The East London Garden Society

Ginger

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Fresh ginger root keeps well in your freezer. If you find yourself nauseous or with an upset stomach, mince up a small amount (about the size of your fingernail) and swallow it. You'll be amazed at the relief it provides.

The therapeutic benefits of ginger have been noted for thousands of years
Although it originated in Asia the medicinal uses of ginger have been known and valued for at least 2,000 years in cultures all round the world.

The most commonly used medicinal part of the plant is the rhizome, the root‐like stem that grows underground. It is a rich source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols and zingerones. Ginger actually has broad spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti‐parasitic properties, to name just a few of its many pharmacological actions.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may rival non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Ginger is anti-inflammatory. In 2001 research showed that ginger extract helped reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. In 2013, a study also found that women athletes taking three grams of ginger or cinnamon daily, that’s less than one teaspoon, had a significant decrease in muscle soreness. Ginger has even been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain from menstrual cramps in women. The pain relieving potential of ginger appears to be far‐reaching.

Another recent study, which was presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, found that adding ginger compounds to isoproterenol, a type of asthma medication called a beta‐agonist, enhanced its bronchodilating effects. Because ginger enhances bronchodilation, it may provide a much safer alternative, or at least complement current asthma medications on the market.

Ginger shows promise as a cancer and diabetes fighter
Ginger’s anti‐inflammatory properties no doubt make it beneficial for many chronic inflammatory diseases including cancer. Indeed, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has demonstrated the in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of ginger, suggesting it may be effective in the management of prostate cancer.

Other research shows it has anti‐tumor activity that may help defeat difficult to treat types of cancer. Because ginger helps prevent the toxic effects of many substances, it may be useful to take in addition to conventional cancer treatments.
As for diabetes, ginger appears to be useful both preventively and therapeutically via effects on insulin release and action, and improved carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

According to one comprehensive review, a clinical trial that was performed found that after consuming three grams of dry ginger powder for 30 days, diabetic participants had a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol.
Ginger also has also been established to have a protective effect against diabetes complications, including offering protection to the diabetic’s liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and eyes.

The power of ginger for nausea, motion sickness, and digestive upset
No article about ginger would be complete without highlighting its wonderful use for digestive upsets since it is one of the best natural remedies. If you struggle with motion sickness or nausea, ginger should be a staple in your diet.

Ginger is also a must have if you struggle with indigestion since it does more than simply relieve pain. Ginger helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effects and it’s an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract. Additionally, ginger inhibits H. pylori, which may help prevent ulcers whilst also protecting gastric mucosa.

From heart health to weight loss: 12 more uses for ginger
(According to research compiled by Green Med Information)

Improving cognitive function in middle-aged women Protecting against respiratory viruses
Reducing vertigo Enhancing fat digestion and absorption
Protecting against toxic effects of environmental chemicals, such as parabens Helping prevent heart attacks
Relieving arthritis pain as well as Indomethacin, an anti‐inflammatory drug commonly used to treat it Preventing and treating non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Drug‐resistant bacterial and fungal infections Reducing damage and memory loss associated with small stroke
Protecting against the DNA‐damaging effects of radiation exposure Fighting bacterial diarrhoea

Ginger tea, fresh ginger, or extract: what's the best way to use ginger?
This depends on why you are using ginger. For the most potent medicinal properties, ginger extract may be necessary, although there is also therapeutic benefit from fresh or even dried ginger.

Many people enjoy ginger tea on a regular basis. Simply chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly, grate it or mince it to add to tea or cooked dishes. You cannot go wrong by adding ginger to stir fries. When left unpeeled, fresh ginger can be stored in your refrigerator for at least three weeks or in your freezer for six months. Try experimenting by adding fresh ginger and other warming spices like cinnamon to a cup of tea and see if you notice any of the health benefits described.