Ginger has been used in China for over 2,000 years to help with nausea, upset stomach, digestion, diarrhea and an assortment of other ailments. Ginger was once so sought after that a pound of ginger root was once worth an entire sheep! It’s a spicy, pungent, and aromatic root that adds a special flavor to any meal of the day while providing you with all of its health benefits.
Ginger contains gingerols, which are very potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Ginger when consumed regularly has helped patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis gain more mobility as well as reduce their pain.
A study published in the November 2003 issue of Life Sciences suggests that at least one reason for ginger’s beneficial effects is the free radical protection by one of its active phenolic constituents, 6-gingerol. In this study, 6-gingerol was shown to significantly inhibit the production of nitric oxide, a highly reactive nitrogen molecule that quickly forms a very damaging free radical called peroxynitrite.
Ginger can help promote a healthy sweat. This is often helpful if you have a cold or the flu because sweat contains a potent germ fighting agent called, dermicidin, that can help fight off infections. Dermicidin is manufactured by the body’s sweat glands and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms.
How to enjoy Ginger
- Put a peeled, 1/4 inch piece of ginger, in a cup with 8 oz of hot water
- Add grated ginger to your sautéed vegetables
- Make lemonade with freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, and honey
Whenever possible purchase fresh organic ginger over dried because raw ginger contains higher levels of gingerol, which help reduce inflammation. You can store ginger in your fridge for up to three weeks or in your freezer, unpeeled, for up to six months.
Here is a great website if you would like to grow your own ginger root at home.