Ginger is a tropical plant that has green violet flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called the rhizome). Ginger spices are made from ginger root and have been used as a flavor or aroma in foods, beverages, soaps and cosmetics for over 2500 years.
There are ancient Chinese, Greek, Roman and Arabic texts on the use of ginger is for health-related purposes. In Asian medicine, ginger is dried and has been used for thousands of years to treat stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
Nowadays ginger is used as a dietary supplement for postoperative nausea, motion sickness, chemo therapy, pregnancy and arthritis. Common forms of ginger contains fresh or dried roots, tablets, capsules, liquid spray and tea.
Medical Benefits of Ginger
If we are to talk about the properties of ginger, ginger is mainly used to treat nausea, stomach upset and other stomach problems. Ginger reduces nausea by having a direct effect on the stomach and not on the central nervous system. There are conflicting reports about whether ginger speeds up gastric emptying or increases the rest of the gastrointestinal tract.
Ginger is used to treat pregnancy nausea and mild infections of the gastrointestinal. Also ginger reduces nausea, dizziness, postoperative nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Research shows ginger contains shogaol and gomgerol both help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Unproven claims about ginger properties
Ginger may have properties that have not yet been proven by scientific studies. Ginger may be used as an anti inflammatory substance that may help treat arthritis. It may also reduce arthritis pain. The mechanism of action of ginger is probably through its influence on how prostaglandins and leukotrienes are made. These are two types of natural chemicals that cause inflammation. Ginger has also been studied and may be an anti-cancer drug preventing or creating cancer cells
Different forms of ginger available in the market
Ginger is available as edible pills, crystals and powders. Also, it is available in the form of tea, dried or fresh roots.
Side Effects of Ginger
It is believed that if ginger is used as a spice, it is then safe to use. In some people, ginger can have mild side effects such as discomfort, abdominal pain, heartburn, diarrhea and bloating. Scientific research does not confirm ginger interactions with drugs, but there are some concerns its mixing with anticoagulants like Warfarin with the trade name of Coumadin.
Available scientific evidence suggests ginger is known as a safe and effective treatment for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting, however, to be precise information about maximum safe dose of ginger, duration of use, consequences, side effects of overdose and the potential drug interactions of this plant are not available. Pregnant or lactating women before taking any herbal medicine, including ginger, should consult with a doctor.