Ginger: Health Benefits and Side Effects
Ginger is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It’s one of the world’s healthiest (and most delicious) spices.
It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.
Ginger has been used in cooking and medicine since antiquity. It is still used as a home remedy for nausea, stomach pain, and other health problems.
Learn more about these and other potential health benefits of ginger, as well as the research behind them, in this article.
10 Health Benefits of Ginger
Below are the 10 major health benefits of Ginger.
1. It has the ability to soothe irritated skin.
If harsh winter winds are wreaking havoc on your skin, ginger can help you heal from the inside out. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, according to Ansel, help soothe red, irritated skin.
2. Gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties, is present.
Ginger has a long history of use in both traditional and alternative medicine. To name a few of its applications, it has been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and fight the flu and the common cold.
Ginger’s distinct fragrance and flavor are derived from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
The main bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol. It is responsible for a large portion of ginger’s medicinal properties.
According to studies, gingerol has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
3. Getting rid of gas and improving digestion
Several studies have looked into ginger’s effects on the gasses that form in the digestive tract. According to this study, enzymes found in ginger can help break up and expel this gas, providing relief from any discomfort.
It also suggests that ginger may aid food movement through the digestive tract, implying that it may relieve or prevent constipation.
Ginger also appears to be beneficial to the pancreatic lipase enzyme, which aids digestion in the small intestine.
4. It can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Ginger’s blood-thinning properties may aid in the prevention of blood clot formation, lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. Brissette cautions that if you are already taking blood-thinning medications, you should consult your doctor before adding more ginger to your diet.
5. Helpful for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common medical condition.
It is characterized by joint degeneration, which causes symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
According to one review of the literature, people who used ginger to treat their OA experienced significant reductions in pain and disability.
Only minor side effects were observed, such as dissatisfaction with the taste of ginger. Despite this, nearly 22% of study participants dropped out due to the taste of ginger and stomach upset.
6. It has the potential to improve immunity.
When people are sick, why do they rely solely on ginger lozenges? Gingerols, which fight inflammation, also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which can help you fight infections and boost your immunity.
7. It can help with menstrual cramps.
If you find yourself clutching your abdomen in pain every month, you should consider an ibuprofen substitute. Ginger relieves the excruciating pain associated with menstrual periods, particularly in virgins.
8. May significantly lower blood sugar levels and improve risk factors for heart disease.
Although this field of study is still in its early stages, ginger may have potent anti-diabetic properties.
In a 2015 study of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day reduced fasting blood sugar by 12%.
It also significantly improved hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a long-term blood sugar level marker. Over a 12-week period, HbA1c was reduced by 10%.
9. It could help prevent cancer
While no single ingredient has the ability to prevent serious disease, ginger does pack a powerful punch. Ginger is high in antioxidants, which help protect the body from cancer.
10. Can aid in the treatment of chronic indigestion
Recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach characterize chronic indigestion.
It is thought that delayed stomach emptying is a major cause of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been shown to hasten stomach emptying.
In a small 2011 study, people with functional dyspepsia, or indigestion with no known cause, were given ginger capsules or a placebo. They were all served soup an hour later.
The stomach of people who received ginger took 12.3 minutes to empty. In those who received the placebo, it took 16.1 minutes.
10. Has the potential to improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can hasten the aging process.
They are thought to be one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Also read: Health benefits of Avocado
According to animal studies, the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses in the brain.
There is also some evidence that ginger can directly improve brain function. Daily doses of ginger extract were shown to improve reaction time and working memory in a 2012 study of healthy middle-aged women.
Furthermore, numerous animal studies show that ginger can help protect against age-related decline in brain function.
Side Effects of Ginger
1. When taken orally:
Ginger is probably safe. It has the potential to cause mild side effects such as heartburn, diarrhea, burping, and general stomach discomfort. Higher doses of 5 grams per day increase the risk of side effects.
2. When used on the skin:
When used in moderation, ginger may be safe. Some people may experience skin irritation as a result of it.
When consumed in foods, ginger is most likely safe. It may be safe to take as medicine by mouth during pregnancy. Some experts advise against using it close to the delivery date because it may increase the risk of bleeding.
However, it appears that it is safe to use for morning sickness without causing harm to the baby. Before using ginger during pregnancy, consult with your doctor.
When consumed in foods, ginger is most likely safe. There isn’t enough reliable information to say whether taking larger amounts of ginger while breast-feeding is safe. To be on the safe side, avoid using.
Ginger may be safe when taken orally for up to four days by teenagers near the start of their period.
6. Disorders of bleeding:
Ginger may increase your risk of bleeding.
7. Heart problems:
Ginger in high doses may aggravate some heart conditions.
Ginger may help to slow blood clotting. It may result in additional bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using ginger at least two weeks before your surgery.