Ginger, whose botanical name is Zingiber officinale, is a perennial plant with long green leaves that can grow up to one meter high. The root and stem of these plants is a rhizome that is very valued as a cooking spice, because of its spicy taste and unmistakable smell. The root of the ginger plants have been used for thousands of years by traditional Chinese and Indian culture as a condiment for cooking, and as one of the best remedies for health, since it fights multiple diseases.
In the sixteenth century, the Spanish colonisers introduced it throughout Europe and, over time, it has become one of the most popular and valued spices.
However, much remains to be learnt about its many health benefits and its healing properties. Ginger has bioactive agents that help to treat many disorders and diseases.
How are these effects achieved?
Due to the main ingredients of the tuber: gingerol, shogaol, oleoresin, essential oils such as zingiberol and zingiberene, resin acids, essential minerals, and vitamin C.
Ginger is a very versatile spice that allows multiple uses: fresh, in powder, marinated, pickled, as confit, dried, as oil. In the kitchen, we mainly use fresh or powder ginger to season food.
For thousands of years it has been used in East Asia as a condiment.
Grated or chopped fresh ginger is often used as a seasoning for many foods: soups, chicken, lamb, seafood, salads and vegetables, which adds an aromatic and slightly spicy flavour.
It also gives a special touch to spicy sauces, jams, fruit compotes, marinated or pickled food and it can be used ground to make gingerbread.
In Japan, pickled ginger is often served along with sushi, and in the UK it is used to make beer and ginger tea.
It becomes a very interesting combination when it is mixed with curry. In India they usually eat a few slices of fresh ginger with boiled water, which is considered as the perfect drink for the body.
To this infusion we can add a little honey to strengthen the metabolism.
Both in China and in India the root of the ginger plant is considered to be an aphrodisiac and a very versatile spice, and it is used, above all, to dress fish.
Benefits and properties of Ginger, how to use for our health
Clinical studies have confirmed what Asians have known for thousands of years: Ginger has many healing properties for health.
Among these benefits it is worth mentioning that it stimulates all organs, revitalises and relaxes muscles, has antiviral and antibacterial properties, promotes circulation and prevents blood clotting. It is one of the best remedies to prevent and cure headaches, colds, chills, coughs and catarrhs.
Among the benefits of this tuber the one that stands out above all is its ability to cure problems of indigestions, inflammation of the stomach, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
Recent research has shown that ginger ingredients also help to reduce nausea during chemotherapy.
Moreover, ginger powder, has proven to be particularly efficient in relieving pain and reducing inflammation, even in cases of rheumatism, arthritis, migraine, tension, and cramps.
In addition, the properties of ginger for reducing dizziness during travel, have long been known.
Another of the properties of ginger plants is its known use to detoxify the body and promote weight loss when following a slimming diet.
Taken on an empty stomach, ginger is a powerful revitaliser that helps to fight chronic fatigue, exhaustion, and stress.
For several years, ginger has been used in veterinary medicine, and it is applied especially to horses to cure inflammation and arthritis because of its gingerol and shogaol ingredients, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger cures colds and the flu
Ginger strengthens the immune system and has a preventive effect against colds and flu.
In cases where the illness has already started, it helps to accelerate healing and alleviate the symptoms.
It has an antipyretic and diaphoresis action. In addition, the active ingredients of this tuber increase blood circulation, avoiding chills and contributing to keeping the hands and feet warm.
The recommended way to fight colds and flu is to infuse water with ginger, tablets, capsules or pure fresh ginger.
To combat colds the best option is an infusion of freshly grated ginger (about 1g) and a bit of lemon juice. It can also be eaten with soup or hot chicken consomme seasoned with freshly grated ginger.
Another way is to use a supplement of ginger extract in the form of capsules, tablets, or powder.
Ginger fights nausea and dizziness during travelling
The ingredients in ginger reduce nausea and vomits.
Its effectiveness is particularly important in patients that are undergoing chemo, since it lowers the sensation of nausea when they consume ginger.
It can be consumed in tablets, capsules, drops, infusion, or even chewing fresh ginger. However, it should be noted that when nausea and vomiting are produced by a virus, such as a gastrointestinal virus, the plant is not appropriate to cure it.
Another benefit of ginger is that it is one of the best natural remedies to prevent dizziness while travelling, so much so that the first navigators were always provided with ginger to prevent dizziness.
Ginger heals and reduces general pain and the one caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatism
Numerous clinical studies have proven the excellent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger, to the extent that their effects are similar to anti-inflammatory medicines such as diclofenac.
The advantage of ginger is that it is a natural product which has no side effects. The active ingredients of ginger are similar to those of acetylsalicylic acid, characteristic of aspirin.
For that reason, a ginger supplement fights headaches and migraines. A clinical study scientifically proved that people suffering from osteoarthritis can reduce pain with a daily intake of 30 to 500 milligrams of ginger.
Ginger is effective in reducing muscle pain, arthritis, and rheumatism. To cure headaches or migraines, take 1 cm of ginger, cut into small pieces and mix it with half a litre of water, juice or tea, drink throughout the day. You can also take ginger tablets, capsules, oils or just chew a fresh piece of ginger root, depending on your personal preferences.
Ginger relieves menstrual pain
Ginger is a natural remedy recommended to relieve the pain of menstruation. It can be taken as infusion, capsules, pills, oils, or by chewing a fresh piece of the root.
Essential ginger oil is especially indicated to control pain. To do this, simply squeeze the ginger until you get a few drops and mix 1 part ginger with 5 parts of sesame oil. With this mixture a gentle massage is performed on the part of the body that suffers pain.
Ginger fights coughing and chronic bronchitis
Another health benefit of ginger is its use to prevent and treat respiratory diseases.
The tuber has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can cure a chronic cough and bronchitis and also has essential oils with antispasmodic effects that combat coughing and mucus. To combat coughing or bronchitis it is recommended to take an infusion of ginger, or inhale the steam from a mixture of fresh ginger root with a towel over your head.
Another simple remedy can be the following: Dilute two teaspoons of ginger powder in 500 ml of hot water (about 75°C) and let it soak. A cloth is then soaked in this mixture and placed on the chest, back or the affected body area for 30 minutes.
The use of Ginger in pregnancy
A ginger supplement helps to fight the nausea and vomits that are typical of pregnancy.
However, the tuber should be consumed sparingly, because too much can trigger contractions.
If you are pregnant the best thing you can do is consulting your doctor before using it.
Ginger relieves gastrointestinal discomfort
The gingerol that is contained in ginger inhibits the growth of the bacteria from the gastric mucus Helicobacter pylori, producing a positive effect on the treatment of stomach problems.
Ginger also increases gastric secretion and intestinal peristalsis, resulting in an improved digestion and blood circulation. The spicy root of ginger does not irritate the mucous membranes; it protects the stomach and prevents the onset of intestinal diseases.
A ginger infusion is the best way to protect the stomach because it heats the body from the inside and also hydrates it.
Ginger helps to lose weight and detoxify the body
An infusion of ginger and water is the perfect ally for any slimming diet.
Ginger increases the metabolism and blood flow and, therefore, provides heat to the body, which stimulates and encourages the elimination of large amounts of calories, fat and toxins in a more quick and totally natural way. This tuber helps to eliminate the effects of substances such as alcohol from blood faster.
Ginger infusion is used when following a slimming diet and when you want to purify your body. It is always advisable, apart from ingesting the tuber, to follow a healthy diet that incorporates all the essential nutrients.
Ginger and type 2 diabetes
According to a study performed by researchers at the University of Medical Sciences in Tabriz, Iran, and published in the journal "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition", ginger can increase insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
In the 2-month study, 64 people with type 2 diabetes randomly took either a placebo or 2 grams of ginger a day.
At the end of the study, researchers observed that those who were given ginger had lower insulin resistance and significantly lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Another study conducted by the University of Sydney in 2012 determined that ginger extract can help to increase the absorption of glucose in the cells even regardless of insulin.
The researchers noticed that the substances in charge of this ability of ginger are a type of phenols called gingerols.
Gingerols appear to increase the distribution of a protein known as GLUT4 that makes it easier for muscles to absorb more glucose.
A lack of GLUT4 is one of the major reasons for insulin insensitivity and elevated blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
According to another study by the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2011, it showed that ginger can block the effect of alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase enzymes that may contribute to diabetes and also the inflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase. The inflammation is closely related to a large number of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Another study from 2009, published in the journal "European Journal of Pharmacology" found that ginger extract lowers blood insulin levels by a 10% and blood sugar levels by a 35%.
Ginger and improvement of testosterone levels
Recent studies relate the use of ginger with an increase in testosterone, and even an improvement in fertility in young infertile men by a 17% in 3 months since ginger promotes an increase in the following hormones: luteinizing (LH), follicle stimulating (FSH) and testosterone (T).
In a study carried out by researchers from Tikrit University, they showed a statistically significant increase in serum hormones (p <0.01) in infertile men.
After 30 weeks of treatment, serum testosterone had increased by 17.7%, serum luteinizing hormone by 43.2% and follicle-stimulating hormone by 17.6%. However, the dose of ginger used was not revealed.
It is suggested that the improvement of a testosterone production is due to the fact that ginger has proven to be effective in reducing DNA fragmentation index (DFI) in sperm. DFI is negatively correlated with testosterone levels.
How to consume Ginger
There are many ways in which we can add ginger to our daily diet
Natural and fresh ginger root: You can chew or grate a small part and use it to season food
Ginger Infusion: Recommended to relieve pain in general and to relieve stomach and intestinal problems
Ginger and sage infusion : Recommended to detoxify the organism and to lose weight.
Ginger and lemon infusion: Recommended to revitalise the organism and to treat digestive problems or colds.
Ginger capsules: Ginger capsules are very practical, as they can be carried in a pocket and used at any time. In addition, they are very successful in avoiding travelling dizziness. Each capsule contains 250 mg of ginger powder and prevents dizziness, nausea and vomits.
Ginger capsules combined with vitamin B1 and C: This product is intended to be used as a nutritional supplement to provide the body the benefits of ginger, plus those contained in vitamins B1 and vitamin C. Recommended for a healthy metabolism and digestion.
Ginger tablets: Specially suitable for those who suffer from digestive problems. It provides the body the benefits for an optimal digestive function and keeps the immune system stable.
Essential ginger oil: Use it to massage the body in areas that feel painful, add it to a relaxing bath and use it as an incense burner. It encourages blood circulation, relaxes and relieves discomfort caused by arthritis, rheumatism, joints and muscle spasms. It stimulates the blood flow of muscles and metabolism. It helps to break down lactic acid in the muscle tissue and, therefore, relieves muscle pain. For this reason, it is recommended to relieve muscle tension or massage before or after sports. This essential oil also favours skin care and relaxes the body after fatigue, tension, stress or an excessive effort.
Ginger confectionery: Preserves the ingredients and health benefits typical of this tuber and it is delicious to add to all types of recipes or to make cookies.
Ginger powder: During the drying process, the benefits of the gingerols in ginger are stimulated, so it has anticancer properties, more potent than ginger in other types of formats. Another of the properties of dried or ginger powder is that it stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, facilitates digestion, stimulates metabolism and ensures an increased blood flow. These effects help to prevent the formation of dangerous deposits in the blood vessels and avoid the risk of thrombosis or strokes.
Ginger gummies with lemon: A lovely combination of spicy ginger and sour lemon. Although it has the disadvantage of having sugar, it is still a healthy snack, perfect to enjoy its delicious flavour at any time. The daily intake of ginger, in each of the indicated formats, should never exceed that recommended in the indications that appear in each product. Keep in mind, too, that nutritional supplements should not be used as substitutes for a balanced diet, but should be combined with a healthy diet.
Who can benefit from Ginger supplements?
Those who want to keep their glucose levels within the normal parameters.
People with pre-diabetes, diabetes, overweight, or obesity who are prone to suffer from insulin resistance.
People seeking to promote their digestive health or as a natural alternative to alleviate minor digestive problems (burning, indigestion...)
As a natural remedy against the common cold, since ginger has mucolytic properties.
As a remedy for nausea and vomits.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it is a great ally for people with joint discomfort.
Men looking to raise their testosterone levels through a natural supplement.
Buy ginger supplements
On our online shop HSNstore you can buy a ginger dietary supplement to regulate your blood sugar levels, favour the digestive processes, as an analgesic and natural anti-inflammatory or as a remedy against colds or coughing.
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