Ginger, the super food

Ginger, very popular in India, is one of the healthiest (and most delicious) known spices to the mankind. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for our body and brain. It is a flowering plant from Zingiberaceae family with its origin from India and China. It is more often used for its medicinal values due to the presence of gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. It can be consumed as fresh, dried, powered, oil, juice, gingerbread, ginger beer, crystallized, candied, pickled, common ingredient as spice in recipes and even with other supplements to add to its values.

Some of the major benefits of consuming ginger are: –

  • It helps digestion. It has phenolic compounds in it which relieves gastrointestinal irritation, stimulates saliva and bile production and suppresses gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids in the body.
  • It relieves loss of appetite.
  • It reduces nausea.
  • It treats morning sickness.
  • It relieves vomiting after surgery.
  • It relieves vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • It contains a substance 6-gingerol which has protective effect against cancer.
  • It protects against alzheimer’s disease.
  • It helps fight flu and common cold.
  • It has powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
  • It reduces muscle pain and soreness.
  • It has powerful antioxidant effects.
  • It protects skin against ageing.
  • It reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • It has powerful anti diabetic properties.
  • It lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors.
  • It heals the heart.
  • It reduces heart attacks and strokes when consumed together with garlic and onions.
  • It reduces menstrual pain and cramps.
  • It lowers cholesterol levels.
  • It improves brain functions.
  • It reduces headaches.
  • It helps fight infections.
  • It reduces the risk of obesity.
  • It promotes a healthy complexion.
  • It is good for hair health.
  • It helps in weight lose.
  • It increases energy level.
  • It keeps body warm in winter by consuming ginger tea.
  • It is diaphoretic and promotes sweating.
  • It has antibacterial properties.
  • It provides a variety of vitamins and minerals.
  • It develops strong immune system.
  • It breaks down toxins in our organs.
  • It cleanses the lymphatic system.
  • It helps in airsickness when consumed with honey.
  • It cleanses our body’s sewage system.
  • It clears the microcirculatory channels of body including clearing sinuses.
  • It fights fungal infections. A mixture of ginger oil, tea oil and coconut oil when applied does the wonder.
  • It treats ulcers and GERD.
  • It cures tummy moaning and groaning under cramps.
  • It gets rid of throat and nose congestion.
  • It has aphrodisiac properties.
  • It cures upset stomach.
  • It cures irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • It cures low back pain.
  • It treats baldness.
  • It treats malaria.
  • It treats inflamed testicles.
  • It cures poisonous snake bites.
  • It cures toothaches.
  • It is applied to the skin to prevent insect bites.
  • It possesses UV rays absorbing capabilities which protect against DNA damage related to UVB (ultraviolet-B) light.
  • It boosts bone health.
  • It treats asthma.
  • It, when taken with sugar in empty stomach, purifies blood.
  • It eliminated free radicals.
  • It dissolves kidney stones.
  • It keeps you away from negative vibe.
  • It eliminates toxicity caused due to food poisoning.
  • It treats cellulite.
  • It soothes and heals burnt skin.
  • It fades the scars on skin.
  • It keeps the skin clean and clears blemishes and acne.
  • It treats hypopigmented scars on skin.
  • It tones skin when applied with honey and lemon juice and refrigerated for half an hour.
  • It stimulates hair growth.
  • It is good for dry and brittle hair.
  • It is a good remedy for hair loss.
  • It treats damaged hair follicles.
  • It treats dandruff when applied in a mix with sesame or olive oil and lemon juice.

However there are limitations to everything. Ginger may interact with some prescription medications and hence a health practitioner must be consulted before hand. It is advisable not to take more than four grams of ginger in a single day. Side effects may include bloating, gas, heartburn and nausea. Infants should not take ginger. Avoid ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood thinners, including aspirin. Pregnant women should not take more than 1 gram per day. If taken in large quantity, it can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, diarrhea, stomach problems, dry and scaly rashes, heart palpitation, headache, sleeplessness.

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