The ginger root has been used extensively in India and China since 5000 BC as both a culinary and therapeutic spice and who can blame them when you look at the list of vitamins and minerals ginger contains:
Vitamins B3, B6, C, E folic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, gingerol, phenols, volatile oil
Said to have derived from the Garden of Eden, ginger is a popular spice and flavouring and one of the world’s greatest medicines. With its soothing, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is invaluable as a food remedy.
It contains an active constituent, gingerol, which has anti-cancer properties and is responsible for much of its hot, pungent taste and aroma, as well as its stimulating properties.
It is a natural decongestant, it helps ease digestion, is a great remedy for nausea, improves circulation, helps protect against respiratory and digestive infections, eases flatulence and griping pains and stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the bloodstream. As if that wasn’t enough, it can even be chewed to relieve toothache!
So what are the top things ginger is good for?
1) Colds/Flu – Ginger is warming and soothing and is a favourite home remedy for colds and flu. It promotes perspiration, reducing a fever and clearing congestion, and has a stimulating and vigorous action in the lungs, expelling phlegm and relieving coughs.
2) Boosting the immune system – Ginger is particularly rich in the mineral zinc which is essential for a healthy immune system.
3) Sluggishness – Ginger is useful for anyone feeling sluggish because it is stimulating and promotes detoxification by increasing perspiration and circulation.
4) Joint pain – Ginger contains gingerol which suppress the substances that trigger joint pain and swelling, making it one of the most beneficial foods for the treatment of joint problems such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
5) Nausea – Ginger is recognised as a fast acting cure for nausea of all kinds, reducing symptoms such as dizziness and vomiting in people experiencing motion and morning sickness. JUICY FACT: Keeping ginger biscuits to hand during early pregnancy is an old wives’ tale that actually holds substance.
6) Indigestion – Ginger’s volatile oil works on the digestive system by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes thereby relieving symptoms of indigestion.
7) Premature aging – Ginger protects the digestive system against premature ageing and aids the general absorption of nutrients.
8) Constipation – Ginger invigorates the stomach and intestines, easing constipation and removing the accumulation of toxins, including fungal infections.
9) Regulation of blood sugar – Ginger helps to regulate blood sugar by stimulating pancreatic cells and by lowering cholesterol levels.
10) Inflammation – Ginger is also a useful remedy for pain and inflammation, helping cramps, peptic ulcers, allergies and asthma.
11) High blood pressure – Ginger has a stimulating effect on the circulation, lowering high blood pressure.
12) High cholesterol – Ginger supports heart health by preventing blood platelets from sticking together and lowering cholesterol levels, thereby offering protection against heart attacks and strokes.
JUICY FACT: One of the great things about ginger is how inexpensive it is. A massive claw of ginger will set you back next to nothing and last you 2 weeks!
Top 4 ways to incorporate ginger into your daily diet:
1) JUICED! – Juice it along with vegetables or fruit to give your juice or smoothie a healthy (and spicy!) kick. For example the Lemon Ginger Zinger
2) GINGER SHOT - juice half an apple and a piece of ginger and taken as a shot in the morning. This will really tickle your tonsils and clear your sinuses!
3) TEA – Grated or crushed in hot water and used as a tea. Add a couple of slices of lemon and a teaspoon of manuka honey for a potent cold remedy
4) COOKED – Grate or chopped into stir fries or salads
Written by Melissa Fairhurst – Natural Juice Therapist – www.Fresh-Start-Health.co.uk