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5 Incredible & Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

By Holly / March 6, 2017

Do you have ginger in your fridge? Or maybe your spice cabinet? After reading this post, you might want to move it to your medicine cabinet.

Besides being a holiday spice you add to your pumpkin muffins or gingerbread cookies, ginger can soothe upset stomachs, make morning sickness vanish, provide relief for sea sickness, and studies show it relieves symptoms of arthritis and inflammation, too.

Ginger is more than a super food. It’s a super medicine too.  Here is a list of 5 uses for ginger that go beyond holiday baking.

Top Health Benefits Of Ginger

1. Cures Nausea & Morning Sickness

Getting ready to take a long flight? Or, going on a boat ride during high tide? Have some ginger snaps first!

From your everyday upset stomach to motion sickness and morning sickness, there are very few varieties of nausea that ginger cannot resolve.

In fact, the scientific journal Lancet conducted a study in the 1980’s on 35 people who were highly susceptible to motion sickness. They had each subject take either two capsules of powdered ginger or two capsules of a placebo. After 20 minutes, they then spun each subject on a motorized chair for up to six minutes. The results?

The subjects who took the ginger supplement experienced almost twice as long of a delay in the onset of sickness. Also, all ginger-prescribed subjects lasted the full six months. None of the subjects in the placebo group, however, lasted the full time.

This is not the only study that links ginger and nausea relief. In fact, a review of 12 different studies conducted on pregnant women showed that 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger significantly reduce morning sickness symptoms.

So, these you have it. Long seen as a remedy against sea sickness and proven to effectively treat morning sickness, ginger is more than just a natural treatment for nausea – it has proven to be effective in medical form as well.  Some even believe ginger can relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery or chemotherapy treatments, although more research is being done on this idea.

While ginger is considered safe, you should always talk to your family doctor before taking large amounts, especially if you are pregnant.

2. Treats Osteoarthritis or Knee Inflammation

A University of Miami study from 2001  showed a direct link between ginger and the treatment of knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. What did they find? Just a little bit of ginger extract every day can actually replace the use of NSAIDs (or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Over 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were used in the study. Over 40% of patients given the extract (not the placebo) showed reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints.

“Ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level,” said Roy Altman, MD, the lead author of the study, from University of California, Los Angeles.

Why does ginger work this way? It includes natural anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, as well as analgesic properties. In other words, it both removes pain and the increased blood flow that causes pain around joints – a common health problem with a new, natural remedy.

3. Regulates Blood Sugar for Type 2 Diabetics

If it couldn’t get any better, ginger is also now thought to have powerful anti-diabetic properties, also this area of research is new. In 2015, a study by diabetes scientists in Tehran, Iran, concluded that just 2 grams of ginger powder each day can lower a diabetes patient’s blood sugar by as much as 12%!

The study also found that ginger improved the HbA1c levels of patients on the ginger powder, which means that their long-term blood sugar levels were also improved. Ginger alone led to a 10% blood sugar reduction for an incredible 12-week period. Also, the study also found ginger to reduce patients’ risk factors for heart disease – that’s a bonus effect we are excited to try ourselves!

However, while these results are impressive, the study is still very recent. More scientific tests must be done to confirm these specific effects.

4. Relieves Symptoms of Indigestion & Acid Reflux

Getting ready to eat a tasty fast food treat or greasier meal? Have a cup of ginger tea first. If taken before a meal, ginger has been proven to help you digest your food faster and relieve symptoms of acid reflux that often occur after eating greasier, fattier foods.

How does ginger achieve this effect? It contains  gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, that stimulate the production of saliva, bile and gastric juices that are all involved in the digestion process. In fact, a 2001 study showed that patients who ate ginger in their soup were able to digest their food 16 to 12 minutes faster than patients who ate soup without ginger. Many also believe ginger can also be used to support weight loss efforts,

How much ginger is enough to achieve this effect?  Well, another study conducted on 24 patients showed that just 1.2 grams of ginger is all you need to speed up your digestive juices and process food more quickly, avoiding pesky side effects of indigestion, such as acid reflux and stomach cramps.

5. Boosts Your Immune System

Not only can ginger help with everyday nausea, morning sickness, diabetes and indigestion; it can help keep you from getting sick in the first place! How? By helping you sweat. During a cold or flu, a good sweat helps detoxify your body and produce more germ-fighting agents produced by your sweat to fight off infection. This information was gathered and confirmed by a German research team, who also found that a specific gene, dermcidin, is responsible for this effect.

Produced in our sweat glands, dermcidin moves to the skin’s surface and provides protection against invading microorganisms, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, fungi and Candida albicans.

Because ginger is so concentrated, you don’t have to use a lot of it to stimulate your sweat glands. Just a cup of ginger tea made with two 1/2-inch slices of ginger in hot water will achieve the desired effect. Of course, you could add a 1/2-inch slice of fresh ginger to your stir fry or muffins too and also get the same result.

There’s a reason ginger plays a crucial role in Eastern medicine.

Its properties are complex and powerful, treating an array of temporary pains, discomforts and long-term ailments. Thankfully, the Western world is now experiencing many of the same benefits, and only time will tell how much more this wonderful, gingery spice can do!

About The Author:

Dr. William Newsome earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University at Bloomington and his doctorate of medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1995. He then moved to Florida and completed his residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando. He also served as a medical director for U.S. HealthWorks, the largest occupational medicine provider in the U.S.

After years of treating acute illness, often related to the effects of obesity, Dr. Newsome became fascinated with bariatric medicine, in particular medically-supervised weight loss. After undergoing further training in the management of obesity, he was successful in helping those around him to lose weight and decided to open his own weight loss clinic. Thus, Solutions Weight Loss was established in 2013.

About the author


Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!