Ginger (Zingiber officnale)may already be a regular part of your diet, but how often have you considered using it as a medicine?
This rhizome is so easy to use, it’s a shame to overlook its therapeutic benefits. It can be used in cooking, it can be eaten raw, it’s even good cut up and made into a tea – It’s good with cinnamon and honey. Some of my clients even have ginger tincture in their formula.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Digestive problems (i.e. colic, cramping, peptic ulcers, and infections)
- Colds and flu
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable bowel
- Cold hands and feet (circulation)
The following are just a few examples of what is available in the medical literature.
- Cancer prevention – One study on human colorectal cancer demonstrated that ginger worked in a variety of ways to stop cancer cells from multiplying, as well as causing cancer cell death. Another study suggested that dietary ginger may have a role in the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.
- asthma. – A study of 92 pateints showed that tincture of ginger reduced asthma symptoms. Among it’s many affects was reduced coughing at night, fewer asthma attacks, and reduced use of spray medication. To top it off, the study used a dosage that was less than the usual therapeutic dose.
- Atherosclerosis – In a study on mice it was found that ginger could reduce cholesterol in plasma, inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and slow the development of atherosclerosis.
- Inflammation – In a series of studies ginger was shown to significantly decrease knee pain. It’s anti-inflammatory action was similar to that of COX and LOX enzyme inhibitors.
- nausea (including after surgery, morning sickness, and travel sickness) – a series of studies demonstrated that ginger was as effective for motion sickness as many pharmaceuticals such as cyclizine, dimenhydrinate, domperidone, meclizine, and scopolamine. Another study, this time on pregnant women. found that nausea was reduced significantly in 77% of the women. Although there have been a few studies that say it doesn’t work. The majority of them show that it does.
- Digestion – Along with it’s anti-inflammatory action, and it’s ability to reduce nausea, ginger is also useful for dealing with infection of the digestive tract. Using an extract of ginger on mice, almost all worms of the variety schistosomes were killed within 24 hours. Ginger was found to be a powerful and inexpensive inhibitor of the gastric ulcer causing H. pylori
- Respiratory infection – One study found that ginger had antibacterial activity against four respiratory tract pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenze).
- Liver protection – In vitro studes showed protective qualities for the liver cells of rats that had been exposed to oxidative damage. An ethenolic/aqueous extract of ginger was tested in rats and found to be protective against acute hepatotoxicity caused by acetaminophen.
- Protection during conventional anti-cancer therapy – In a study on mice using the cancer drug cisplatin (a known kidney toxin) ginger was found to be protective to the kidneys.
As you can see, Ginger makes an amazing herbal remedy. Although we’ve known traditionally that it works, modern scientific methods are only just starting to show us how it works and why it works.
Ginger as medicine… worth considering.