The Health Benefits of Ginger Are Extra Compelling Reasons to Enjoy It.

The benefits of ginger, apart from its delicious, spicy taste in cooking, include improved digestive and cardiovascular health as well as a preventative role in some diseases such as arthritis. 

Its medicinal properties were well known in ancient Indian and other Asian cultures and that knowledge continues to be applied in the region today.

Western countries have mostly used the ginger family as essential ingredients in curries, stir fries, in drinks such as ginger ale...and ginger-bread cookies!

healthy fresh ginger rhizomeA healthy ginger rhizome

Of recent years there has been growing interest in the benefits of ginger root in preventing disease and helping to maintain good health. Of course, using spices to improve health can only be effective when used as part of a general healthy lifestyle, which includes adequate rest, exercise and nutrition as well as a fulfilling work, emotional and social life.

In Australia, young ginger, or stem ginger, harvested after about five months of growing under the ground and still tender, is often preserved with sugar in syrup or ‘crystallised’ as confectionery. The rest of the crop is left to grow for another two months or so. Although more fibrous, this older ginger has a stronger flavor so is dried and ground for cooking purposes.

Amazing ginger benefits

This page summarises information about some of the health benefits of ginger and is the result of research that I have done on your behalf. However, no sources are cited and the information offered is general only. But if you would like to research the topic further I am sure that you will find it of interest.

According to my reading, ginger health benefits include its use in the control of nausea and motion sickness and in its prevention of stomach ulcers, coronary heart disease, migraines and even the growth of some tumours.

An anti-oxidant, ginger (zingiber officinale) has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on arthritic conditions, hence reduced swelling and pain. Its anti-oxidant qualities makes it useful as a preservative in foods.

freshly grated gingerFreshly grated and dried ginger

Various chemical compounds in ginger can contribute to the relief of symptoms of inflammation in stomach ulcers and inhibit the ulcers’ growth.

In coronary heart disease, platelet aggregation in arteries and cholesterol levels in blood can be reduced by the ingestion of ginger, thus assisting with the prevention or moderation of the disease.

According to author, Paul Shulick, "the fact that literally hundreds of thousands of lives can be saved emphasizes that ginger should be in everyone’s daily … routine."

Ginger has proved to be effective in the treatment of many bacterial infections and also has anti-parasitical properties.

Health benefits of ginger at a glance:

  • Anti-oxidant properties
  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Anti-parasitical properties
  • Anti-viral properties
  • Anti-histamine properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Because of these properties the use of ginger as a food or in tea or other drinks appears to assist with the prevention and improvement of some of the most common diseases or conditions known to man.

  • Coronary heart disease – helps reduce cholesterol levels and makes blood less ‘sticky’
  • Digestive problems, including motion sickness and ulcers
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis
  • Asthma, the common cold, migraines, skin cancers

Wonder food?

Ginger really does sound like a wonder food, doesn’t it? Please note that this article is written in good faith after having read some of the available conclusions on the subject. The only contra-indication that I can find for the regular use of ginger is that large amounts may not be advisable for people who have gallstones or who are taking blood thinning medication, including aspirin. When in doubt, ask your doctor!

The recommended amount to take seems to be 1 – 4 grams daily, through a mixture of cooked food, teas or ginger ale type drinks. That’s not much, is it, but perhaps a sensible conclusion is to be aware of the benefits of ginger but have it mostly because you enjoy its sensational taste!

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