Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is a root with a characteristically spicy flavor used in cooking all over the world. Gingerol, one of the identified essential oils in the fresh root has many soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a very useful substance. According to Ayurvedic medicine, which has used ginger root for centuries, the fresh root containing the oil is gentler and less heating than the dry root, although both can be used in most circumstances.
Calms the Stomach
Ginger is particularly well known as an anti-nausea aid, so people suffering from seasickness, morning sickness, or illness related nausea may all benefit from ginger. It is important, however, that pregnant women only use the fresh root, as the dry may be too strong! Most studies find that patients need to take between 1 to 1.5 grams of ginger to get the stomach soothing results.
Helps with Osteoarthritis
Any patients suffering from joint pain due to osteoarthritis can benefit from ginger. Medical studies have shown that ginger may actually be more effective than pain pills when taken regularly because they reduce joint inflammation, and are soothing to the stomach.
Gingerol can help to inhibit bacterial growth, so it aids the immune system in getting rid of harmful microbes. This makes it particularly useful while you are sick, since it also fights nausea and boosts digestion.
Taking three grams of ginger per day has been linked to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Since this type of cholesterol is linked to heart disease, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems with ginger.
May Reduce Cancer Risks
Ginger is a very good anti-inflammatory substance, and cancer often starts out as cells that are damaged by inflammation and mutate into cancerous cells. There is some evidence that taking ginger may help to reduce precancerous inflammation, but more studies need to be done to confirm these results.
Boosts Cognitive Function
Taking an extract of ginger has been shown to improve reaction time and memory. It may be able to do this because it stimulates blood flow to the brain. Since ginger also contains protective antioxidants, it may be particularly beneficial for boosting cognition and preventing age related dementia among seniors.