Ginger is a tropical flowering perennial plant with green-purple flowers. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is native to Asia1, where they have been cooking with the spice for the last 4,400 years.2 There are many uses of ginger, including using the root for its medicinal properties in addition to cooking.3 Ginger can be minced, made into a powder, or used as an extract. You can eat it alone, as ginger tea, in lemonade, or sprinkled on food as a seasoning.
Active compounds like volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds--which include gingerols and shogaols--provide ginger health benefits.2 In China, people have used ginger for the last 2,000 years to treat ailments like diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain.3 It’s said to contain the following properties:
Ginger is also said to be a promising chemopreventive agent.5 For cancer patients already undergoing chemotherapy, ginger can help curb the nausea associated with the treatment.6 With many ginger benefits comes the potential to aid in common physical ailments. Try ginger to help with the following:
With ginger’s many health benefits, people also commonly eat ginger for colds or take ginger for stomach aches and other related issues. For example, you might eat ginger for acid reflux. It’s also suggested that ginger can help boost metabolism, so you might try ginger for weight loss in addition to a healthy diet and exercise.4
Ginger is a safe plant to consume, but like anything, it may result in side effects if eaten in large doses. Generally, these side effects are not very harmful and can include:
These side effects are most often reported when eating powdered ginger.10 Though ginger poses few health risks, always make sure to talk to your doctor if you’re using any other medications or natural remedies or if you have any medical conditions you’d like to address.
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