Ginger and teacup on a wooden surface

Spotlight on ginger

Warming spice, natural herbal remedy, and one of our favourite Spice Girls – find out how ginger could be good for you.

Whether you want to pep up a curry, calm a jittery stomach or make a warming winter tea, ginger is your go-to spice.

It’s been used in Asian cultures as a herbal remedy for centuries, and now modern research is revealing how ginger could help many ailments.

Why is ginger effective?

Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes turmeric – another spicy root with powerful health properties.1

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The active compounds in ginger are called gingerols, which been found to have a number of biological benefits, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities.2

Ginger is probably best-known as an anti-sickness remedy, but the benefits of ginger go beyond stopping you feeling nauseous.

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Ginger for good digestion

Ginger can boost gut health in several ways. A review of studies published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2004 found ginger could stimulate a number of digestive enzymes, speeding up the time it takes our body to process food.3 This could help prevent constipation.

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Indigestion can also be tackled with ginger. Research led by the Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Taiwan in 2011 discovered that in patients with chronic indigestion who consumed powdered ginger before a meal, their stomachs emptied 50% faster.4

In turn, this could then reduce the length time to experience symptoms of indigestion such as abdominal pain.

A natural remedy for period pain

Add ginger to your period pain tool kit. A 2009 study by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran, revealed that ginger was effective at relieving those monthly abdominal cramps.5

It eases osteoarthritis symptoms

Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be helpful for those with inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis.

A meta-analysis of evidence published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 2015 concluded that ginger was a ‘modestly efficacious and reasonably safe for treatment of OA’.6
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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Sources

1. Medical News Today. Ginger – health benefits and dietary tips. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php
2. Semwal RB, et al. Gingerols and shogaols: Important nutraceutical principles from ginger. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26228533
3. Platel K and Srinivasan K. Digestive stimulant action of spices : A myth or reality? Available from: http://icmr.nic.in/ijmr/2004/0501.pdf
4. Ming-Luen H, et al. Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016669/#B1
5. Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19216660
6. Bartels EM, et al. Efficacy and safety of ginger in osteoarthritis patients: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S106345841401276X

Nutrition