People have used ginger in cooking and medicine since ancient times. It is a popular home remedy for nausea, stomach pain, and other health issues.
People typically use fresh or dried ginger in cooking, and some take ginger supplements for their possible health benefits.
Find out more about the possible health benefits of ginger!
Alleviates mild nausea and morning sickness
Ginger root has also been anecdotally reported to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. This could extend to people undergoing surgery and chemotherapy-related nausea, although further studies are required. Ginger has most widely been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with mild pregnancy sickness. However, check with your GP or midwife to ensure it is appropriate for you.
Medicinal benefits for skin
The many curative properties of ginger have been widely researched. When used on the skin, it can stimulate circulation and soothe burns.
As a diaphoretic, it encourages perspiration and can therefore be used to help treat feverish conditions such as influenza or colds.
Helps relieve pain
The root, the part of the plant most widely used in alternative forms of medicine, is rich in volatile oils that contain the active component gingerol. This potent anti-inflammatory compound is believed to explain why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines, or chemical messengers of the immune system.
Soothes digestive system
Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating discomfort and pain in the stomach. It’s regarded as an excellent carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system, and soothes the intestinal tract. Colic and dyspepsia respond particularly well to ginger.
Ginger also acts as an anti-inflammatory thanks to its antioxidant properties. An excess of free radicals can cause inflammation — your body’s natural immune response to harmful foreign objects.
Typically, inflammation goes away once your body repairs itself. But, when you’re experiencing oxidative stress, it can cause chronic inflammation. This causes your body to damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Chronic inflammation may lead to diseases like heart attacks or chronic pain like arthritis.
Prevents cell damage
Ginger root has one of the highest levels of antioxidants compared to other foods, says Chika Anekwe, MD, MPH, an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Only pomegranates and other antioxidant-rich berries surpass it.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, a process that is associated with diseases like cancer, diabetes, and stroke. Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals — molecules naturally produced by metabolic processes — in the body. Antioxidants stabilize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, thereby protecting the body from disease.