In cooking or herbal tea, ginger can typically be found either fresh or dried, and some people choose to take ginger supplements for the possible health benefits it may provide.
Ginger is a plant that comes from the Zingiber officinale plant, and its root has been utilized in traditional medical practices in both China and India for thousands of years.
The use of ginger may provide relief from nausea and vomiting as well as assistance with digestion. Ginger root contains a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that may be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of arthritis, inflammation, and various types of infection. Additionally, ginger may lower one’s risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and various other health complications.
In the following article, you will learn more about these and other potential health benefits of ginger, as well as the research that backs them up.
There is some evidence that ginger can reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, and fight viruses. The following is a list of the possible medicinal applications of ginger.
Lowering gas production while simultaneously enhancing digestion
According to a review that was published in 2018, several studies have investigated the effects that ginger has on the gasses that are produced in the intestinal tract as a result of the digestive process.
According to this research, the enzymes in ginger can assist in the process of breaking down and expelling this gas, which can provide relief from any discomfort.
Ginger may also help increase movement throughout the digestive tract, according to the research, which suggests that it may be able to relieve or prevent constipation. It would appear that ginger has some beneficial effects as well.
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A review that was written in 2020 found that ginger may aid with morning sickness and nausea brought on by cancer therapy.
According to a study that was conducted in 2016, gingerols and shogaols are two odor-producing principles that have the potential to be effective in preventing nausea and vomiting. Nevertheless, the quantities of those compounds can change depending on the form that the ginger is consumed.
According to the findings of the researchers, the highest concentrations of gingerol were found in dried ginger, followed by fresh ginger and then powdered ginger tea.
In one of the studies that were looked at, there were 576 adult cancer patients involved. According to the findings of the researchers, the doses of 0.5 grams (g) and 1.0 g were the most effective at preventing nausea.
Ginger was investigated in a total of seven studies; five of those studies found it to be beneficial, while the other two found no such benefits. The authors of the review hypothesize that the disparate findings may be attributable to the various forms and preparations of ginger that were used.
In addition, they advocated for additional research to be conducted on humans to gain a comprehensive understanding of the effects ginger has on nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Assisting the immune system
Ginger is used by a lot of people to speed up their recovery from a cold or the flu. The majority of the information, however, is anecdotal, which contradicts the former. An older study that was published in 2013 looked examined the effects of fresh and dried ginger on one respiratory virus in human cells. The effects of both fresh and dried ginger were examined in the study. The results indicate that while taking dried ginger did not have the same effect as consuming fresh ginger, it may help protect the respiratory system.
According to the findings of a comprehensive cross-sectional study that was published in 2017, consuming ginger daily may be beneficial to the immune system. This will probably protect against chronic disease and aid in the recovery of other ailments, such as the common cold and influenza.
Daily consumption of ginger extract was associated with a stronger antibody response in non-smokers, according to the findings of a limited study published in 2019 on the effects of ginger extract on smokers and non-smokers.
However, additional research is required before conclusive evidence of ginger’s effects on the immune system can be established.
Inflammation brought on by osteoarthritis can be treated with ginger in a way that is “modestly efficacious and reasonably safe,” according to the findings of a review that was published in 2015.
The studies that were part of the meta-analysis were somewhat modest in scope and may not have been representative of the broader population, the authors did point out.
In the meantime, a study published in 2017 that analyzed the results of 16 separate clinical trials concluded that the phytochemical components of ginger may reduce inflammation. These authors have also advocated for additional investigation into the types and dosages of ginger extract that have proven to be the most successful.
Because of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of the gingerol compounds in ginger, ginger can make the pain more bearable.
According to the findings of a study conducted in 2016, ginger may specifically help reduce dysmenorrhea, which is pain that occurs right before or during a woman’s period. The authors do concede, however, that the majority of the studies they looked at were either of low sample size or poor quality.
More research is required before we can fully investigate whether or not there is a connection between ginger consumption and pain relief.
Supporting cardiovascular health
There is some evidence to suggest that ginger extract could assist in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
According to the findings of a study conducted on 4,628 people, regular consumption of ginger may offer protection against a variety of chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cerebrovascular disease, fatty liver disease. The researchers concluded that ginger has some therapeutic promise as a preventative measure.
More research is required before it can be determined whether or not ginger can support treatment for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease.
In the meantime, a limited study that was conducted in 2016 discovered that ginger extract helped reduce the number of heart abnormalities that occurred in diabetic rats. The researchers pointed out that the antioxidant properties of the extract could be responsible, at least in part, for this reduction.
Lessening one’s exposure to cancer
Although it does not contain any protein or other essential nutrients, ginger is a fantastic source of antioxidants. Because of this, according to research from a trusted source, ginger can reduce a variety of different types of oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress may develop if an excessive amount of free radicals are allowed to accumulate in the body. Free radicals are potentially harmful byproducts of the metabolic process as well as other factors.
When free radicals build up in the body, they can cause cellular damage, leading to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, chronic inflammation, and cancer. Free radicals can also damage DNA, resulting in genetic mutations. Antioxidants obtained through food can help the body eliminate free radicals.
According to the review’s findings, ginger appears to either contribute to the death of cancer cells in other types of cancer or inhibit the growth of cancer cells in certain types of cancer.
Nutrition and dosage
Ginger is an excellent source of antioxidants, but it is low in calories, vitamins, and minerals and does not provide a significant amount of nutritional value.
According to the information provided by the Department of Agriculture, there are only four calories in two teaspoons of ginger. But it does not contain a sufficient quantity of any nutrient.
The majority of the studies that have been conducted on ginger have focused on dosages ranging from 250 milligrams (mg) to 1 g, which were administered anywhere from once to four times per day.
According to a study from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which recognizes ginger root as having a low potential for adverse effects and approves a daily intake recommendation of up to 4 grams.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that ginger can be consumed safely as part of a diet; however, the FDA does not guarantee or regulate ginger’s use as a medicine or supplement.
Ginger contains a wide variety of compounds, many of which have not been thoroughly researched by scientists. In addition, certain therapeutic claims made about ginger are not supported by the available scientific evidence.
Consult a healthcare provider before increasing the amount of ginger in your diet or starting to take a ginger supplement. Some supplements can mess up your medication or cause other complications with your health.