The rhizome of the ginger (Zingiber officinale) plant is loaded with bioactive compounds and nutrients, which is the prime reason for it being one of the healthiest spices in the world.
Gingerol, the bioactive compound in ginger, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in relieving nausea, especially pregnancy-related morning sickness.[1,2.3]
Ginger provides effective relief from muscle pain resulting from exercise injuries.[4,5] The powder of this root can be useful in decreasing the intensity of menstrual pain. The cholesterol-lowering effects of ginger are similar to the drug atorvastatin, a popular medicine used for lowering cholesterol levels.[7,8]
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline with age. Animal studies suggest that the bioactive compounds and antioxidants present in ginger can stop brain inflammation.
Ginger For Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory chronic condition that leads to the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. This reduces the cushioning effect between the bones, making them rub against each other, leading to degeneration of the joints, causing joint pain, stiffness and a loss of mobility.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger reduce inflammation and help repair the cartilage. A research done on 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee found that those who took ginger had lesser pain and needed less pain medication.
Another study found that a combination of ginger, cinnamon, mastic and sesame oil reduced stiffness and pain in osteoarthritis in patients when applied topically.
How To Take It
- Have ½tsp ginger paste with a glass of warm water twice daily to reduce inflammation and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
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1. Wang S, Zhang C, Yang G, Yang Y. Biological properties of 6-gingerol: a brief review. Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Jul;9(7):1027-30. Review. PubMed PMID: 25230520.
2. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J Anaesth. 2000 Mar;84(3):367-71. Review. PubMed PMID: 10793599.
3. Viljoen E, Visser J, Koen N, Musekiwa A. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Nutrition Journal. 2014;13:20. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-20.
4. Black CD, Herring MP, Hurley DJ, O’Connor PJ. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2010 Sep;11(9):894-903. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.12.013. Epub 2010 Apr 24. PubMed PMID: 20418184.
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6. Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0311. PubMed PMID: 19216660.
7. Alizadeh-Navaei R, Roozbeh F, Saravi M, Pouramir M, Jalali F, Moghadamnia AA. Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial. Saudi Med J. 2008 Sep;29(9):1280-4. PubMed PMID: 18813412.
8. Al-Noory AS, Amreen AN, Hymoor S. Antihyperlipidemic effects of ginger extracts in alloxan-induced diabetes and propylthiouracil-induced hypothyroidism in (rats). Pharmacognosy Res. 2013 Jul;5(3):157-61. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.112419. PubMed PMID: 23901210; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3719255.
9. Azam F, Amer AM, Abulifa AR, Elzwawi MM. Ginger components as new leads for the design and development of novel multi-targeted anti-Alzheimer’s drugs: a computational investigation. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 2014;8:2045-2059. doi:10.2147/DDDT.S67778.
10. Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-8. PubMed PMID: 11710709.
11. Zahmatkash M, Vafaeenasab MR. Comparing analgesic effects of a topical herbal mixed medicine with salicylate in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Jul 1;14(13):715-9. PubMed PMID: 22308653.