For over 5,000 years, ginger has been valued the world over for its culinary, preservative and medicinal properties. A native of southern Asia, ginger has become popular as a natural healing agent. While it was once hidden away in Arabian trading vessels as a treasured commodity, we now can easily find fresh ginger in the produce department of local markets and can purchase dried forms in capsules, tinctures, teas and various foods. Numerous studies have suggested that ginger stimulates and supports a wide range of body systems.
Perhaps the most popular reason that people consume this amazing herb is for its soothing effects on the digestive system. The enzyme activity of ginger facilitates the breakdown of proteins while supports healthy intestinal flora, aids nutrient absorption and may provide protection against ulcers.
Ginger’s positive effect on nausea and vomiting that often accompanies the early stages of pregnancy, as well as similar nausea and discomfort experienced by people undergoing chemotherapy makes it very useful for some people. Ginger is also highly recommended to help motion sickness and is most effective if regular dosing begins several hours before a challenging car or boat trip.
Inflammation has long been cited as the culprit underlying many health problems; and ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a potentially very effective treatment for disorders such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Studies have indicated that, when taken in therapeutic doses, it can reduce and in some cases reverse the pain, stiffness and swelling of those suffering from these conditions without risking the negative side effects associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Anti-Microbial and Anti-Parasitic Properties
Additional therapeutic benefits of ginger include its apparent ability to kill bacteria and destroy a variety of dangerous parasites. These properties have been valued by Asian cooks for centuries and this herb has been included in medicinal formulas to provide regular protection against harmful microbes and other unwanted freeloaders.
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Schulick, Paul; Ginger: Common Spice & Wonder Drug; Herbal Free Press Ltd.; accessed February 20, 2013