Zingiber Officinale of Zingiberaceae family, commonly known as Ginger, is a south Asian spice known world over for its flavor and distinct taste, which is used as specialty in preparation of various foodstuffs. The famous ginger foods are ginger ale, ginger bread, ginger candies, canton, ginger wine, ginger tea, ginger coffee, cookies and crackers, besides traditional Asian foods. The health benefits of Ginger are no more a secret, as people use it extensively to improve digestion and in controlling nausea all over the world.
The antibacterial, analgesic, antipyretic and sedative properties of ginger have been used for medicinal purpose by people of India and China for thousands of years. Ginger is one of the many herbs used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, which has been extensively researched to substantiate the claims of its traditional uses. Primarily, the herb was used in treating Dyspepsia, as it relieves symptoms like heartburn, nausea, bloating of stomach and flatulence very quickly. Ginger also helps the body to produce lots of anti-oxidants which will help in strengthening of heart muscles and lowers serum cholesterol.
When used in proper proportions with other herbs or independently, ginger is known to offer the following health benefits:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Remedy for cold and flu
- Relieves Dyspepsia
- Eases menstrual cramps
- Controls cholesterol biosynthesis
- Helps in controlling nausea caused due to morning sickness, travel, motion sickness and chemotherapy
- Thins blood and boosts blood circulation
- Gives pain relief caused due to over exercising of muscles
Research is being conducted to substantiate its properties to suppress skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer.
Add a 2 inch piece of ginger to one cup of boiling water after dicing it to small pieces. Simmer it covered for 10 minutes, strain and drink the tea. You can add honey or sugar for taste. A cup of ginger tea before meals is known to help in digestion and prevent dyspepsia. Ginger tea also provides relief from nausea, dizziness, allergies, cough and cold.
Ginger for Cough and Cold
Prepare a brew by adding a pinch of black pepper powder, ½ inch piece of dry ginger, 1 tsp honey and some basil leaves. Taken thrice a day, this is excellent medicine to give relief from cold and cough as the antispasmodic property of ginger soothes the respiratory tract, while being anti-inflammatory in nature heals the infection too.
Pain Relief for Arthritis
Drinking diluted juice of ginger, and applying a freshly ground ginger paste to aching joints is known to give relief from arthritis by soothing the soreness, stiffness and pain of the joints. Alternatively, ginger oil can be applied for relief.
Remedy for Nausea
Ginger has been known as an excellent remedy for nausea for ages. Even chewing on a bit of ginger, eating ginger candies or snaps is known to give relief from nausea. The best results are obtained by mixing 1 tsp of grated ginger with 1 tsp of onion extract and using it whenever nausea sets in.
Regulation of Blood Sugar
One of the most amazing properties of ginger is that it helps in regulation of both high and low blood sugar if consumed fresh.