Evidence of the many health benefits of ginger goes back centuries. In traditional treatments using herbs and spices, China and India have been incorporating ginger in cures for such everyday ailments as diarrhea or inflammatory complaints for more than 2,000 years. Some research has found that it goes back as far as 5,000 years. Along with using it in cuisines around the world as a substitute for salt or to enhance the flavors of stir-fries and a plethora of dishes, ginger is being investigated for its therapeutic properties that might be used in the place of chemically-produced medicines having many side effects. The Food and Drug Administration has placed it on the list of generally safe foods.
From stomach discomforts to cancer, the list of health benefits is long. A study found in the Journal of Pain listed compounds in ginger as being more effective than NSAIDS for the relief of a toothache or muscle pain. Menstrual cramps were lessened in another study. Morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness have been alleviated in even more studies. There is great excitement at the present time due to the study of ginger’s properties in cancer prevention and treatment of certain cancers. The extremely high level of antioxidants defending against damage to cells by free radicals is showing positive results.
Making ginger tea with fresh ginger helps ease discomfort from colds and aids with digestion. Cutting up a one-inch piece of fresh ginger and steeping it in one cup of hot water for about 5 minutes, creates a flavorful, beneficial drink with antibacterial properties. Adding grated ginger to smoothies or shakes, spreading pieces onto salads or adding to any foods that call for salt, can also give you protection and help boost blood flow.
Other drinks available at your favorite store or to be made at home include ginger soda, ginger ale, ginger beer and ginger wine. The taste is strong and it may take some time to adjust your recipes to suit your individual taste but the stronger, fresher and more pure your use of ginger, the more benefits you will reap. Gingerbread men were first made in the days of Queen Elizabeth I and today are enjoyed all over the world. With all the advantages that ginger offers, take the journey to experiment and embrace its health benefits for yourself.