I love ginger and eat it in some form almost every day. Ginger has been savored and revered for centuries as a culinary and medicinal gem. It is an ancient spice that is a digestive-aid, fights cramps, relieves tummy pain, nausea and diarrhea soothes sore muscles, and calms irritated skin. It is also good for morning sickness and travel sickness. Really, all that from a food you can buy in the supermarket, isn’t that fabulous?
Ginger’s amazing properties are thought to be because of the spice’s high levels of gingerol; a powerful component that gives it its natural zingy flavor, and which acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body.
Experience Gingers Amazing Benefits at Home
Relieves Nausea & Cramps
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that ginger was as effective as ibuprofen for relieving nausea and cramps, including symptoms from morning sickness or menstrual cramps. Steep 2 tablespoons grated or chopped fresh ginger root in hot water for 15 minutes, strain, and enjoy. You can add honey or lemon if you want. You can also make the infusion recipe below.
Improves Circulation and Blood Flow
Ginger’s warming essential oil improves circulation and blood flow, making it perfect for cold hands and feet and relieving tired muscles. Try this soak: Grate 1/2 cup fresh ginger, and seal it in a cheese cloth or nutbag; place bag under running bathwater. When the tub is full squeeze the juice from the ginger into the tub, and place the bag into the tub with you. Sit in the water for 20 minutes. If you don’t have the cheese cloth you can just put the ginger right into the tub, the only thing is you have to clean it up after.
Soothes a Sore Throat and Cough
Ginger is valuable as a cold remedy because it is a carminative which induces healthy sweating at the onset of a cold or flu. Bring some water to a boil, add 1/2-inch knob of coarsely chop ginger per cup of water. You can then add lemon, honey, and cinnamon or cayenne pepper to taste. Drink throughout the day. For a persistent cough add a few cloves and extra ginger.
Help Prevent Colds and Flu
Ginger helps the body to break into a sweat to help get rid of the toxins. And according to researchers, sweat contains an ingredient which helps you to ward off nasty germs and harmful bacteria which may settle on your skin’s surface. Thus taking ginger tea or ginger bath before you have a cold can help to prevent the cold from taking over in your body.
Ginger is very effective in helping the digestive system to function better. The warming effect of the oils help to relax the muscles surrounding the intestines. As a result you can avoid gas and bloating. Ginger has also shown to be helpful in breaking down the foods by increasing the digestive acids providing relief from acid reflux. Add finely chopped or grated ginger to sautéed vegetables, grains or smoothies. Having ginger daily will bring relive form all sorts of digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Reduces Pains in Muscles and Joints
The phenolic action of Gingerol suppresses pro-inflammatory compounds. This works on muscle strains or arthritic pain. Mix powdered ginger and turmeric with water to make a paste; apply to painful area twice a day. (note: turmeric may temporarily stain the skin)
Good for Easing Motion Sickness
If you get a little queasy from bumpy air flights or long car trips, try a piece of crystallized or pickled ginger. Research done at Brigham Young University showed ginger worked better than dimenhydrinate (the active ingredient in over-the-counter motion-sickness meds) at preventing and treating motion sickness.
In research on tumor-bearing mice, scientists discovered that ginger can kill cancerous cells in 2 ways. In the first way, apoptosis, the ginger causes the cancer cells to “commit suicide” by destroying themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy cells untouched The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger prevent precancerous tumors from creating the perfect breeding ground and climate for growth [source: Rossiter]. In the second way, autophagy, ginger tricks the cancerous cells into eating themselves [source: Heubeck].
Healing Ginger Recipes
You can use either fresh grated ginger. Add ½ a cup of freshly grated ginger to a hot tub and soak for 15-20 minutes. The ginger bath will make you sweat profusely for at least an hour afterwards, removing additional toxins from your body. Drink plenty of water during and after the bath. NOTE:If you have sensitive skin or are allergy-prone, test ginger on your skin for irritation before the bath.
Ginger Infusion Recipe
The ginger infusion is something you can make up in advance and keepin a thermos. It works wonderfully in treating common cold and flu symptoms. Its effective anti-mucus properties relieve chest and nasal congestion, as well as inflammations. Finely chop a 2” piece of piece of ginger. Place in 1 quart of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink throughout the day to improve digestions and word off cold and flu symptoms. This will keep for 48 hours. The longer the ginger soaks in the water, the sharper the taste becomes.