Ginger is not only a tasty culinary spice. It has also been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine and the traditional Chinese medical tradition. Recent research has shown the traditional properties of Ginger to be effective in controlled studies as well. And for those who want to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of Ginger, but dislike the taste, it is now also available as an extract in liquid or capsule form.
- Ginger is anti-inflammatory – In double-blind studies conducted with people diagnosed with osteoarthritis pain in their knees and hips, 510 mg of standardized Ginger extract, divided into 2 to 3 doses per day, was effective in reducing their joint pain and inflammation. Ginger has also shown promise in treating the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, and migraine headache.
- Ginger squelches nausea – Historically, ginger has been the go-to remedy for nausea and motion sickness. 500 mg concentrated Ginger extract taken as needed, before and during travel, has been shown to reduce the incidence of sea, air, and car sickness. It has also been found to help some women deal with morning sickness during pregnancy in amounts up to 1 gram per day. Check with your doctor first if you plan to take Ginger or any other supplements during pregnancy.
- Ginger aids digestion – Studies have shown that 2-4 grams fresh Ginger (or the dried, concentrated equivalent in supplement form) may help alleviate gas, indigestion, and sluggish digestion. Ginger may also protect the lining of your digestive tract from ulcers and irritation caused by alcohol, NSAIDs, and some chemotherapeutic drugs.
These are just a few of the benefits the Ginger rhizome may offer. Ginger has also shown promise as a treatment for epilepsy, hepatitis, cirrhosis, vertigo, atherosclerosis, dysmenorrhea, seasonal allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and immune support for people with HIV/AIDS.
Ginger is generally well tolerated and effective, both in food and as a supplement. In large amounts, it may aggravate heartburn in some people. Ginger may also have mild blood thinning effects, so it should not be taken with other blood thinners or blood pressure medications. Always check with your health care provider before trying new supplements, especially if you are pregnant, lactating, taking prescription medications, or are being treated for any medical condition.