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Ginger Root - Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

A plant originated in Southeast Asia, Ginger Root is commonly known as Ginger or Rhizome, which is a specific word used for the part of this plant underground.

This spice is often used as a spice and is a very favourite ingredient in numerous recipes. 

Ginger is used as fresh, dried, powdered, oil or juice in many recipes and medicinal products.

Ginger Root belongs to the Zingiberaceae family which is also related to many other spices such as turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.

Components and Major Properties of Ginger Root Plant:

Ginger is said to have many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When it is extracted from the plant, the ginger root contains the following components: 

The major volatile compounds of crude ginger extracts were zingiberene, AR-Curcumene, 1,8-cineole and zingerone. (ActAhort)

The aromatic constituents include zingiberene and bisabolene, while the non-volatile pungent constituents are known as gingerols and shogaols. (Researchgate)

Benefits of using Ginger Root:

  • All-Rounder Gingerols

Ginger Root is traditionally used to treat many diseases because of its main component called Gingerols. Its flavour and components occur from the natural oils obtained in the roots that are also from gingerols. (HealthLine

The main active compound of the ginger root, gingerols, is the main reason why there are so many medicinal benefits of ginger.

Gingerols have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antistress and antibacterial properties that can help fight chronic diseases and prevent oxidative damage in various body organs. 

  • Aids Digestion

Many people suffer from indigestion, gas, bloating and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Active components of Ginger Root can help aid digestion and reduce gas and bloating almost instantly. 

Ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are important for digestion. (Medical News Today)

In many cases, Ginger Root is shown to treat digestive tract disorders such as chronic constipation and helps in soothing bowel movements.

  • Treats Nausea & Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Ginger is commonly used as a morning sickness treatment during pregnancy. Women take Ginger juice or rub ginger oils to feel better. It instantly calms down the feeling and relaxes the gut also. 

Patients undergoing chemotherapy can have severe episodes of nausea as one of the side-effects of the therapy. Ginger is said to effectively treat gastrointestinal issues in cancer patients.

While travelling, people can feel nausea because of excessive movements, which is also known as motion sickness. Chewing a small piece of ginger or its lozenges can immediately make a difference.

  • Prevents Cancer

Ginger Root’s gingerols have lots of anti-cancer properties. These Gingerols can easily calm the inflammatory response of the cancer cells and prevent them from spreading.

The ginger root extract is especially famous for preventing cancer of the colon. A study proved how ginger was safe and effective for cancer patients. 

  • Reduces High LDL Cholesterol

When a person has high levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, he or she is bound to suffer from numerous cardiovascular problems. 

In a study conducted by NCBI, it was stated that the root of Ginger was more active in hypothyroidism rats than in diabetic rats in reducing LDL and TC. Glucose levels were substantially reduced in ginger- treated diabetic groups. (NCBI)

Consumption of raw ginger, ginger root extract, powder or its juice can reduce high cholesterol levels and prevent you from heart problems.

  • Reduces High Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar levels are very commonly seen amongst adults as well as teens these days. High blood sugar levels can often be treated by having the right amount of ginger. 

When a study was done comparing ginger’s effect to baseline, they found: Ginger supplementation significantly reduced the levels of FBS (p=0.000), HbA1c (p=0.000), Apo B (p=0.000), Apo B/Apo A-I (p=0.000) and MDA (p=0.001), as well as increased the level of Apo A-I (p=0.000) in the ginger group in comparison to the baseline.

Based on this study, many medicines have now included ginger root extract, even supplements have, as it is proven to be very effective in reducing high levels of fasting blood sugar.

  • Fights Cold, Flu & Cough

Ginger Root Extracts have been used in many herbal medicines for the treatment of cold and flu. Several doctors have studied the effects of fresh and powdered ginger root extract for cold, flu and cough.

It is advised to consume powdered ginger in herbal tea and chew or make juice of fresh ginger root to treat common cold and flu. Having herbal ginger root tonic can treat chronic cough as well.

  • Relieves Pain or Osteoarthritis

A study presented by Science direct stated that Ginger was modestly efficacious and reasonably safe for treatment of OA.

Studies state that ginger root can be mixed with many other anti-inflammatory herbs in order to treat joint pain, normal pain or osteoarthritis. Consuming ginger tea regularly may help preventing joint pain and muscular pain as well. It can also help relieve sinus or migraine pain. 

  • Reduces Chronic Inflammation

Gingerols in Ginger Root extract can not only reduce chronic inflammation but also cure many inflammatory diseases. It also helps reduce inflammation of the cells, muscles and tissues that can help cure many chronic diseases. It can be an indirect way for many chronic diseases’ treatment.

  • Cures Obesity

The phytochemical properties of ginger in gingerols can reduce inflammation of the cells. Since gingerols can effectively treat digestive and metabolic diseases, it is mainly used to accelerate the fat-burning mechanism and obese people.

A clinical study on functional foods reported how ginger can be one of those foods that can effectively treat obesity.

Having two cups of ginger tea can help accelerate fat-burning metabolism or you may also choose to consume ginger supplements.

  • Prevents Menstrual Pain and Illness

Supplementation of ginger or its gingerols is more effective than placebo and effectively effective as drugs in the treatment of menstrual cramps, pain and illnesses.

It is advised to chew raw ginger three days before menstruation to treat menstrual pain and cramps.

Side-Effects of Ginger Root Consumption:

Ginger Root consumption is usually considered to be extremely safe amongst various individuals. However, if you consume it in large quantities, it may have some adverse effects.

Drug interactions may have some minor side-effects too. It is said to interact with 73 different drugs so you should consult your doctor before consuming ginger supplements. Here are some of its side effects stated by rxlist.

  • You may experience minor bleeding.
  • There may be some abdominal discomfort in rare cases.
  • There may be cardiac problems.
  • In case of an overdose, there may be central nervous system depression.
  • When used on skin in an extreme amount, there may be dermatitis.
  • One may experience diarrhea, heartburn or oral irritation in rare cases.

Conclusion:

Since Ginger Root is natural and safe to consume, one may consume it regularly in the form of juice, powder, supplements or fresh ginger itself.

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