Ginger is a tropical herb or spice which grows underneath the ground as a root vegetable, and is used in baking, cooking, teas and salads. It has also for many centuries been used for many medicinal purposes to relieve many common ailments such as digestive problems, the flu and common cold. Studies also reveal that ginger can help to prevent many serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and mental diseases.
Ginger is mainly grown in the warmer climates of the world where the roots have enough time to grow during the warm summer months. However, if you live in a cooler climate, and you want to grow ginger you can easily grow it in a greenhouse, or in pots inside your kitchen.
But you can also obtain ginger year round in the fresh produce section of most grocery stores. In addition, you can also find it in the spice section in powdered form. However, in order to obtain the most flavor and nutrients, you should try to consume ginger in its fresh state whenever possible.
The ginger root is a knotty root which comes in all kinds of different shapes. The outer skin is a light brown or tan color, and the inside flesh is a soft yellowish color. The flesh is hard, and contains quite a bit of juice when the root is fresh.
What Ginger Contains
Ginger contains volatile oils known as gingerols which give the ginger that spicy flavor, the warming effect, and many of the health benefits associated with ginger. According to studies these oils are beneficial in the raw state as well as in the cooked state. However, when the ginger is heated, the gingerols change into shogaols.
It contains vitamins such as B6, C and E, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. These nutrients all work together to provide you with many health benefits.
Ginger is very effective in helping the digestive system to function better. The warming effect of the oils help to relax the muscles surrounding the intestines, which in turn helps to prevent spasms or cramping. As a result you can avoid gas, bloating, nausea due to motion sickness, pregnancy, fever, and chemotherapy or other conventional medical treatments. According to studies, ginger is more effective than over-the-counter drugs specifically designed for relief from nausea and vomiting.
By making ginger a part of your daily diet you can prevent and find relief from all sorts of digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Ginger has also shown to be helpful in breaking down the foods by increasing the digestive acids. At the same time, ginger helps to neutralize the harmful acids that contribute to the development of ulcers that eat away at the lining of the stomach and intestines.
Good for the Heart
Studies have shown that ginger is extremely good for the heart, as it helps to reduce triglyceride levels as well as slow down the absorption of cholesterol in the blood and liver. Both are essential for good health in moderation, but when the levels become too high, it can be dangerous and cause all kinds of diseases including heart disease.
High levels of triglycerides are not a primary cause of heart disease, but according to studies, they do increase the risk. Cholesterol on the other has been directly associated with heart disease, as it is the primary cause of atherosclerosis, which is when the arteries become narrow and hardened with cholesterol plaque. Atherosclerosis in turn is a major risk factor for strokes, heart attacks and other heart problems.
Narrow arteries also contribute to high blood pressure, as the blood that is being pumped through the body no longer has enough room to flow easily. As a result the heart has to work harder, and thus it eventually results in heart problems.
Prevents and Fights Cancer
According to studies, ginger not only will help you to prevent the formation of cancer, but it can also help you to fight and destroy cancerous cells. This is due to the gingerols, and antioxidants which help to remove free radicals and harmful toxins that promote the growth of cancer cells. According to studies it has been effective in treating colorectal cancer, which includes the colon and rectum, ovarian, breast and skin cancers.
Helps with Arthritis
The gingerols have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. They help to reduce inflammation as well as muscle and joint pains associated with various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. You can use ginger to immediately find relief by applying grated ginger in a warm compress to the inflamed and painful area. However, when you make ginger a part of your daily diet, you can avoid future inflammation.
Helps with Asthma
Asthma sufferers often have to deal with a lot of phlegm that builds up in the lungs and other airways making it nearly impossible to breathe. Ginger can help to reduce the amount of phlegm by reducing the inflammation that caused the body to create excess phlegm in the first place.
One study that was done on diabetic rats showed that ginger can help to reduce kidney damage that often results from diabetes.
Helps with the Common Cold and Fever
The common cold is often caused by a virus, or high amounts of toxins which wear the immune system down. Fevers are also caused by high levels of toxins which need to leave the body, but often have no way of doing so. Ginger helps the body to break into a sweat to help get rid of the toxins. And according to researchers, sweat contains an ingredient which helps you to ward off nasty germs and harmful bacteria which may settle on your skin’s surface. Thus taking ginger before you have a cold can help to prevent the cold from taking over in your body.
Ginger also has the ability to soothe a sore throat and reduce the coughing which is associated with a cold. By drinking a warm ginger tea, and inhaling the vapors you can open the airways and reduce both nasal and chest congestion.
Ginger is very effective in helping to relieve tension and migraine headaches. One reason is because ginger has the ability to reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels surrounding the brain, which are often the cause of headaches. Headaches can also be caused by toxins, and ginger helps to eliminate them so that they cannot cause inflammation or headaches.
Good for the Brain
Ginger can also help you to fight of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s by keeping your memory sharp. One way that ginger helps, is by removing harmful toxins around the brain which can cause brain cells to die off prematurely. And another way that ginger can help your brain is by the aroma of ginger. You can take advantage of this by preparing your foods with ginger, or by drying the ginger and putting it into a potpourri dish or a spice sachet.
Body odor is caused by toxins in your body. When you sweat, these toxins are brought out to the surface of your skin. As a result, you experience and increase in body odor every time you sweat. Ginger promotes sweating, and thus it increases your odor temporarily as the toxins are expelled from your body. However, when you keep taking ginger and stop putting toxins into your body, then eventually the odor will subside.
Ginger is a good source for antioxidants, which help to eliminate toxins from the body. Toxins are very stressful for the body and often contribute to fatigue. Once the toxins are eliminated, the body is more relaxed and energy levels begin to increase again.
Parasites and Candida
Another benefit of ginger is that it helps the body to overcome a parasite infection. Its properties help to fight against many types of viral and fungal infections. When parasites are present, candida is usually present as well because it helps to protect the body from the harmful toxins. Thus, once the underlying infection is gone, candida is eliminated as well.