Once a time existed when ginger ale actually boasted ginger extract. Alas, those times are long-gone. All ginger ales shamefully feature high fructose corn syrup and chemicals that mimic the essence of ginger. Do not fear, Naturopathic Earth Citizen, the ginger in your pantry may be used in myriad of ways. Before we cover the health benefits of ginger, let’s get to know our “smelly friend.”
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) originally grew in India, but is now cultivated throughout much of the equatorial world. The ancient Indians have implemented ginger in their Ayurvedic medicine for centuries in a variety of ways. It is perhaps best known for its pungent warm odor. Later it was used by the Ancient Greeks & Romans as a digestive aid after consuming a heavy meal, hence the origin of ginger ale and even gingerbread!
(Read our articles on the natural remedies for UTIs and Ear Infections.}
Health Benefits of Ginger
So let’s cover some of the health benefits of ginger. The ones in purple are ginger’s most purported benefits.
- Fights against indigestion.
- Similarly used for excess vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea.
- Soothes for travel & motion sickness.
- Improves poor circulation.
- Alleviates morning sickness & nausea of pregnant women.
- Soothes menstrual cramping (place a few drops of ginger essential oil behind the ear).
- Alleviates food poisoning.
- Prevents colon cancer.
- Soothes arthritis.
- Alleviate cough, colds and the flu.
- Returns your voice when stricken with laryngitis.
- Alleviates throat infections (see gargle instructions below).
- Alleviates hemorrhoids.
- Remedies mental confusion, improves cognition & memory.
- Assists with fatigue and mental exhaustion.
- Strengthens the immune system by slowing the depletion of glutathione, the “Big Pappy” of antioxidants.
Uses of ginger
- The root of a ginger may be eaten fresh, dried, or as a powder.
- Drink as a tea.
- Essential Oil
Essential Oil Usage
- When used as an essential oil, apply on area of affected pain. (The doTerra ginger oil is excellent and well-recommended.)
- If applied on abdomen it soothes indigestion.
- If applied behind the ears, it is great for motion sickness.
- For a great gargle, use 2 drops of ginger oil to 1 teaspoon of vodka (or hard liquor) and dilute with hot water.
I put a piece of it in my smoothies, but beware if you put too much it since it will overpower your fruits. I also drink ginger tea. If you plan to make gingerbread cookies, similar to ginger ale, make sure you use actual ginger and not the packaged gingerbread cookie mix, which won’t possess any ginger.
Returning to menstrual cramping. Ginger in large doses has been known to kickstart a woman’s period since it stimulates uterine contractions. As such pregnant women with a history of miscarrying should be careful.
Now that you know the health benefits of ginger, find ways to implement it. As previously mentioned it is an incredible anti-oxidant. So the more foods we can consume that fight against free radical damage, inflammation, and cancer the happier our body will be!
Read our other articles on the health benefits of cinnamon, licorice, and garlic.
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