Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavor and zest to many fruit and vegetable dishes. Botanically known as Zingiber officinale, ginger is a year root plant that originated from the southern part of the Asian continent. The largest producer of this exotic spice with bright white-yellow color is India. Ginger has a long tradition of medicinal use as well as culinary. Here is a look into some of the health benefits provided this spicy vegetable:
- Muscle Pain – Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered that regular consumption of ginger relieves the effects of muscular pain from exercising. Ginger essential oil warms the body, improves and speeds the blood circulation, making it an excellent remedy for sore and tired muscles. Put 4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger in a cotton bag and dump it in your bath. While you enjoy this relaxing treatment, ginger will cure the sore and inflamed parts of your body.
- Gastrointestinal Relief – Studies conducted at Brigham Young University have demonstrated the effectiveness of ginger in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness – especially seasickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating. For relief from nausea, consume ginger tea (made by steeping one or two ½ inch slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water).
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to reduce pain and swelling in patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and improve their overall mobility when ginger is consumed regularly. For arthritis, people have found relief consuming as little as a ¼ inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although patients who consumed more ginger have reported quicker and better relief.
- Immune Boosting Action – With the flu season slowly creeping up upon us, make sure to add plenty of ginger in your diet! Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flues. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections.
- Painful Menstrual Cramps – A study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” showed that when it comes to treating menstrual cramps ginger is equally effective as Ibuprofen. To get reprieve from painful menstrual discomfort, add 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger to a cup of hot water. Let it rest for 15 minutes and strain the tea. You can also add some honey and lemon juice.
(Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods, Healthy Food House)