By Doctor Paul Calladine (Chiro)
Is ginger really that good for your health?
Many natural spices and botanicals contains powerful bioactive compounds that may benefit human health in some way. Ginger is one of the many spices that have been dubbed a 'superfood'. Can ginger live up to the claims made about it as a 'miracle' cure or is it simply a humble flavouring used in many popular recipes?
This blog post discusses some of the proven health benefits associated with ginger and the conditions it may help treat. Care should be exercised, however, not to mix ginger with certain prescription medications as the interaction can produce unintended side effects. Read on to learn how ginger may help you. If you like this post, please share with friends and family.
What is ginger?
You're probably most familiar with ginger root - readily available from most super markets. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is in the same family as the popular spice turmeric and cardamon.
Growing approximately to one meter, ginger is a flowering plant having its main feature - the ginger rhizome - underground.
An ancient remedy
Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years and has a long history for use in treating conditions such as nausea, motion sickness, indigestion and pain. The Indians and ancient Chinese used ginger to cure many common ailments. Considered a luxury over 5,000 years ago, ginger is now widely cultivated throughout Asia and many other parts of the world. Of the many claims made about the health benefits of ginger, which ones are actually supported by science?
Ginger and digestion
- Eating fresh ginger stimulates the production of saliva, making swallowing food easier
- Many health practitioners recommend taking ginger to soothe mild stomach upsets and indigestion
Ginger and morning sickness
- Studies indicate ginger is effective in reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy by stimulating gastrointestinal tract motility and the flow of saliva.
- 70% of women treated with 250mg of powdered root ginger preferred the ginger compared to the placebo.
- A similar trial of 70 pregnant women treated with 250 mg of ginger (or a placebo) found that women in the treatment group had significant improvement in nausea symptoms.
Ginger and seasickness
- Ginger is effective in reducing symptoms of sea sickness. In a study of eighty naval cadets, unaccustomed to sailing in heavy seas, took 1 g of ginger or placebo. Ginger reduced vomiting and sweating significantly better than placebo. There where also fewer cases of nausea and vertigo.
Ginger and chemotherapy treatment
- Ginger is used to treat side effects of chemotherapy including nausea and pain.
Infographic: top 6 health benefits of ginger
If you like this Ginger Infographic, please feel free to use it on your own website. Simply reference www.chiropractordrummoyne.com.au or this page.
Warning: when to avoid taking ginger
Ginger can contribute to several unintended side effects when taking certain prescription medications. These are the main ones to look out for:
- Ginger and warfarin: both substances have blood thinning properties and together, may increase chances of bleeding or bruising.
- Ginger and Diabetes medications: both substances decrease blood sugar levels and their interaction together may cause your blood sugar level to drop too low.
- Ginger and Blood Pressure medication: if you're taking medication to lower blood pressure, avoid ginger. Ginger may reduce your blood pressure and in combination with this medication, might cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
It is advisable to speak with your local G.P. about possible interactions of certain medications with the food/supplements you take.
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About Dr Paul Calladine B.Sc.(Biol.), B.Sc.(Anat.), M.Chiro. (Gonstead Diplomate) and Lyons Road Family Chiropractic.
Lyons Road Family Chiro and Dr Paul (Chiro) have been serving the health care needs of Sydney's Inner West and Drummoyne communities for over 26 years. Paul is originally from Canada and has obtained high levels of tertiary qualifications from both Canada and Australia. Paul is a wealth of information on all things natural, on fitness, long term health, nutrition and of course, chiropractic.
- Portnoi G, Chng LA, Karimi-Tabesh L, et al. Prospective comparative study of the safety and effectiveness of ginger for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;189(5):1374-1377.
- Grontved A et al. Ginger Root Against Seasickness: A Controlled Trial on the Open Sea. Acta Oto-Laryngologica. Vol 105 1988.
- University of Maryland Medical Centre. Complimentary and alternative medicine guide: Ginger. 2016. Source: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/ginger