The Natural Benefits of Ginger

By , Robert S., SparkPeople Contributor

The next time you get an upset stomach, you might be relieved to know that you don't have to down spoonfuls of gross pink fluid or chew chalky tablets. In case of bellyache, stock your fridge with one thing: Ginger. Hundreds of years ago, people sailed all over the globe in search of this natural soother of upset bellies. Ginger has been proven to reduce nausea and vomiting, even in chemotherapy patients. But that's not the only reason you should start consuming more of this spice. 

Other common uses for ginger include the following:

  • Ginger can act as a stimulator for circulation by warming joints;
  • Ginger can help ward off causes for the common cold (which makes eating a ginger snap or two a day a welcome source of prevention);
  • Ginger can help reduce pain and inflammation, which makes dealing with arthritis, menstrual cramps, and even headaches easier.
  • There is evidence that ginger may be useful in preventing stomach ulcers. Using ginger may be especially useful for those whose ulcers have been caused by aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Ginger can help reduce gas and other stomach discomfort.
  • Ginger can counteract bacteria that may cause diarrhea. This includes Salmonella and other bacteria.

One of the best advantages about ginger is that there is a variety of ways to ingest it. A person can drink ginger tea, eat ginger soup, or buy it in the vitamin aisle in capsule form and swallow a capsule of up to 1000 milligrams every day. It is important that pregnant women, people undergoing chemotherapy, and other people with delicate situations or illnesses consult and inform their doctors before starting a regular regimen of ginger.

There are other uses for ginger that can help improve overall health, and make a sick person feel better sooner:

  • Ginger can be used as a way to build up an appetite.  When taken right before a meal, ginger has been shown to make many people interested in eating more. This can be useful for older folks who sometimes lose interest in eating as they age.
  • Ginger can help keep sinuses clear. Ginger keeps microcirculatory channels of the body clear, which can help prevent sinus problems.
  • Ginger can also reduce swelling in joints by acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. To take full advantage, ginger oil can be added to bath water.
  • People who get nauseous when they fly, or when they drive on curvy, hilly roads, may find it soothing to mix a little ginger with honey. 

Another benefit of ginger is that many people enjoy its taste (but the flavor is also easy to mask for those who do not enjoy it). Ginger pairs well with stronger foods like green chilies and chopped garlic, and it adds flavor to bland foods such as rice. Grated ginger can be added to vegetable juices and fruit juices, and there are several different teas with ginger as an additive for great flavor and healing properties.

Whether dealing with short-term discomfort, such as a minor bout of food poisoning, or recovering from chemotherapy, ginger can help you feel better in a snap!

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Awesome...thanks... Report
RO2BENT 12/28/2018
I’ve been eating it regularly for years but didn’t know about all this Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 12/28/2018
Tastes great and is good for you! Report
EVILCECIL 10/19/2018
Ginger is great. Report
DWROBERGE 10/19/2018
Who knew? Report
LOVE ginger. Put it in my coffee, chicken soup -- really any kind of soup. Delicious and so good for us! Oh yes, tea also. Report
Ginger is very good for you. Report
Ginger and Tumeric is good for a lot of things but, as I learned the hard way if your on blood thinners you have to be careful they effect warfarin ( Lasix) big time. Report
For the past week I have been having a huge cup of ginger steeped in a HUGE mug of boiling water and then add juice of a quarter Lemon. My pharmacist recommended ginger because of my skin allergies. No flu nor cold yet either Report
Interesting article
Very interesting! Report
I LOVE ginger! Ginger Ale, gin gin Ginger candies, and ginger tea. I am glad you can freeze it to have it on hand all the time Report
If 1 is a diabetic, can they use the ginger as a supplement? Report
I like Stash peach ginger tea and crystallize ginger. Report
Regardless of health benefits, a bit of ginger, sesame oil & garlic can do wonderful things for veggies, chicken and/or tofu! :-) Report
I love Reed's Crystallized Ginger Candy for when I'm feeling a little queasy from motion sickness or upset stomach. Works well for me!

Good to know! Report
I don't buy this thing about it being good for the stomach AT ALL. My mom used to try to force it on me (AS AN ADULT) after a meal all it did was give me a severe GUT ache when I knew I would NOT have had one. NO THANKS!!! Report
I am one of those people that all things ginger does NOT work for me. -- It actually makes me nauseous! -- I tried it the first time when pregnant and it CAUSED the thing I was trying to prevent.
Since then, if I can avoid anything with ginger in it, I'm much happier! Go figure!? Report
I love ginger....just had some last night. I swear by my ginger chews for an upset stomach. Just wish the article had more recipes. Report
I guess I need to start to use more ginger. I hope it will relieve some of my health issues noted that ginger helps. Report
Not sure about the makes you interested in food statement....geez, that part I don't need...LOL Report
One thing to note, is that ginger is heating and if your personality is of a 'hot' nature or your body tends to be hot, ginger will increase that likeness in you. Report
I use it with tea,in lots of different foods,because my meds. make me so sick sometimes,thanks for the info Report
A cup of ginger tea is just the thing for an upset stomach. I encourage my daughter to drink this for her morning sickness. Report
I loved the article and knew some of the benefits of ginger, so I usually have a ginger root around, or candied ginger & will munch on a piece of that if my stomach is yucky.

What I was hoping to find other ways to fix the ginger besides tea or soup. Report
I have used ginger root to make a tea for soothing sore throats. A little honey and lemon can be added to the tea, if desired. Have also successfully used it to ease motion sickness. Report