Ginger

Ginger

Ginger has multifarious uses. It is a cooking ingredient that adds a sharp aromatic flavor, its strong smell is used in making perfumes and it contributes heavily as a remedy for various ailments too. There is a common misconception about ginger being a root as it grows below the ground. In actuality, it is the stem of the ginger plant. These types of underground stems are called rhizomes. Its scientific name is Zingiber Officinale. The scientific name is believed to have been derived from its Sanskrit name – Singabera (horn-shaped). The fleshy part of ginger can be of three colors, yellow, white, or red depending upon its variety. It is covered in light brown skin which might have stripes on it. The taste of ginger is pungent and hot. Ginger has made its way to the FDA’s list of generally safe foods.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER

The ginger roots consist of more than 400 chemical compounds including minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin B3, B6, and C, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Folate, Riboflavin, and Niacin. These compounds carry antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties which have a multitude of benefits.
REDUCES MUSCLE PAIN
Raw or heat-treated ginger reduces muscle pain by around 25%. This recovery process is supported by the anti-inflammatory properties found in Ginger. To get full results, it has been advised to consume ginger after 24 hours from the time the muscles have been worked out. (1)
REDUCES CHOLESTEROL AND HELPS TO AVOID HEART DISEASES
The blood thinning and anticoagulant effect due to Salicylates found in ginger helps the free-flowing of blood and reduces the chance of blood clotting. As blood clotting and blood thickening usually lead to heart attacks and strokes ginger is believed to reduce the occurrence of heart diseases through inflammation and oxidative stress
Ginger also helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels while it also helps in improving liver function. These effects have parallel support on lowering blood pressure which is another root of heart disease. (2)
HELPS TO COMBAT OSTEOARTHRITIS
Ginger is also helpful in treating Osteoarthritis of the knee through consumption or topical application, mainly due to the COX-2 inhibitor effect in ginger, which is similar to the arthritis medication used to relieve pain. (3)
REDUCES THE OCCURRENCE OF CANCER
The cell-protecting properties found in ginger reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. It also sanitizes existing tumors for treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The anti-oxidants in ginger helps to reduce the free radical in the body that leads to cell damage and diseases. (4)

BENEFITS OF GINGER FOR MENTAL HEALTH

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BOOSTS BRAIN ACTIVITY AND PROTECTS AGAINST DISEASES

Ginger is a good source of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and depression. Rich with antioxidants, ginger also reduces free radicals that damage DNA, fat, and proteins. Anti-oxidants in ginger also protect neurons against oxidative stress that is known to be a root cause of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.


PROTECTION AGAINST DIABETES IN THE BRAIN

Diabetes of the brain is a result of the high glucose levels found in the brain. Research has revealed that high glucose concentrations can lead to an increase in beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, raising a reasonable doubt that Alzheimer’s disease could be the third form of diabetes. The anti-inflammatory property of ginger along with the support received by the antioxidants reduces Diabetes based ROS production in the brain. (6)

BENEFITS OF GINGER FOR SKIN AND HAIR

REJUVENATES SKIN

Ginger improves the skin’s elasticity while providing anti-aging benefits. Ginger contains almost 40 compounds that protect the skin from aging. Good results can be derived if a mask made of powdered ginger, honey, and fresh lemon juice is applied topically on the face once a week. (7)





REDUCES CELLULITE AND SCARS

Consumption of ginger breaks down fat and speeds up digestion. Similarly, it also helps to eliminate toxins from the body promoting fast cellulite reduction. Ginger improves the blood flow of the face. This helps in the brightening up of the complexion. The anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce any kind of inflammation on the skin while improving the skin’s elasticity. Applying ginger topically on areas that have scars, reduces their visibility.

SUPPORTS HAIR GROWTH AND FIGHTS DANDRUFF

Ginger is believed to improve the flow of blood on the scalp to provide the required nutrition for the hair follicles and encourages growth strengthening the hair from the root to the tip. The antiseptics found in ginger support the nourishment of the scalp reducing the risk of getting dandruff. It also consists of fatty acids that prevent the hair from thinning making it thicker and giving it a natural shine.

USE OF GINGER IN HOME REMEDIES

While scientific research is yet to reveal the full potential of ginger, Eastern Medicinal practices and herbal medication has long used ginger as a potent cure for many ailments;
Reduce Menstrual Pain – Ginger tea, made by boiling fresh ginger slices for a few minutes has proven to reduce menstrual pains.
Sore throat – The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help to soothe the inflammation in the throat soothing the symptoms of sore throat. Best consumed with tea and honey
Nausea – Slow yet consistent consumption of ginger tea can reduce nausea
Indigestion – Ginger’s effect on indigestion and gastrointestinal irritation has long been proven through research (8) Consumption of small portions of ginger juice or ginger tea reduces symptoms of indigestion, gastrointestinal irritation, and acid reflux.

Fights Germs

Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger help your body ward off germs. They’re especially good at halting the growth of bacteria like E.coli and shigella, and they may also keep viruses like RSV at bay.


Keeps Your Mouth Healthy

Ginger’s antibacterial power may also brighten your smile. Active compounds in ginger called gingerols keep oral bacteria from growing. These bacteria are the same ones that can cause periodontal disease, a serious gum infection.

Calms Nausea

The old wives’ tale may be true: Ginger helps if you’re trying to ease a queasy stomach, especially during pregnancy. It may work by breaking up and getting rid of built-up gas in your intestines. It might also help settle seasickness or nausea caused by chemotherapy.

Soothes Sore Muscles

Ginger won’t whisk away muscle pain on the spot, but it may tame soreness over time. In some studies, people with muscle aches from exercise who took ginger had less pain the next day than those who didn’t.


Eases Arthritis Symptoms

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which means it reduces swelling. That may be especially helpful for treating symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. You might get relief from pain and swelling either by taking ginger by mouth or by using a ginger compress or patch on your skin.

Curbs Cancer Growth

Some studies show that bioactive molecules in ginger may slow down the growth of some cancers like colorectal, gastric, ovarian, liver, skin, breast, and prostate cancer. But much more research is needed to see if this is true.

Lowers Blood Sugar

One recent small study suggested that ginger may help your body use insulin better. Larger studies are needed to see if ginger could help improve blood sugar levels.

Eases Period Pains

Got menstrual cramps? The ginger powder may help. In studies, women who took 1,500 milligrams of ginger powder once a day for 3 days during their cycle felt less pain than women who didn’t.

Lowers Cholesterol

A daily dose of ginger may help you battle your “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels. In a recent study, taking 5 grams of ginger a day for 3 months lowered people’s LDL cholesterol an average of 30 points.

Protects Against Disease

Ginger is loaded with antioxidants, compounds that prevent stress and damage to your body’s DNA. They may help your body fight off chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, plus promote healthy aging.

Relieves Indigestion

If you live with chronic indigestion, also called dyspepsia, ginger could bring some relief. Ginger before meals may make your system empty faster, leaving less time for food to sit and causing problems.

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