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Ginger, whose botanical name is Zingiber officinale, is a perennial plant with long green leaves that can grow up to one meter high. The root and stem of these plants is a rhizome that is very appreciated as a cooking spice, because of its spicy taste and its unmistakable aroma. The root of the ginger plants have been used for thousands of years by traditional Chinese and Indian culture as a condiment for cooking, and as one of the best remedies for health, as it fights multiple diseases.
In the sixteenth century, the Spanish colonisers introduced it throughout Europe and, over time, it has become one of the most popular and appreciated spices.
However, much remains to be learnt about its many health benefits and its healing properties. Ginger has bioactive agents that help treat many ailments and diseases.
How are these effects achieved?
Due to the main ingredients of the tubercle, among them gingerol, shogaol, oleoresin, essential oils, such as zingiberol and zingiberene, resin acids, essential minerals and vitamin C.
Using ginger as a spice, how to use in cooking
Ginger is a very versatile spice that allows multiple uses: fresh, in powder, marinaded, pickled, as confit, dried, as oil. In the kitchen, we mainly use fresh or powder ginger to season food.
For thousands of years it has been used in East Asia as a condiment.
Fresh grated or chopped ginger is often used as a seasoning for many foods: soups, chicken, lamb, seafood, salads and vegetables, adding an aromatic and slightly spicy flavour.
It also gives a special touch to spicy sauces, jams, fruit compotes, marinaded or pickled food and can be used ground to make gingerbread.
In Japan, pickled ginger is often served along with sushi, and in the UK it is used to make beer and ginger tea.
Mixing it with curry, it becomes a very interesting combination. In India they usually take a few slices of fresh ginger with boiled water, considered to be the perfect drink for the body.
To this infusion we can add a little honey to strengthen the metabolism.
Both in China and in India the root of the ginger plant is considered to be an aphrodisiac and a very versatile spice, and is used, above all, for dressing fish.
Benefits and properties of ginger, how to use for our health
Clinical studies have confirmed what Asians have known for thousands of years: Ginger has many healing properties for health.
Among these benefits it is worth mentioning that it stimulates all organs, revitalises and relaxes muscles, has antiviral and antibacterial properties, promotes circulation and prevents blood clotting. It is one of the best remedies to prevent and cure headaches, colds, chills, coughs and catarrhs.
Among the benefits of this tubercle the one that stand out above all is its ability to cure problems of indigestions, inflammation of the stomach, constipation, nausea and vomiting.
Recent research has shown that ginger ingredients also help reduce nausea during chemotherapy.
Moreover, ginger powder, has proven to be particularly effective in relieving pain and reducing inflammation, even in cases of rheumatism, arthritis, migraine, tension and cramps.
In addition, the properties of ginger for reducing dizziness during travel, have long been known.
Another of the properties of ginger plants is its known use to detoxify the body and promote weight loss when following a thinning diet.
Taken on an empty stomach, ginger is a powerful revitaliser that helps fight chronic fatigue, exhaustion and stress.
For several years, ginger has been used in veterinary medicine, and is applied especially to horses to cure inflammation and arthritis because of its gingerol and shogaol ingredients, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger for curing colds and flu
Ginger strengthens the immune system and has a preventive effect against colds and flu.
In cases where the illness has already started, it helps to accelerate healing and alleviate symptoms.
It has an antipyretic and diaphoresis action. In addition, the active ingredients of this tubercle increase blood circulation, avoiding chills and contributing to keeping hands and feet warm.
The recommended way to fight colds and flu is to infuse water with ginger, tablets, capsules or pure fresh ginger.
To combat colds the best option is an infusion of freshly grated ginger (about 1g) and a bit of lemon juice. It can also be eaten with soup or hot chicken consomme seasoned with freshly grated ginger.
Another way is to take a supplement of ginger extract in the form of capsules, tablets or powder.
Ginger fights nausea and dizziness during travel
The ingredients in ginger reduce nausea and vomiting.
Its effectiveness is particularly important in patients undergoing chemo, lowering their nausea sensation when they take ginger.
It can be consumed in tablets, capsules, in the form of drops, in infusion, or even chewing fresh ginger. However, it should be noted that when nausea and vomiting are produced by a virus, such as a virus Gastrointestinal, the plant is not suitable to cure it.
Another ginger benefit is that it is one of the best natural remedies to prevent dizziness while travel, so much so that the first navigators were always provided with ginger to prevent dizziness.
Ginger heals and reduces general pain and that derived from arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatism
Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the excellent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger, to the extent that their effects are similar to anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac.
The advantage of ginger is that it is a natural product and has no side effects. The active ingredients of ginger are similar to those of acetylsalicylic acid, characteristic of aspirin.
For that reason, a ginger supplement fights headaches and migraines. A clinical study scientifically demonstrated that people suffering from osteoarthritis can reduce pain with a daily intake of 30 to 500 milligrams of ginger.
Ginger is effective in reducing muscle pain, arthritis and rheumatism. To cure headache or migraine, take 1 cm of ginger, cut into small pieces mixed with half a litre of water, juice or tea, throughout the day. You can also take ginger tablets, capsules, oils or just chew a fresh piece of ginger root, depending on your personal preferences.
Ginger relieves menstrual pain
Ginger is a natural remedy recommended to relieve the pain of menstruation. It can be taken as infusion, capsules, pills, oils, or by chewing a fresh piece of the root.
Ginger essential oil is especially indicated to control pain. To do this, simply squeeze the ginger until you get a few drops and mix 1 part ginger with 5 parts of sesame oil. With this mixture a gentle massage is performed on the part of the body that suffers pain.
Ginger fights coughs and chronic bronchitis
Another health benefit of ginger is its use to prevent and treat respiratory diseases.
The tubercle has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can cure a chronic cough and bronchitis and also has essential oils with antispasmodic effects that combat cough and mucus. To combat cough or bronchitis it is recommended to take an infusion of ginger, or inhale the steam from a mix containing fresh ginger root with a towel over your head.
Another simple remedy can be the following: Dilute two teaspoons of ginger powder in 500 ml of hot water (about 75 °C) and let it soak. A cloth is then soaked in this mixture and placed on the chest, back or the affected body area for 30 minutes.
The use of ginger in pregnancy
A ginger supplement helps fight the nausea and vomiting that is typical of pregnancy.
However, the tubercle should be taken sparingly, because too much can cause contractions.
It is best, if pregnant, to consult with the doctor before taking it.
Ginger relieves gastrointestinal discomfort
The gingerol that is contained in ginger inhibits the growth of the gastric mucosa bacteria Helicobacter pylori, producing a positive effect for the treatment of stomach problems.
Ginger also increases gastric secretion and intestinal peristalsis, resulting in improved digestion and blood circulation. The spicy root of ginger does not irritate the mucous membranes; it protects the stomach and prevents the onset of intestinal diseases.
A ginger infusion is best suited to protect the stomach because it heats the body from the inside and also hydrates it.
Ginger helps to lose weight and detoxify the body
Ginger mixed with water, infused, is the perfect ally in any slimming diet.
Ginger increases metabolism and blood flow and, therefore, provides heat to the body, which stimulates and encourages the elimination of large amounts of calories, fats and toxins in a more quick and totally natural way. This tubercle helps eliminate the effects of substances such as alcohol faster.
Ginger infusion is used when following a slimming diet and when you want to purify your body. It is always advisable, in addition to ingesting the tubercle, to follow a healthy diet that incorporates all the essential nutrients.
Ginger and type 2 diabetes
According to a study performed by researchers at the University of Medical Sciences in Tabriz, Iran and published in the journal "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition", ginger can increase insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
In the 2-month study, 64 people with type 2 diabetes randomly took either a placebo or 2 grams of ginger a day.
At the end of the study, researchers observed that people who took ginger had lower insulin resistance and significantly lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Another study conducted by the University of Sydney in 2012 determined that ginger extract can help increase the absorption of glucose in cells even independently of insulin.
The researchers noted that the substances responsible for this ability of ginger are a type of phenols called gingerols.
Gingerols appear to elevate the distribution of a protein known as GLUT4 that makes it easier for muscles to absorb more glucose.
A GLUT4 deficiency is one of the major reasons for insulin insensitivity and elevated blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
According to another study by the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2011, it showed that ginger can block the effect of alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase enzymes that may contribute to diabetes and also the inflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase. Inflammation is closely related to a large number of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Another study, from 2009, published in the journal "European Journal of Pharmacology" found that ginger extract lowers blood insulin levels by about 10% and blood sugar levels by about 35%.
Ginger for improving testosterone levels
Recent studies support the use of ginger with an increase in testosterone, and even an improvement in fertility in young infertile men by 17% in 3 months since ginger to promote an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating (FSH) and testosterone (T).
In a study carried out by researchers from Tikrit University a statistically significant increase in serum hormones (p <0.01) in infertile men was shown.
After 30 weeks of treatment, serum testosterone had increased by 17.7%, serum luteinizing hormone by 43.2% and follicle-stimulating hormone by 17.6%. However, the dose of ginger used was not disclosed.
It is suggested that the improvement of testosterone production is due to the fact that ginger has been shown to be effective in decreasing DNA fragmentation index (DFI) in sperm. DFI is negatively correlated with testosterone levels.
How can we ingest ginger?
There are many ways we can incorporate ginger into our daily diet
- Natural and fresh ginger root: You can chew or grate a small part and use it to season food
- Ginger Infusion: Recommended for general pain relief and to relieve stomach and intestinal problems
- Infusion of ginger and sage: Recommended to detoxify the body and to lose weight.
- Ginger and lemon infusion: Recommended to revitalise the body and treat digestive or cold problems.
- Ginger capsules: Ginger capsules are very practical, as they can be carried in a pocket and taken at any time. In addition, they are very effective in avoiding travel dizziness. Each capsule contains 250 mg of ginger powder and prevents dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
- Ginger capsules combined with vitamin B1 and C: This product is intended to be used as a nutritional supplement to provide the body with the benefits of ginger, plus those contained in vitamins B1 and vitamin C. Recommended for a healthy metabolism and digestion.
- Ginger tablets: Especially suitable for people who have digestive problems. It provides the body with benefits for optimal digestive function and maintains the immune system stable.
- Ginger essential oil: Used to massage the body in areas where it feels pain, to add it to a relaxing bath and to use as an incense burner. Promotes blood circulation, relaxes and relieves discomfort caused by arthritis, rheumatism, joints and muscle spasms. It stimulates the blood flow of muscles and metabolism. It helps break down lactic acid in muscle tissue and, therefore, relieves muscle pain. For this reason, it is recommended to relieve muscle tension or massage before or after sports. This essential oil also favours skin care and relaxes the body after fatigue, tension, stress or an excessive effort.
- Ginger confectionery: Preserves the ingredients and health benefits typical of this tubercle and is delicious to add to all types of recipes or to make cookies.
- Ginger powder: During the drying process the benefits of the gingerols in ginger are stimulated, so it has anticancer properties, more potent than ginger in other types of formats. Another of the properties of dried or ginger powder is that it stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, facilitates digestion, stimulates metabolism and ensures increased blood flow. These effects help prevent dangerous deposits in the blood vessels and avoid the risk of thrombosis or strokes.
- Ginger gummies with lemon: A lovely combination of spicy ginger and sour lemon. Although it has the disadvantage of carrying sugar, it is still a healthy snack, perfect to enjoy its delicious flavour at any time. The daily intake of ginger, in each of the indicated formats, should never exceed that recommended in the indications that appear in each product. Keep in mind, too, that food supplements should not be used as substitutes for a balanced diet, but should be combined with healthy eating.
Who can take a Ginger supplements?
- People looking to keep their glucose levels within the normal parameters.
- People with pre-diabetes, diabetes, overweight or obesity who are prone to suffer from insulin resistance.
- People seeking to promote their digestive health or as a natural alternative to alleviate minor digestive problems (burning, indigestion...)
- As a natural remedy against the common cold as ginger has mucolytic properties.
- As a remedy for nausea and vomiting.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it is a great ally for people with joint discomfort.
- Men looking to raise their testosterone levels through a natural supplement.
Buy ginger supplements
On our online shop HSNstore you can buy a dietary supplement of ginger to help regulate your blood sugar levels, favour digestive processes, as analgesic and natural anti-inflammatory or as a remedy against a cold or cough.