The power of ginger

 The power of ginger

Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties.

Ginger, the root of the ginger plant is consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice.

For thousands of years, herbalists have used the root of the ginger plant to relieve stomach troubles. In addition to easing post-surgery dizziness and vomiting, the herb appears to reduce motion sickness and morning sickness in pregnancy. It also helps in vomiting induced by chemotherapy.

Ginger targets headaches and migraines. This powerful herb effectively fights chronic headache, making it an absolute necessity when travelling, working or engaging in other activities that may trigger a headache.

In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas and an upset stomach.

With its natural anti-inflammatory effects, ginger is also a common remedy for inflammation-related health problems like arthritis.

Ginger, particularly the gingerols, is being studied as an anti-cancer agent. Exposure to the ginger extract caused cell death in all the ovarian cancer lines studied.

In lab tests, scientists have showed that ginger extract may slow the growth of colorectal and ovarian cancer cells, as well as protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects.

Ginger is generally thought of as safe for use during pregnancy. Guidelines recommend that ginger be used in moderate amounts like 250mg up to 4 times a day during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Sipping ginger tea can help calm an upset stomach, as well as ease congestion when you've got a cold. For nausea, ginger tea made with one or two 1/2-inch slices fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach.

This herb may also increase bile flow, and therefore should not be used by people with a history of stones in the gall bladder. In individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer, liberal intake of ginger root is an especially good idea.

Ginger is so concentrated with active substances that one needs to use very little to receive its beneficial effects.

For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in various reported studies, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.

Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried form of the spice since it is not only superior in flavor but contains higher levels of gingerol as well as its anti-inflammatory compound.

Ginger is also available in several other forms including crystallized, candied and pickled ginger.

Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months.

Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.

Combine ginger, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to make a wonderful salad dressing.

Add ginger and orange juice to puréed sweet potatoes.

Add grated ginger to your favourite stuffing for baked apples.

Spice up your healthy sautéed vegetables by adding freshly minced ginger.

Turn up the heat while cooling off by making ginger lemonade. Simply combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.

Add extra inspiration to your rice side dishes by sprinkling grated ginger strips on top.

Keeping a box of ginger tea in your purse or car, or carrying around a small bottle or pouch of ginger pills, will ensure that you have quick access to ginger as an effective pain reliever.

Some precautions before taking ginger

Since ginger acts as a blood thinner, it's important to discontinue use at least two weeks before surgery and let your doctor know you've been using the herb.

It may cause heartburn or bloating for some people.

May have an adverse reaction with warfarin (Coumadin) a blood thinner medicine given for certain people who have a high cholesterol or blocks in the arteries.

Some research shows that ginger can reduce symptoms of menstrual pain in some women when taken during menstruation.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.