Ginger is most often encountered as a spice in curry, as a pickled accompaniment to sushi, and as the main flavouring in gingerbread. Ginger has, for centuries, been used to treat problems with the digestive system.
Here are just a few of its uses:
- Ginger, taken as a tea, is often used as a remedy for nausea. It’s of particular interest to women, as it can be used to combat morning sickness – in this situation, it’s sometimes recommended to rope in a partner or family member to make the tea before the woman consuming the tea gets up.
- Ginger can also be used to tackle nausea that sometimes occurs in points in women’s monthly cycles, and during fertility treatments. It’s also worth noting that, in Chinese medicine, sweet ginger tea is said to reduce period pain.
- Ginger can be used in most situations where a person feels nauseous – including as a treatment for forms of motion sickness. Car sickness and sea sickness can be treated with ginger in either powder or pill forms.
- It’s also said to reduce the nausea felt when recovering from surgery.
- Indigestion can also be treated with ginger. If you suffer from heartburn, or more embarrassing problems like flatulence, burping or diarrhea, then ginger may be able to help.
There’s also some evidence that ginger may stop the body from absorbing fat.
Another traditional use for ginger is for treating cold symptoms. Sore throats and blocked noses can be soothed by the spice’s natural heat and flavour, and because it natural anti-inflammatory. The next time you have a cold, try drinking some ginger tea to perk yourself up.
Ginger can also be used as an ingredient in chicken soup – another traditional cold remedy. Try adding chopped ginger root at the same time as the onion or chicken, for a soup that’s both refreshing and soothing.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties are also reputed to help those who have arthritis. There is some scientific data that supports the use of ginger in the management of arthritis, although the evidence base is small at the moment.
Many arthritis patients, including people who have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, swear by taking a daily ginger supplement, which they say reduces the pain caused by this chronic condition.
Pain caused by headaches and migraines may be reduced by ginger. Try sipping some ginger tea the next time you feel poorly.
Some studies have shown that ginger can have an effect when fighting cancer, including ovarian cancer and colon cancer. However, the research done on this has been fairly limited, and cancer patients should check with their health practitioner for more information before they go head with taking ginger. Whether or not it can help fight the cancer itself, there is some evidence that ginger can be used to reduce nausea during chemotherapy.
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Ginger is readily available and in many forms – for minor complaints, teas, soft drinks and sweets can be tasty and effective remedies. It’s also available in capsules, pills and many other forms. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger mean that it should be treated with caution if you’re on blood-thinning medications used to treat blood pressure disorders, or aspirin. If this applies to you, then you should check with your healthcare provider before taking ginger.