Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian cooking. It is consumed fresh, powered, dried or in an oil form. Ginger is used in Ayurveda medicines to stimulate appetite, to prevent nausea and vomiting, as a cure for skin diseases and to alleviate joint pains. The active components in the spice are called gingerols and there are at least 14 bioactive compounds present in ginger, writes Dr. Raghavendra Rao. – #Ginger #RaghavendraRao #community @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #health #IsGingerGoodforYou

In lay literature many benefits are claimed for ginger. Are they true? Is there scientific evidence for these claims?

Ginger for Nausea, Vomiting and Motion Sickness

In one study, thirty-six motion sickness-susceptible people were given ginger, and after 20 minutes were spun in a motorized chair for six minutes. Ginger consumption delayed the onset of motion sickness when compared to people who took a placebo. In a Danish study on 80 naval cadets prone to seasickness, ginger was effective in preventing their signs and symptoms. Ginger induces rapid stomach clearance of its contents and thus alleviates seasickness symptoms. A low dose of ginger thus helps for nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy and pregnancy. In such situations when ginger was used, there was less need for antiemetic medications.

Ginger as an Antioxidant

Ginger is full of antioxidants. In animal experiments ginger extracts reduced liver and kidney damage occurring due to loss of blood supply to these organs. I could not find large human studies. In a small study by Alizadeh and others, ginger powder lowered the blood triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL levels in humans.

Ginger for Muscle Pain

Ginger alleviates exercise induced muscle pain. In a small controlled study on human volunteers, Black and others showed that exercise induced pain diminished after taking raw and heat-treated ginger (Journal Pain, 2010.) Researchers speculate this effect is due to the anti-inflammatory property of ginger. Ginger alleviates the joint pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well. Black and Oconnor, in a double blind study in humans, showed that ginger capsules were as effective as Ibuprofen in reducing menstrual cramps.

Ginger and Cancer

In a test tube, ginger extract inhibited proliferation of breast cancer cells leading to their destruction. Ginger and green tea polyphenols, which are antioxidants, inhibited the growth of human lung cancer cell lines (H460 type) in test tubes. There are no human studies. (Pub Med.)

Potential health risks of ginger are minimal. In some it aggravated acid reflux causing chest pain. When pregnant, consult your obstetrician before taking ginger.

Aromatic and spicy, ginger adds zest to foods. Use it gingerly to savor its flavor.