Ginger is a popular spice, for good reason – it can add much-needed zing to many recipes, from stir-fry to smoothies. But it’s also known for its long history of medicinal use, dating back thousands of years.
Perhaps the most well-known medicinal effect of ginger is its anti-nausea properties, but it has many other health benefits as well – from being a powerful antioxidant to protecting against specific cancers.
It is widely used in Chinese, Ayuvedic and Tibb-Unani herbal medicines for a wide range of conditions that include arthritis, rheumatism, muscle aches and pains, cramps, indigestion, dementia, fever, and various infectious diseases.
Here are some of the health benefits of ginger that have been scientifically studied and documented.
1. Anti-Cancer Properties
Ginger has been shown to combat the spread of cancer cells in various different types of cancer, including some of the most aggressive types – prostate cancer(1) and pancreatic cancer(2) specifically.
Ginger also has cancer-preventative properties: “The anticancer properties of ginger are attributed to the presence of certain pungent vallinoids… as well as some other constituents like shogaols, zingerone, etc,” one study explains.
“A number of mechanisms that may be involved in the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its components have been reported from the laboratory studies in a wide range of experimental models.”(3)