Ginger is not just a spice. It can actually be medicine.
Many Uses for Ginger
Ginger is the “rhizome of the ginger plant”, and it is found underground. It is well-known as a flavor in many dishes, including Asian meals, but it also has many health benefits. Ginger can alleviate gastrointestinal problems to reduce gas and relax the intestines. It also works as an antioxidant to inhibit inflammation. Ginger can be used to prevent motion sickness and seasickness, including symptoms of vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and cold sweats. In terms of its anti-inflammatory effects, gingerols can provide benefits to those with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. 6-gingerol inhibits nitric oxide production, and ginger also suppresses “pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines)”. Gingerols may also “inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells” and ovarian cancer cells. Ginger could boost the immune system by promoting “healthy sweating” for detoxification.1 This food has additionally been used to treat colic, menstrual pain, cough, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, low back pain chest pain, and stomach pain. Ginger comes in many forms, including oil, juice, powder, or fresh. It seems to be most effective for post-surgery nausea and vomiting, menstrual pain, arthritis, dizziness, and motion sickness.2
Migraines and Morning Sickness
Ginger can be very useful in treating some medical conditions, and it is considered safe for most people.3 Recently, ginger has been shown to be very effective in treating migraine headaches. Ginger “makes people feel 90 percent better within two hours of having a migraine”. It acts by decreasing blood vessel swelling, reducing the pressure put on the nerve. Fresh ginger, ginger candies, and ginger tea are all forms that were suggested for consumption, although it seems that ginger tea is most effective as it can “stave off a migraine”.4 News headlines have discussed Duchess Kate Middelton’s severe morning sickness, called “hyperemesis gravidarum”. In this situation, pregnant women could lose “more than 10 pounds due to extreme…nausea and vomiting”. This debilitating disorder is rare, but having it during one pregnancy makes it more likely to recur in later pregnancies. Before anti-nausea and antihistamine medications are prescribed, doctors often suggest ginger capsules.5 It is thought that ginger’s effectiveness for this condition is due to “its aromatic, carminative, and absorbent characteristics”, increasing motility in the GI tract and decreasing stimuli to the part of the brain that is the “emetic center”. Ginger might “block the GI responses and consequent nausea feedback”.6
Find out about chiropractic care and migraines.