Ginger is probably one of the most widely used culinary spices in the world.
It brings life to so many dishes, adding just the right amount of “zing” and taste to appease even the pickiest of eaters.
But did you know that ginger has also been used for more than 2,000 years as a powerful medicinal by a variety of different cultures all across the world?
It’s used as a staple in both the kitchen and the medicine cabinet in India, the Middle East, Africa, as well as the Caribbean, just to name a few regions.
Amazingly, ginger has been shown in studies to be more effective against bacterial staph infections than antibiotics.
It can stop and kill cancer cells dead in their tracks! It is also one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory available—it can even reduce brain inflammations.
It is a renowned digestive wonder, curing such issues as ulcerative colitis and acid reflux. And now, we even know that ginger can relieve the effects of gamma radiation! That’s a whole lot of healing for one little herb.
Ginger, known biologically as Zingiber officinale Roscoe, is a flowering plant related to turmeric and cardamom.
The rhizome, the root-like stem that grows underground is what is used as both a spice and as a medicinal.
It is a rich source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones, and many others. In general, ginger is known to have broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties.
But what we also know from the countless studies done on this miraculous plant, is it has more than 40 pharmacological actions that make it an invaluable addition to every household. (1)
15 Health Benefits of Ginger
1. Antibiotic- The effects of ginger and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus and S. pyreus infections shows that ginger extract may be superior. (2)
2. Anti-Fungal– Ginger has anti-fungal properties. (3)
3. Bronchodilator—Another recent study, which was presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, found that adding ginger compounds to isoproterenol (a type of asthma medication called a beta-agonist) actually enhanced its bronchodilating effects. Because ginger enhances bronchodilation, it may provide a much safer alternative to current asthma medications on the market that contain steroids and other bronchodilators. (21)
4. Cognitive Health—A recent study shows that ginger can improve cognitive function such as memory in middle-aged women (22)
5. Cancer-Numerous studies reveal that ginger can defeat a variety of cancers, including breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and skin cancer. (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 11)
6. Diabetes Prevention– Studies show that ginger can help prevent and protect against diabetes and lower blood sugar levels. (12, 27)
7. Gastric Distress– Ginger inhibits H. pylori, which helps prevent ulcers. (13)
8. Inflammation—Inflammation goes hand in hand with many chronic conditions. Ginger inhibits nitrous oxide production and inflammatory cytokines. It is very effective in dealing with arthritis and other general inflammatory illnesses. (14)
9. Menstrual Pain—A double-blind study showed powdered ginger capsules to be as effective in treating menstrual pain as non-steroidal anti inflammatories and placebos. (15)
10. Nausea—Ginger is a powerful anti-nauseate. It is useful for morning sickness, sea sickness and nausea of all sorts. (16, 17)
11. Periodontal– Ginger has wonderful antibacterial effects on periodontal disease. (18)
12. Radiation Exposure—Studies show that ginger can protect against the DNA-damaging effects of radiation exposure. (23)
13. Respiratory Viruses—Ginger is shown in studies to have potent anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). (24)
14. Toxicity—Ginger helps prevent the toxic effects of numerous substances including MSG, parabens, pesticides, and cancer drugs. (19, 20, 25)
15. Weight Loss—Ginger is shown in studies to enhance fat digestion and absorption and promote weight loss. (26)
Ginger Honey Syrup
- Ginger root
- Using a large piece of ginger, grate it and place it in a pan.
- Pour in enough honey to just cover the ginger.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the ginger becomes soft.
- Allow the ginger to cool
- Pour the mixture into jar—you can strain out the honey if you desire
- Label and date the jar then refrigerate—it will last for several weeks.
Add the ginger syrup to smoothies, various types of milk, Golden Milk, tea, ice cream, pancakes, oatmeal, salad dressings, or on fruit.