10 Amazing Uses for Ginger
Ginger’s ability to combat a variety of diseases and conditions is due in part to its impact on excessive inflammation, which is a significant underlying cause of many illnesses. Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to illness or injury, and its pain, redness, heat, and swelling are attempts to keep you from moving a damaged area while it is being repaired. Inflammation subsides as the body heals. However, in some conditions, including arthritis, diverticulosis, gallbladder inflammation, and heart disease, the inflammation does not go away. It becomes chronic and leads to many other problems. This is where the amazing uses of ginger comes in.
Ginger is particularly useful in treating chronic inflammation because it partially inhibits two important enzymes that play a role in inflammation gone awry — cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase (LOX).
While anti-inflammatory drugs block COX more strongly, they don’t affect LOX at all and therefore only address part of the problem. Even worse, anti-inflammatory drugs can cause side effects, such as ulcers, because they also block the beneficial effects that COX has on the digestive tract, including protecting the stomach.
Ginger does not cause stomach irritation; instead it helps protect and heal the gut. Ginger also treats a broader range of the inflammatory problem because it affects both the COX and the LOX enzymes. And because it doesn’t shut down the inflammatory process entirely, ginger may actually allow it to work properly and then turn itself off, the way it does with an injury (1).
So, what’s in ginger?
Vitamins B3, B6, C, E folic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, gingerol, phenols, volatile oil. Wow that’s on powerful root!
What do you use ginger for? Check out the top 10 uses for ginger:
1. Uses for Ginger- as an Immune Booster
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“Ginger is a natural immune booster and is considered to be a “hot spice”-meaning that, when ingested, it quickly has a warming effect on the human body. Ever heard that old saying “you have to sweat it out?” Well, this is where that saying comes from. Consuming ginger causes the body to sweat. The sweat glands produce a compound which, in turn, protects the skin from infection. Ginger also induces healthy sweating, which is extremely helpful once you are inflicted with a cold or the flu!
2. Uses for Ginger- as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Ginger has also been found to relieve arthritis-related joint pain. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory agents, which help reduce swelling around inflamed joints. Many people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis seem to greatly benefit from consuming ginger. (3)”
3. Uses for Ginger- Cold and Flu Prevention
“Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that to treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day.
4. Uses for Ginger- Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment. Ginger powder induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells.
- Strengthens Immunity. Ginger helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation
- Combats Morning Sickness. Ginger has demonstrated a success rate of 75 percent in curing morning sickness and stomach flu (4).”
5. Uses for Ginger- Nausea
“Ginger might help decrease nausea from chemotherapy, motion, pregnancy, and surgery. But data is mixed. It seems most effective for nausea related to pregnancy and surgery. Ginger works by inhibiting serotonin receptors, exerting anti-nausea effects at both the brain and gut level. It may also decrease the release of vasopressin, diminishing nausea related to motion.
6. Uses for Ginger- Digestion
Ginger has been valued as a digestive aid since the Middle Ages. Ginger can calm over-active stomach contractions, allowing stomach contents to enter the intestines (this may also help to decrease heartburn). It also contains an enzyme called zingibain that may assist in protein digestion.
7. Uses for Ginger- Blood pressure & asthma
Animal studies have shown that ginger might help to control high blood pressure. It’s thought that ginger may act (in a much weaker way) similarly to calcium channel blockers. Over several months, ginger may promote smooth muscle relaxation and more elastic blood vessels. Smooth muscle relaxation might also be a benefit to asthmatics. Note: these effects are based on theory and rat studies so far.
8. Uses for Ginger- Cholesterol
In rodents, ginger can help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL – at levels similar to conventional lipid lowering drugs. It may also decrease the liver’s production of cholesterol and increase cholesterol excretion (via bile/fecal excretion). Human trials have yet to show benefits.
9. Uses for Ginger- Cancer
Population based studies show that those living in Southeast Asian countries have a lower incidence of cancers than folks in the Western world. It’s thought that some of the plants they consume have anti-cancer properties; ginger might be one of them.
Tumor promotion is linked with inflammation and oxidative stress. Thus, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of ginger could play a role in cancer prevention. Further, ginger might activate a tumor suppressor gene and down regulate a gene that plays a role in metastasis.
However, anti-cancer data on ginger has only been demonstrated in test tubes and animals so far. (5)”
10. Uses for Ginger- Helps Manage Glucose Levels
Research out of Australia suggests that ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is important because these levels have a direct impact on weight loss and weight gain, as well as how energetic or lethargic you feel throughout the day. If you’ve noticed that you get a midday crash it’s likely due to your blood sugar levels, and adding ginger to your lunch might help you stay focused and on task. An all-natural alternative to products like 5 Hour “Energy”.
Top 4 ways to incorporate ginger into your daily diet:
1) JUICED – Juice it along with vegetables or fruit to give your juice or smoothie a healthy (and spicy!) kick.
2) GINGER SHOT – juice half an apple and a piece of ginger and taken as a shot in the morning. This will really tickle your tonsils and clear your sinuses!
3) TEA – Grated or crushed in hot water and used as a tea. Add a couple of slices of lemon and a teaspoon of manuka honey for a potent cold remedy
4) COOKED – Grate or chopped into stir fries or salads” 2)
Do you know how to peel ginger? Check out this video:
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