Medicinal Properties, Benefits and Uses of Ginger
Ginger is used in every household because it adds a unique flavour to the savoury and also has many medicinal properties. Ginger provides energy to the body, therefore, it is used in many other things along with dishes. For thousands of years, ginger has been used as a medicinal herb in the Unani and Siddha medicine of Ayurveda.
The name of ginger comes among one of the major herbs in relieving the problem of nausea, vomiting, gas and flatulence. Ginger tea is most preferred in India because it provides warmth and vigour to the body. Ginger is used as a major ingredient in many popular dishes to enhance flavour.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is the stem of a plant growing in the ground that smells good and survives for many years. Its plant is about 90–120 cm high and soft and the body is white or yellow in colour and brown on the surface. Every year new branches emerge from its rhizome. Ginger has stripes and is split into one or several parts along with being circular. Due to its medicinal properties, for many years, ginger has been used in medicine powder, decoction, etc.
Ayurvedic Importance of Ginger
Many medicinal properties of ginger have been reported in Ayurveda. It is very beneficial in loss of appetite, indigestion, vata-pitta dosha etc. Ginger is also beneficial in wounds, stones, fever, anaemia and urinary disease. The use of ginger is beneficial in diseases like the digestive system, inflammation, body pain, cold and cough. Not only this, in the diseases of heart disease, blood disorders, piles etc., the medicinal properties of ginger are also beneficial.
Benefits of Ginger
Helpful in relieving cough-
Ginger is a natural analgesic and pain reliever. Hence, it is used to soothe throat pain and irritation. It also helps in reducing cough, especially when its cause is the common cold. Ginger's intense heat function helps eliminate mucus from the lungs which are very helpful in relieving cough. To get relief from coughing, you can enjoy eating grated ginger or tea made from it. To reduce the coughing and boost the healing process, you can massage the chest and back with ginger oil.
Beneficial in nausea and vomiting-
Research has found that ginger has antiemetics (reducing the feeling of nausea and vomiting) effect due to which it can relieve nausea problems mainly after pregnancy and chemotherapy.
Effective in migraine-
Ginger has analgesic properties. These pain-relieving properties are helpful in the problem of migraine. Ginger juice works by controlling the acute pain of migraine and providing relief. Therefore, the consumption of ginger is beneficial for migraine sufferer.
Research by the University of Nebraska of the United States found that ginger has analgesic properties which have a wide impact on muscle pain caused by high tension in players. On the other hand, research conducted by the Shahid University of Tehran shows that ginger can control menstrual pain. Based on both these facts, it is said that the medicinal properties of ginger help in reducing the pain caused by muscle strain, tension and inflammation.
Strengthens the digestive system-
Ginger is helpful in relieving many problems like constipation, stomach pain, stomach cramps, torsion and gas. At the same time, it is also helpful in correcting the problem of indigestion. Therefore, ginger also works to relieve stomach related problems and strengthen the digestive system.
Ginger helps in lowering blood sugar levels in the body and may increase the effect of insulin and other drugs used for treatment. Therefore, to control blood sugar, experts suggest that one teaspoon of ginger juice should be drunk in a glass of warm water in the morning. With this, various health-related complications related to diabetes can be limited to a great extent with the help of ginger. Regular intake of ginger can also decrease the protein levels of urine. Additionally, it also reduces excess water intake and urine output. Thus ginger reduces various types of hazards due to uncontrolled blood sugar.
Reduce Arthritis pain-
Ginger has impressive anti-inflammatory properties which help treat pain related to gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. According to a 2001 study, ginger extract is highly effective in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. For this, mix the hot ginger paste with turmeric and apply it to the affected area twice a day. Also, include raw or cooked ginger in your diet. Additionally, to calm the aching muscles and joints, add a few drops of ginger essential oil to the bathwater.
To promote heart health-
High in potassium, ginger intake has long been used to promote heart health. It lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood pressure and helps prevent blood clotting which further helps reduce the risk of various heart diseases. The good amount of manganese present in ginger helps to protect the heart, blood vessels, and urinary passages. Therefore, to maintain good heart health, you must include this herb in your regular diet.
Uses of ginger
- Ginger is consumed mostly in tea.
- In some households, ginger is also used to add the tempering to the vegetable.
- Some people also like to eat ginger’s pickle.
- In the absence of ginger, its powder (dry ginger) is also used on a large scale.
Side effects of Ginger
- Excessive intake of ginger can cause diarrhoea, various stomach problems, burning sensation in the mouth and severe belching or nausea.
- Overconsumption of ginger can slow blood clotting and increase blood thinning.
- In some people, ginger can also cause severe allergic reactions such as difficulty in breathing, closure of the throat, swelling of lips and tongue, itching and rashes. Therefore, people who are allergic to ginger should avoid it.