HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Ginger is one of the most popular of the culinary spices. It is an extremely versatile spice, with uses in recipes which range from a curry ingredient of the East to gingernut biscuits in the West.
GINGER ROOTS are also valued for their many and variousl medicinal uses and are materia medica of the Ayurvedic science of health. Ginger root is related to the spices cardamom and turmeric and has similar health benefits as these two spices.However, ginger has to be the most popular of the spices because of its wide ranging uses.
THE USE OF GINGER ROOT in the kitchen, and as a healing herb, like turmeric and cardamom, dates back at least 5000 years.
The active ingredients of ginger which give it its flavour and medicinal properties are gingerol and shogaol. These compounds make ginger an effective fungicide and antibiotic-like medicine. Gingerol and shogaol also help to negate the effects of some poisons. These compounds have a very beneficial effect on the stomach and the digestive process.
The chemical compounds found in ginger roots do not affect the beneficial prostaglandin chemicals which serve to strengthen the lining of the stomach. This is why ginger has such an uncontested reputation for treating all those discomforts of the stomach such as indigestion, nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, heartburn, peptic ulcers, and flatulence and wind. It is also a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger is also effective in many cases, of preventing migraines and severe headaches.
Ginger roots are best used as a prophylactic for these conditions, rather than wait for the conditions to strike. This means that ginger taken regularly, either in the cooking or as ginger tea, is the best way to prevent stomach complaints and migraines.
Ginger has many other uses as a healing herb: It can be used to ease arthritic pain, to improve circulation, to reduce blood clots and thus lower the risk of heart attack. Ginger lowers the blood pressure and lowers cholesterol. Ginger thins the blood which helps to prevent blood clots. Ginger can be used as a pain reliever for toothache, vertigo, as an antispasmodic to relieve menstrual cramps, for sore throats, to promote sweating when needed, such as in a treatment for the common cold and flu.
Ginger can be used as a dry powdered ginger, taken in a capsule, as freshly chopped root, or taken in a preserved form as in crystallized ginger. Ginger tea can be made from either the fresh root or from powdered ginger.