Along side turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. It has been widely regarded for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. The use of ginger is numero uno when it comes to curing common cold and cough. It is also superior to pharmaceutical drugs in defeating cancer, motion sickness and inflammation.
Astoundingly, ginger is even more effective than many cancer drugs at shrinking tumors. Commonly consumed across the world in small doses among food and beverage products, the medicinal properties of ginger far surpass even advanced pharmaceutical inventions.
Whole ginger extract was shown to exert significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger’s anticancer benefits, with the spice being shown by peer-reviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases.
The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a whopping 56% in mice. The anticancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants. But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the ‘only option’ for cancer patients by medical doctors?
It turns out that cancer drugs are not only severely ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly. More specifically, the tumors have been found to ‘metasize’, meaning they come back bigger and more stronger than their original size. What’s more, the ‘metasizing’ was found to be very aggressive. According to scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs were little more than death sentences for many patients.
“Whatever manipulations we’re doing to tumors can inadvertently do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what kills patients at the end of the day,” said study author Dr. Raghu Kalluri.
Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better. It contains a quartet, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body. A study by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. Drink ginger tea or place shavings in your foods. Either way will get you relief from that recurring pain.
During the past 25 years, many laboratories have provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with antiinflammatory properties. The original discovery of ginger’s inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed. This discovery identified ginger as an herbal medicinal product that shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects.
Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of specific enzymes. An important extension of this early work was the observation that ginger also suppresses inflammatory biosynthesis by inhibiting inflammatory proteins. This pharmacological property distinguishes ginger from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
This discovery preceded the observation that dual inhibitors of these enzymes and inflammatory proteins may have a better therapeutic profile and have fewer side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
The characterization of the pharmacological properties of ginger entered a new phase with the discovery that ginger extract inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response.
These include genes encoding cytokines, chemokines, and the inducible enzymes. This discovery provided the first evidence that ginger modulates biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation.
A study in the journal Lancet involved 36 people highly susceptible to motion sickness. The researchers had the subjects take either two capsules of powdered ginger, an antinausea medication or a placebo, and then, 20 minutes later, spin on a motorized chair for up to six minutes. Taking ginger delayed the onset of sickness about twice as long as taking the medication. The study also found that half the subjects who took ginger lasted the full six minutes, compared with none of those given the placebo or the medication.
A study by Danish scientists looked at 80 naval cadets prone to seasickness and found that those given one gram of ginger powder suffered less in a four-hour period then those given medication.
Researchers have demonstrated that ginger beats dimenhydrate, the main ingredient in motion sickness drugs such as Dramamine, for controlling symptoms of seasickness and motion sickness. Ginger stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles the stomach, relieves vomiting, eases pain from gas and diarrhea, and is effective as an anti-nausea remedy.
Why Is Ginger So Important?
“Ginger is very popularly used in Ayurveda for its benefits in digestion and respiratory disorders. It is a wonderful carminative, ant flatulent, stimulant and expectorant,” said Ayurvedic consultant Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee. She adds, “Ginger has many useful minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and few others.”
Zingerone, shogaols, gingerols, and volatile oils give ginger its distinct aroma and flavour, as well as its medical properties. The amount of these therapeutic compounds in ginger is determined by geography, time of harvest, and processing methods.
Ginger as an appetizer?
When used before meals, ginger improves appetite by igniting digestive fire due to its hot potency. It also enhances digestion due to its pungent taste and alleviates toxins of indigestion from the body.
Besides cold, ginger is useful for…
“Fresh juice of ginger is used to cure symptoms of cough and cold. It helps stop watery discharge from nose and help cure headache and fever associated with common cold if taken in tea or as decoction with basil and honey,” Dr. Jaishree continues to list hidden benefits of ginger.
Different ways of using ginger for home remedies
“One can eat thin slices of ginger in a salt and limejuice mixture before and after meals to improve appetite and digestion.”
This can be the perfect remedy for fussy children. And adults too: Ginger could be a replacement for wine as an appetizer.
“It can be used in cooking as a fresh spice to enhance the taste.”
“Therapeutically ginger juice is mixed with basil leaves juice and honey to cure cough and cold.”
“Ginger juice application is said to be good for hypo pigmented patches on your skin.”
“It can be used in scrubs and baths for fresh rejuvenating aroma.”
HOW TO PREPARE FRESH GINGER
MAKING GINGER TEA
Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.