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Health Benefits of Ginger Root
(Zingiber officinale)

Table of Contents

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries)
  • Back pain
  • Bacterial infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Cholera
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive aid
  • Diuretic
  • Fish poisoning antidote
  • Flatulence
  • Gout (gouty arthritis)
  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • Headaches (migraine)
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) treatment
  • High cholesterol
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lower back pain
  • Malaria
  • Morning sickness (nausea during pregnancy)
  • Motion sickness
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Stimulate pancreas
  • Stomach ache
  • Stomach bloating
  • Toothache
  • Vertigo
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Health Benefits of Ginger Root

ginger root plant natural home remediesThe history on health benefits of ginger started with its use for helping with digestion, gas, nausea, coughing and diarrhea. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used ginger for over 2,500 years. It is commonly used as a spice in cooking by Asians.

One study completed in 1999 showed that taking ginger helped speed up digestion by moving foods through the stomach and intestine. Another animal study showed that it stimulated the production of digestive enzymes from the pancreas.

The health benefits of ginger in treating nausea and vomiting, especially during pregnancy is proven. However current recommendations are to avoid use due to possible risk of miscarriage (see section below on Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings).

How to stop coughing? Consider drinking ginger tea. It makes a great home remedy to stop coughing from a variety of causes such as the common cold and the flu. The pungent taste helps the body reduce congestion in the throat area. Moreover, it will also help with sore throat from the cold or flu and toothaches.

For heart disease, ginger thins the blood a little, much like what Aspirin (ASA) does. Some experts suggest using ginger for this purpose.

The ability of ginger to kill off harmful bacteria has led the Japanese to use it to treat fish poisoning. As sushi (raw seafood) is consumed in Japan, ginger could prove useful.

Some research studies showed that ginger can treat stomach ulcer by killing off the bacteria H. pylori often found in stomach of those suffering from stomach ulcers. It also protects the stomach by enhancing the stomach's protective system against ulcer formation.

As for treating osteoarthritis, knee and hip pain and gout the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can be helpful in these types of arthritic conditions. In addition, it shows antioxidant benefits in lab studies that may be helpful in slowing down the degenerative process in arthritis. Toothache pain can be reduced by using fresh ginger slices applied to the area or using a mouthwash made with ginger.

As well, studies done in rabbits showed that ginger can lower cholesterol and reduce the formation of plaque formation inside blood vessels, a condition called atherosclerosis. The health benefits of ginger in treating high cholesterol will need to be verified in human studies.

Many research studies done in human cells suggest that ginger might possess properties to prevent or treat cancer.The health benefits of ginger for curing cancer will need to be verified with human trials.

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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

There are very few side effects of taking ginger root. The most common reported side effect is heartburn.

High doses of ginger (over 6 grams) may cause stomach discomfort or pain and is suspected to cause stomach ulcers.

Experts suggest not using ginger root in those suffering from gallstones.

Drug Interactions

Taking ginger may increase bleeding time. Avoid taking if you are on blood thinners.

Ginger is suspected to lower blood sugar levels.

What are the safety issues of using ginger root to treat morning sickness during pregnancy?

Many studies show that taking ginger does help treat morning sickness (nausea and vomiting during pregnancy). However, some concerns were brought forward in a conference in 2002 about the risk of taking ginger and the risk of miscarriage. Currently, experts suggest not using large quantities of ginger during pregnancy.

Quantities under 1 gram daily is considered acceptable by some experts (as this is the amount that can be found in typical Asian cooking).

However, the German Commission E recommends that pregnant females not use ginger for treating morning sickness.

If you wish to use ginger for morning sickness, consult a healthcare professional first.

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Dosage & How to Take It

Pills - Take 250 to 500 mg of dried ginger root powder four to six times daily to help with nausea and vomiting and arthritis pain.

Ginger Roots - Take 2 to 4 grams of powdered ginger roots daily (divide into three or four equal doses).

Tea - Make ginger tea by using 10 mL of fresh grated ginger placed in 250 mL (1 cup) of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink slowly over one or two hours. This formulation can be used to treat nausea, coughs, arthritis pain and to help with digestion. It can also be used to reduce pain from a toothache.

Conversion Guidelines

1 to 2 grams of powdered ginger root is equal to 10 grams (1/3 oz) of fresh ginger.

250 mL (1 cup) of prepared ginger tea has about 250 mg of ginger.

250 mL (1 cup) of ginger ale has about 1 gram of ginger.

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Related Articles to Health Benefits of Ginger

Common Cold - Treatment using natural and home remedies

The Flu - Treatment using natural and home remedies

Sore Throat - What can you use to treat this problem?

Toothache - How to reduce the pain with natural cures

Selected References
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Created: January 3, 2010

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