Do you want to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease or prevent colon cancer? How about getting some help in your weight loss endeavors? Well, there is one ingredient that can help you do all of the above, and also help protect yourself from many other ailments.
It is nothing but the ginger root! The National Library of Medicine has stated that the ginger root is used all over the world to treat nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting, especially after surgery. It is also effective in treating nausea caused due to cancer treatment, colic, stomach upset, flatulence, motion sickness and morning sickness.
Ginger, or most commonly known as ‘Adrak‘ in Hindi, Allam / Allamu in Telugu, ‘Inji‘ in Tamil, ‘Inji‘ in Malayalam, Alla/Ardraka in Kannada, ‘Ada‘ in Bengali,’Adu‘ in Gujarati, ‘Aale‘ in Marathi and ‘Adrak‘ in Punjabi. It is a herb that has been used as a spice since times immemorial. Also known as ginger root, it is basically the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, which also includes turmeric, cardamom and galangal.
Ginger root has a rather irregular shape comprising of bulbous little joints, from which small bumps grow. Fresh ginger root has a grey outer surface whereas the inner flesh ranges from ivory, creamy white to pale greenish-yellow in color, depending on the variety. The over-matured roots generally contain fibrils running through their centre. Ginger has a peppery flavour, with a hint of lemon, and a sharp aroma. Its pungent, spicy, and aromatic smell can be attributed to the presence of essential oils and phenolic compounds such as gingerols and shogaols.
Due to its strong and spicy aroma, ginger occupies an important place as a spice, delicacy, and even medicine. Apart from being used fresh, it is dried, powdered, pickled, or used in the form of juice or oil. Ginger tea is a favourite in Indian households and a great remedy for battling cold and flu. It has been recognized by Ayurveda due to its medicinal properties. Nowadays, it is also being used in sweet foods in Western cuisine such as ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger bread, ginger biscuits and ginger cake.
Ginger Health Benefits:
Ginger is considered the ‘chest of medicine’ in Ayurveda due to its various health benefits. Its powerful therapeutic and preventive effects make it usable in the treatment of various ailments. Here are some of the medicinal uses of ginger.
1. Treatment Of Respiratory Problems:
Due to its antihistamine properties, ginger is effective in treating allergies. It inhibits airway contraction and helps in stimulating the secretion of mucus. For centuries, it has been used as a natural remedy for colds and flu. A teaspoon of ginger juice and honey is effective in relieving the persistent cough and sore throat associated with colds. Ginger tea helps to get rid of congestion of the throat and the nose. A mixture of fresh ginger juice and fenugreek is helpful in curing asthma. Ginger is also found to be helpful in treating stomach flu or food poisoning. This is one of the most applied uses of ginger.
2. Chemotherapy Nausea:
Chemotherapy is a treatment recommended after the cancer surgery to eliminate the presence of the cancerous cells so that the chances of recurrence of this disease can be minimized. Ginger root supplements are helpful in reducing the nausea induced by the chemotherapy, when administered along with the other anti-vomiting medications. According to a lead researcher at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, Florida, Dr. Julie Ryan, more than 70 percent cancer patients who are exposed to chemotherapy radiations experience vomiting and nausea. The intake of ginger root supplement or juice before the chemotherapy reduces the nausea and vomiting symptoms as the ginger root provides anti-inflammatory properties to the body. It is also found to be effective in treating sensations of nausea associated with motion sickness or sea sickness, etc.
3. Treatment Of Morning Sickness:
Research has proved that ginger is as effective as vitamin B6 in treating morning sickness. Thus, it is often recommended to pregnant women for preventing morning sickness.
4. Aids In Digestion:
Ginger aids digestion by improving the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients. It helps break down the proteins in your food and prevents ulcers by promoting mucus secretion.
5. Menstrual Cramp Relief:
Taking ginger at the beginning of the menstrual period can reduce the symptoms of menstrual pain in some women. Ginger tea with brown sugar is often used in the treatment of menstrual cramps in Chinese medicine.
6. Relieves Migraines:
Ginger provides migraine relief as it can inhibit the prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in the blood vessels. Applying diluted ginger paste on the forehead provides relief from migraine.
7. Treatment Of Ovarian Cancer:
Ginger root has a high level of antioxidants that can induce cancer cell death (apoptosis) and suppress certain proteins. Thus, it is a powerful weapon for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Ginger powder induces cell death in all the ovarian cancer cells to which it is applied.
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