Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China, It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.
The underground part of the stem which is called Rhizome is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.
It has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold.
Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes.
Species: Z. officinale
Binomial name: Zingiber officinale
Ginger is one of the very few “superfoods” actually worthy of that term. You can buy fresh or powdered ginger at your local grocery store or purchase ginger supplements online.
Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.
Nutritional facts about ginger are:
1. Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
2. Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea for example:
i. It has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication
ii. Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery.
3. Ginger Powder May Significantly Reduce Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. It manage to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
4. It help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
N.B: Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, there are no findings about this. But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.
5. Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.
In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises.
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory
6. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem.
It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.
In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication.
7.Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
8. Ginger Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.
It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion.
Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.