While many people enjoy the wonderful taste of ginger, its health benefits are simply staggering. Historically this herb has been used for the relief of nausea or morning sickness, but you may be surprised to learn that ginger has been used to treat arthritis, heart conditions, and pain relief, and that ginger has the ability to combat a variety of cancer cell types.

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Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a flowering plant that originated in China and is also related to turmeric and cardamom.  This versatile root is used as a spice, preservative, and tea, as well as for medicinal purposes. Ginger is packed full of nutrients and bioactive compounds that offer tremendous benefits to your body. While the list below is not all inclusive it does provide some highlights.

The Benefits Of Ginger

Antibiotic – The effects of ginger and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus and S. pyreus infections show that ginger extract may be superior. (source)

Anti-Fungal – Ginger has prominent anti-fungal properties against a wide range of fungi. (source)

Cancer – Several studies have shown the ability of ginger to defeat numerous types of cancer cells, including breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and skin cancer. (source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source)

Diabetes Prevention – Studies show that diabetes can be prevented and treated along with lowering blood sugar levels. (source)

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Gastric Distress – Ginger inhibits H. pylori, which helps prevent ulcers. (source)

Inflammation – Inflammation goes hand in hand with many chronic conditions. Ginger inhibits nitrous oxide production and inflammatory cytokines. It is very effective in dealing with arthritis and other general inflammatory illnesses. (source)

Menstrual Pain – A double blind study showed powdered ginger capsules to be as effective in treating menstrual pain as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and placebos. (source)

Nausea – Ginger’s ability to relieve nausea has long been known. It is useful for morning sickness, sea sickness, and nausea of all sorts. (source, source)

Periodontal – Ginger has wonderful antibacterial effects on periodontal disease. (source)

Toxicity – Ginger helps prevent the toxic effects of numerous substances including MSG, pesticides, and cancer drugs.  (source, source)

Possible Interactions

Ginger does have a few negative side effects. Allergic reactions usually result in a rash, although some individuals experience heartburn, bloating, gas, burping, or nausea. These symptoms are more common when consuming ginger in a powdered form.

According to Drugs.com, ginger interacts with prescription drugs such as heart medication, diabetes medication, warfarin, aspirin, NSAIDs, and blood thinners.

Please discuss any concerns with your health care practitioner.

Two Simple Ginger Recipes

Ginger Honey Syrup

Ginger root

Peel a large piece of ginger, grate it and place in pan.
Pour in enough honey to cover the ginger.
Simmer 10-15 minutes, or until ginger is mushy, then allow to cool slightly. (You can strain the ginger out of the honey if you like. I leave mine with the honey.)
Pour into jar, label and date.
Refrigerate and it will last for several weeks.

Enjoy this in smoothies, milk, tea, on ice cream, pancakes, hot oatmeal, or on a fruit salad. You can also add 2-3 tablespoons to a cup of hot water for tea.

Ginger & Apple Juice

2 large Granny Smith apples
1 large cucumber
1 inch piece of ginger

Put all ingredients in your juicer. Juice and enjoy!

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