Ginger, the rhizome Zingiber officinale is a condiment but also a medicinal agent with numerous healing properties. Ginger has been shown to reduce the severity of several conditions especially in the gastrointestinal system. Studies have clearly indicated that its principal phytochemicals – gingerols, zingerone, shogaols, and paradols, have a protective role against digestive issues such as ulcers, vomiting, nausea, colic, bloating, diarrhoea, stomach ache, spasm, and gastrointestinal cancer.
For athletes, ginger has been shown to be a safe and effective option to reduce systemic inflammation with a similar action to non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Research shows daily ginger intake of 2 grams over the course of 11 days, reduces the progression of muscle pain from exercise in the days following exercise.
Ginger contains an essential oil and resin known as oleoresin and this is responsible for the characteristic aroma of ginger. Ginger is safely used in pregnancy. It is popular as a form of pain relief for pre-menstraul symptoms and sore muscles.
Ginger is widely recognised in conjunction with Boswellia and turmeric in arthritic conditions.
Recent studies suggest ginger has synergistic effects when used with migraine medications. A 2019 double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial in the emergency room of a general hospital administered 400 mg of ginger extract in addition to migraine pain medications. As a result, patients treated with ginger showed significantly reduced pain and functional status after one and two hours of taking ginger.
Ginger also provides relief for women who experience period pain. A recent clinical trial involving 150 women demonstrated ginger powder taken for the first 3 days of their menstrual period was just as effective as 400 mg of ibuprofen in relieving period pain.
Ginger can be added to most dishes freshly grated or in powdered form. Sliced ginger root makes a warming tea, while ginger chews are great for nausea and can be purchased from most health food shops.