Ginger is a common rhizome (continuous, horizontally growing root) that we are all mostly familiar with in one way or another. Whether it is your favorite part of sushi night, a key player in last week's stir fry, your favorite part of the pumpkin pie spice blend, or your chosen digestive tea... we have most likely all had our own experience with this pungent, warming rhizome.
Ginger grows naturally in tropical parts of Asia, mostly found throughout India, China, and Indonesia. It prefers a warmer and extremely humid climate. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family of plants, some plants you may recognize from that family are turmeric and cardamom. You can actually find all three of these herbal superstars in our Stay Golden Herbal Powder, if you'd like to give them a try.
Today, we are going to get into some of ginger's most sought after benefits... Let's dive in.
GINGER IS A POTENT ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Ginger contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, 2 of the most effective are called gingerol and zingerone. A PubMed study on 3 plants in the Zingiberaceae family explains, "Mechanisms of action include modulation of leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis, and inhibition of NF-κB." Meaning, these components of the ginger root are able to regulate the lipids and chemicals in our bodies that cause inflammation at the site of pain. **Queue sheer amazement 🤩**
Women's health practitioner and advocate, Aviva Romm, MD, says, "Ginger is shown to be as effective as NSAIDs for relieving pain and inflammation, the dose is 500-1000mg, 1-2 times daily." If you don't know the term, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are over the counter drugs like ibuprofen, advil aleve, etc.
In fact, ginger can be used at this dose, or even a bit higher to tame inflammation and pain caused by arthritis, muscle overuse, joint pain, tummy troubles (like IBS), post-surgery, and to all the ladies out there, it works superbly to reduce pain caused by periods.
GINGER IS THE ULTIMATE WARMING DIGESTIVE
Ginger, as you may know from personal experience, gets us SALIVATING! It is known to start the digestive process through smell and taste, from there it upregulates the secretion of digestive acids and even promotes bile production. It also helps to decrease intestinal gas and bloating and support the overall digestive process. All this wonderful support from a root that tastes good, too? Mother Nature is spoiling us <3
GINGER IS A CIRCULATORY STIMULANT
Ginger has been used in traditional medicines across the globe for centuries. One of its main uses being a strong, warming stimulant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used for weak pulse and ailments caused by cold, damp weather. In Ayurveda, it is used for heart disease to reduce clotting in the arteries. In Western tradition, it was used to break up congestion and is currently used as a circulatory enhancement in many herbal formulas. Donald Yance, CN, MH, RH (AHG) says ginger, "Significantly reduces serum and hepatic cholesterol levels and possesses potent cardiotonic activity. It is a well known synergistic herb that potentiates, harmonizes, and improves the deep circulation of other herbs."
GINGER KICKS NAUSEA TO THE CURB
Ginger has long been used for its anti-emetic properties and for its effectiveness in reducing the feeling of nausea and actual vomiting when it comes to motion sickness, morning sickness, and post-chemotherapy stomach upset. The chemical components that act specifically for the anti-emetic effects of ginger are the gingerols and shogaols. Effective doses vary and it is recommended to play with the dose after discussing using ginger for these reasons with your healthcare practitioner.
GINGER ROOTS FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Ginger is BIG on the immune game, it is best to use its fresh root & fresh root juice to achieve optimal benefits from what it has to offer. It is great to boost overall immunity from a systemic level because, initially it works on the gut to cultivate a healthy climate for healthy bacteria to thrive in. Besides that, ginger is fantastic for breaking up mucus and phlegm, in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used to "dissolve phlegm" and warms the lungs. In fact, Stephen Harrod Buhner (author of Herbal Antivirals) says he makes a ginger concoction (see below for recipe) at the onsite of a sore throat, drinks it throughout a couple days and the infection will end within just a few days. He also mentions that if it doesn't get rid of it entirely, it will at least protect the mucous membranes from potential damage.
STEPHEN HARROD BUHNER'S FRESH GINGER JUICE TEA
- Juice 2 lbs of ginger root. Squeeze pulp to get all the juice.
- Pour 3-4 oz of the fresh juice into a cup along with the juice of 1/4 lime, a large tbsp of raw, local honey, 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper and 6 oz of hot water.
- Keep extra ginger juice in the fridge and make this drink 4-6 times throughout the day for 3 days straight.
- Feel better.
So spicing up your life with a little bit of ginger may be a really good idea for, well, just about every aspect of your health. Give it a try in our Stay Golden Herbal Powder and see all the wonders for yourself. If you are feeling like going all out, we dare you to make our Golden Ginger Molasses Cookie recipe and try to understand how they are so delicious and so healthy at the same time.
I hope you enjoy this read! Please share your favorite gingery recipe or any other comments in the space below!
Sending BIG love,