One of nature’s most powerful herbs may be sitting in your kitchen this very moment.
Ginger has been used for over 2500 years and associated with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbrial, anti-cancer, anti-coagulant & immunomodulatory properties (1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14).
But it doesn’t stop there…
- May also offer support for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and digestive problems (15; 16)
- May interact with blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory drugs (17; 18), but may offer synergistic potential with antibiotics and anticancer drugs (19).
- Has “thermogenic” properties that can support weight loss (20; 21)
- Has been used as a digestive stimulant (22; 23; 24)
- May have preventive and therapeutic value for alcoholism and alcoholic dependency (25)
- May offer relief from motion sickness (26),
Ginger for Nausea and Vomiting
You may be well aware of that dizzying, twisting, spinning, and outright terrible feeling of nausea.
Nausea & vomiting can be associated with the flu, but clinically it is often experienced:
1.) in surgical patients due to side effects of anesthesia
2.) in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy treatment
3.) in pregnant women who experience morning sickness.
Ginger has been shown to be effective at reducing all three…
- Post-operative nausea and vomiting (27)
- Nausea associated with chemotherapy (28; 29).
- Stronger evidence points to its role in reducing nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy (30; 31; 32; 33).
Ginger for Inflammation
Ginger may act similarly to commercial anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, Celebrex, and Zyflo.
This is because it has been shown to be a natural COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitor (like ibuprofen, aspirin, celebrex), but also inhibits 5-LOX (like Zyflo).
But what’s most exciting about ginger is that it is capable of inhibiting COX-1, COX-2, and 5-LOX simultaneously with low risk of side effects, whereas commercial drugs will typically only target just a single pathway, with high risk of side effects.
Despite the evidence for its ability to decrease markers known to be involved in inflammation, the evidence for effectiveness for pain reduction is mixed.
Research suggests that ginger is considered safe and well-tolerated (36; 37) and may support inflammation associated with low back pain, knee osteoarthritis and general osteoarthritis (38, 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44).
Recipe for Ginger Tea
One of the simplest ways to enjoy ginger is to make ginger tea.
I like to take just a small piece of fresh ginger, cut off the outer “bark’ with a knife, dice it finely and boil it in water for just 10-15 minutes.
I then add cinnamon and raw honey to taste, and find it makes a nice spicy, warming tea.
Here are a few variations:
1.) You may have powdered ginger spice in your cabinet. I keep this on hand as fresh ginger often becomes moldy in just 1-2 weeks. A pinch or two may be all that you need.
2.) You can vary the tea to your taste by brewing green tea with the fresh ginger, adding fresh lemon juice, cocoa powder, or even fresh mint leaves.
3.) I will also add almond, coconut, soy or rice milk and make a frothy chai-like tea with use of an immersion blender.