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Ginger’s 5 Secret Superpowers

By Dr. Michael Richardson
Updated April 16, 2015

Thinking back on your childhood, you can almost certainly recall a time when Doctor Mom presented an ailing you with a glass of fizzy ginger ale.

This remedy has been around for centuries, and is so popular that its application spans the continents. You likely downed the drink, eager to do anything that would cure your “queasies.” And, it probably worked!

This is all thanks to the proven health benefits of ginger. While there was no research upon which to fall back on when parents first started foisting ginger ale or tea or even cookies at their sickly children, it turns out, the health benefits of ginger are both provable and far-reaching.

1. Tummy Tamer

The use of ginger as an aide to the digestive system dates back to the 19th century. The source of this root’s power to tame your tummy comes from the presence of carminative. This substance helps your digestive system deal with excessive gas and can calm general digestive tract inflammation.

Consuming ginger also promotes the release of the digestive enzymes necessary to effectively and comfortably breakdown food. If you seek to reap these benefits, try adding ginger directly into your food as heavily and often as you can comfortably tolerate.

2. Nausea Fixer

Whether you are suffering from nausea associated with pregnancy, motion sickness or a passing illness, ginger can help slow the waves of yucky feelings that have you sticking close to the commode.

Numerous studies have tied ginger to nausea reduction, reminds Linda B. White, MD for Everyday Health. Studies that directly compare it to other medicinal aides for nausea, including Dramamine, have found that it works as well as these manufactured drugs and with fewer side effects.

If you’re in the midst of a bout of nausea, sipping some tea or downing some ginger ale will give you your best chance at rapid relief. When selecting ginger ale, look for one that contains real ginger, not just ginger flavoring.

3. Inflammation Reducer

Many people who suffer from chronic inflammation swear by ginger as a gentle and natural remedy. The secret behind ginger’s anti-inflammatory benefits comes from the presence of gingerols in this root.

Because gingerols inhibit the inflammatory process, consuming ginger may prove beneficial to sufferers of conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. See if ginger provides you the relief you seek by drinking a ginger tea or snacking on crystalized ginger.

4. Immunity Booster

Some ginger devotes swear by this humble root’s immunity boosting powers. The Ayurveda system, a holistic health-promotion system that originates from India and dates back 5,000 years, includes ginger consumption as a key recommendation.

Modern-day proponents of this wellness approach argue that ginger helps breakdown toxins that accumulate naturally in the body and enable people to better rid themselves of these illness-producers.

Key to this belief is the idea that ginger helps clean the lymphatic system, the system through which all of the toxins in the body are removed. To benefit from the potential immunity boosting powers, Ayurveda believers recommend consumption ginger tea regularly, particularly during cold and flu season.

5. Cancer Fighter

Modern researchers have even linked ginger to cancer prevention and treatment benefits. A 2003 study by the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research indicated that gingerols might aid in inhibiting the growth of colorectal cancer cells. The validity of this research was backed up by independent research performed by the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute.

Pin It Similarly, promising research by University of Michigan researcher Dr. Rebecca Lui indicated that ginger might have a positive effect in suffers of ovarian cancer, as it may be able to kill the cancer cells themselves.

While this research is promising enough to have some slipping some ginger supplements into their daily routine, and who can blame them when doing so likely causes few if any ill-effects, more research is needed to prove a causal relationship and truly indicate whether ginger is as miraculous a compound as it may seem to be.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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