By Blessing Amadi
Ginger is a plant with leafy stems and yellowish green flowers. It common in warmer parts of Asia, such as China, Japan, and India, but now is grown in parts of South American, Africa and the Middle East. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.
Ginger is commonly used to treat various “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, includimg those caused by cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS treatment and surgery.
Ginger is also benefitial for the following:
Reducing muscle pain and soreness
Ginger is effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. In one study, consuming 2 grammes of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.
The anti-inflammatory effects can help with osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to joint pain and stiffness. In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication.
Drastically lowers blood sugar and improves heart disease risk
This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties. In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grammes of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12 per cent.
Helps treat chronic indigestion
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterised by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been proved to speed up emptying of the stomach.
Ginger powder helps in reducing menstrual pain
Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.