginger has a cure for almost everything. Let’s take a look at 7 key benefits of this medicinal marvel.
#1 Suffering from inflammation? Leverage ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties: One of the most widely used medical benefit of Ginger stems from its anti-inflammatory properties. The action of Gingerols, the potent inflammation reducing compounds in ginger, is believed to be as strong as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ginger is widely used in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain arising from soreness, menstrual cramps, migraines, and even asthma.
#2 Cancer rearing its ugly head? Ginger presents a cure: According to Cancer Prevention Research, Ginger has active compounds that inhibit the growth of cancer causing cells. Its anti-tumour effect is the basis for use of Ginger in treatment of various types of cancer, including prostate, lung, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic. Moreover, the anti-toxic properties of Ginger can be leveraged to off-set the toxic effects of substances including cancer drugs.
#3 Popping a painkiller pill? Try ginger instead: As an extension of its anti-inflammatory properties, research reveals that Ginger extract can serve as an excellent pain relieving agent to soothe sore muscles. Daily ginger supplementation is known to cause up to 25% reduction in exercise-induced pain and many athletes and sportspersons are actively turning to this aromatic root for their daily nutrition fix.
#4 Looking to fight or prevent Diabetes? Grab some ginger: Ginger has both preventive as well as therapeutic action as a Diabetes fighter. Anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic and anti-oxidative properties of ginger are known to regulate insulin release and action, besides improving carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Moreover, ginger is also known to have a protective effect against diabetes complications such as diabetic’s liver, eyes, kidneys, and the central nervous system. Famous yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s home remedy for improving eyesight includes mixing 1 tsp ginger juice, 1 tsp onion juice (white), 1 tsp lemon juice, and 3 tsp of honey. Applying a few drops of this mixture daily for 2 to 3 months is said to be have helped millions of people cure common eye ailments.
#5 Complaining of indigestion, nausea, or motion sickness? Ginger is your best bet: One of the oldest uses of Ginger worldwide is in the treatment of digestive problems. The origin of ginger ale dates back to the 19th century when bartenders in English pubs would put out small containers of ground ginger for people to sprinkle into their beer. The ancient Greeks were the first to mix ginger into bread, creating the first gingerbread. The humble spice was brought to limelight when Queen Elizabeth I of England, introduced the tradition of gingerbread man at the Royal Christmas Ball – a treat now loved by kids and adults across the world. Consuming one gram of ginger daily may help reduce pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, relieve constipation, and prevent stomach ulcers.
#6 Fighting flab? Go ginger on your diet: Ginger boosts metabolism leading to thermogenesis in your body i.e. a process where the body burns stored up fat to create heat, thereby impacting overall metabolism and fat storage. Studies reveal that regular ginger consumption may boost your metabolism by up to 5%, and increase fat burning by up to 16%. This wonder spice is also known to enhance fat digestion and absorption thereby decreasing the accumulation of absorbed fat and aiding weight loss.
#7 Looking to spice up your love life? Sip on ginger tea: Are you thinking how a pungent smelling spice as ginger can boost your love quotient? Ginger’s aphrodisiac properties stem from the fact that it increases blood circulation – a vital for boosting sensitivity in the body’s erogenous zones.
How to have it – fresh or dried?
Fresh ginger is easily available across India all the year round and is superior to its dried form in terms of flavour and concentration of gingerols – its active compound. When using dry ginger, keep it for no more than six months and that too in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. Still reading? It’s time to spice up your vegetables and curries or whip up restaurant style meals at home – all with a dash of ginger, paired with some garlic for that oh-so-Indian taste!