Ginger ( Zingiberaceae Officinale Roscoe) is a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is known for its health and medicinal properties. It grows underground in the form of tuberous joints and provides many health and beauty benefits.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Some major health benefits of ginger are as follows.
(1) Treating Respiratory Problems And Allergies
Because of its antihistamine properties, ginger inhibits airway contraction and inhibit secretion of mucus. This provides relief from allergies and respiratory problems. Ginger is being used for centuries to get relief from a persistent cough and sore throat experienced during cold.
(2) Relief From Nose & Throat Congestion
Drinking ginger tea provides quick relief from throat and nasal congestion because of its antihistamine and anti-allergic properties.
(3) Curing Asthma
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger help reduce symptoms of asthma. For this, ginger juice can be taken with fenugreek powder.
Antioxidants such as gingerol in ginger protect the respiratory system from free radical damage and reduce lung inflammation.Source-pixabay.com
(4) Effective Against Food Poisoning
The antimicrobial properties of the ginger fight against the microbes responsible for causing food poisoning.
Adding a few ginger slices to the food enhances the flavor of food, and reduces the risk of food poisoning and other digestive problems.
(5) Effective Against Chemotherapy Nausea
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, supplementing ginger root with anti-vomiting medication provides relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Ginger juice or ginger supplement also helps in treating nausea sensations caused by motion sickness or seasickness.
(6) Treating Morning Sickness
Vitamin B6 in ginger help in treating morning sickness experienced by pregnant women. However, it is advised to consult your doctor before using ginger during pregnancy.
(7) Improves Digestion
Ginger improves our digestive health as it enhances the production of digestive juices and enzymes responsible for healthy digestion.
It breaks down proteins present in the food and prevents ulcers by promoting mucus secretion.
Antioxidants such as gingerol in ginger protect our digestive system from free radical damage and reduce the risk of
(8) Treating Chronic Indigestion
Ginger provides relief from dyspepsia or chronic indigestion. It causes recurring pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.
Dyspepsia is caused by delayed emptying of the stomach.
Ginger speeds up digestion and reduces the risk of chronic indigestion.
Taking 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerates digestion by up to 50%.
(9) Relieve Menstrual Pain
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, taking ginger tea with brown sugar provide relief from menstrual pain experienced by women during the menstrual cycle.
(10) Effective Against Migraines
Taking ginger juice or supplement provides relief from migraines as it prevents prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in the blood vessels.
(11) May Prevents Cancer
Ginger contains many antioxidants such as gingerol that protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of many cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, abdominal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
It induces apoptosis ( cancer cell death) and suppresses certain proteins.
As per a study involving 30 individuals, participants who took 2 grams of ginger extract per day had lower pro-inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon and reduced risk of colon cancer.
(12) Relieve Muscle Pain And Soreness
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, taking ginger extract on regular basis provides relief from muscle pain and soreness caused by heavy exercises and workout sessions.
(13) Provide Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Ginger contains many anti-inflammatory compounds that provide relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma, etc.
Applying ginger oil mixed with cinnamon oil or sesame oil relieves joint pain and stiffness.
(14) Regulates Blood Sugar
With a low glycemic index of 15, ginger slow down the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level, and helping in managing diabetes.
As per a 2015 study involving 41 participants with type-2 diabetes, taking 2 grams of ginger powder per day could reduce fasting blood sugar by 12 percent.
It contains dietary fibers that slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels.
Despite the advantage, consume ginger moderately as otherwise it may drop blood sugar below the healthy range and cause excessive hunger, excessive sweating, dizziness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, confusion, or moodiness.
If you take diabetes medication, have a word with your doctor before adding ginger to your routine to avoid the risk of food-drug interference.
(15) Lowers Cholesterol
As per studies, taking just 3 grams of ginger powder per day significantly reduce most cholesterol markers.
Ginger reduces LDL cholesterol and minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
(16) Improves Heart Health
Ginger is good for our heart health as antioxidants in ginger protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
It helps in managing cholesterol levels as it reduces LDL cholesterol and minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that hardens and narrows our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls. It is a leading cause of cardiovascular issues.
Also, ginger reduces the ratio of Ap0B/Ap0A-1 ratio by 28% and reduces oxidized lipoproteins markers by 23%. These factors may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. Ginger lowers their level and improves cardiovascular health.
(17) Improve Neurological Health
Ginger improves our neurological health as they contain antioxidants such as gingerol that protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Bioactive compounds in ginger inhibit the inflammatory response in the brain, and thereby reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginger enhances brain function and improves brain reaction time and working memory.
(18) Fighting Infections
The antimicrobial properties of ginger reduce the risk of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Antioxidants such as gingerols in ginger protect our immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage and strengthen the immune system.
With stronger immunity, we are less likely to get disease or infections.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help against gum inflammation, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
(19) Increases Appetite
Ginger stimulates the production of digestive juices in our stomach and helps with quick digestion.
Taking a small ginger slice before a meal can get the digestive juices flowing and increase our appetite. It enhances the rate at which food gets digested by our body, and reduces the risk of food poisoning.
Beauty Benefits Of Ginger For Skin
Some major beauty benefits of ginger for skin are as follows.
(1) Provide Anti-Aging Benefits
Gingerol and other antioxidant compounds in ginger protect our skin from free radical damage.
It reduces fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, skin blemishes, and other signs of premature aging. Ginger enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and skin sagging.
(2) Soothes Burns
Ginger is effective in healing burnt skin and giving relief from the pain of burning. For this, simply apply a little fresh ginger juice to the burnt skin area. Rubbing freshly cut ginger slices; 2-3 times a day for 6 to 12 weeks can also give relief from scars. One point to remember here is to only use freshly cut ginger slices, every time you use it for rubbing.
(3) For Treating White Scars
Ginger helps in treating white scars or hypo-pigmented scars.
White scars occur when the skin starts losing pigmentation at different parts of the skin. In this, some parts of skin get lighter or white in comparison to other areas of skin.
As per anecdotes, placing freshly cut ginger slices on the pigmented skin areas reduces skin pigmentation.
(4) Natural Skin Toner
Ginger is a wonderful skin toner that tightens skin and improves skin health.
To prepare a ginger mask, do as follows.
- Mix 2 grated gingers with 2 tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, and apply on the face.
- After 30 minutes, wash off with cold water.
Regular use nourishes our skin and improves skin tone.
(5) Reduces Cellulite
Because of its anti-aging properties, ginger help in reducing cellulite.
For this, do as follows.
- Mix half cup sugar with a quarter cup olive oil, two spoons of freshly grated ginger, and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Use the mixture as a body scrub to reduce cellulite.
Beauty Benefits Of Ginger For Hair
Following are the major beauty benefits of ginger for hair.
(1) Promotes Hair Growth
Ginger face masks and ginger oil can be used for encouraging hair growth.
To promote hair growth, follow the given steps.
- Put one tablespoon of grated ginger root in a small bowl and mix one tablespoon of jojoba oil.
- Massage the mixture on your hair and scalp in a circular motion for a few minutes.
- After 30 minutes, rinse off your hair and shampoo.
Regular use strengthens our hair follicles, reduces the risk of hair loss, and encourages the growth of new hair.
(2) Good for Dry & Brittle Hair
Vitamins, zinc, and phosphorus, etc in ginger keep hair healthy and make them lustrous.
(3) Treatment Of Hair Loss And Split Ends
Washing hair with ginger water adds a pleasant smell to our hair and prevents them from damage. It strengthens hair follicles and prevents hair dryness and split ends.
(4) For Treating Dandruff
The antiseptic properties of ginger help in treating dandruff, a common scalp problem.
For treating dandruff, do as follows.
- Mix two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger, 3 tablespoons of olive or sesame oil, and add a pinch of lemon juice to form a mixture.
- Massage the scalp with mixture for 5-10 minutes, and let it dry for 30 minutes.
- Rinse off with water.
Do twice a week for better results.
Other Uses of Ginger
- Ginger root is used as a seasoning and for flavoring sweets, including cakes, cookies, bread, and beverages.
- Ginger is also used to aromatize the liquid of electronic cigarettes.
- Ginger is often added to soups to provide aphrodisiac benefits.
Other Facts about Ginger
- Wrapping ginger in a plastic bag and storing it in the refrigerator can keep it fresh for a week. To preserve ginger for up to 3 months, peel ginger root and cover the unpeeled ginger with sherry wine, and then place it in the refrigerator.
- The length of the ginger root shows their maturity. Ginger with long and fibrous roots have passed their prime ( or are likely to do soon) and should be avoided. Fresh ginger with soft and short fibrous roots is preferred.
- Avoid ginger that appears cooler on touching, has wrinkles on them, feels juicier, and has smooth skin.
- Greeks used to eat ginger wrapped with bread to get rid of digestive problems.
- Ginger was introduced in Europe in approximately 800 AD, and for centuries, it ranked second to pepper (as a spice).
- India followed by China are the main producers of ginger, but ginger also grows in Nigeria, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, and many other countries.
Side Effects of Ginger
Some side effects of overconsuming ginger are as follows.
(1) Stomach Discomfort
Ginger stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and promotes digestion. It enhances metabolism and reduces the risk of food poisoning. However, in some people, ginger may cause heartburn, diarrhea, and general discomfort. In women, too much ginger may increase menstrual bleeding.
(2) Skin Irritation
Ginger or ginger extract is often topically used for cellulite reduction and for improving skin pigmentation. However, it may also cause skin irritation in some people. Avoid ginger if you are allergic to them.
(3) Using Ginger During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Ginger provides relief from morning sickness often experienced during pregnancy. However, it generates heat in the body and may increase the risk of miscarriage. Taking ginger during pregnancy should be considered only after consulting with your doctor.
Nursing mothers should follow the same precaution, and consult their doctor before adding ginger to their routine.
(5) Effect On Heart Health
Ginger is good for our heart health but a high dosage can worsen the situation. So, it is advisable not to over-consume ginger.
Too much ginger is bad for our heart health and should be avoided.
(6) Medication Interaction
Ginger may interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, phenprocoumon, and warfarin. It may also interact with blood pressure medication and blood sugar medication.
If you suffer from any medical condition and taking any medication, consult your doctor before adding ginger to your routine to avoid food-drug interference.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.