Ginger is fairly common. Most of us have come across it at some point in our food or beverages, but ginger actually has a lot of really great benefits that you may not know about. Some great things about using ginger are that it is fairly readily available, inexpensive, and can be used several different ways. The following is a list of many of the benefits of using ginger, as well as some ideas for how you can utilize it for your health.
If you are just starting to use more natural home remedies, I would absolutely recommend getting ginger. It is safe for pregnant women, and has a variety of uses such as detoxing, weight loss, nausea relief, cancer prevention and treatment, better circulation, and more.
Other Benefits of Ginger
Using ginger on your scalp can help to prevent dandruff. Try adding it to your shampoo, or developing a scalp treatment with ginger. To make one of my favorite scalp treatments, try melting some coconut oil and mixing in some brown sugar. To add ginger, just put a few drops of ginger essential oil in and mix it together. Scrub the mixture into your scalp and then rinse.
Ginger is great for increasing your focus and making you more alert. Try diffusing ginger oil while studying for a test, writing a paper, or anything else that requires a lot of focus. Because ginger helps to increase circulation, it can also make you feel more awake and give you extra energy.
Because of it's effect on the circulatory system, ginger helps to create warmth. Consuming ginger can warm you up and make you feel like there is heat coming from the inside of your body out. If you live in or visit a cold climate, this can be especially useful. Try drinking ginger tea to warm you up on cold days and nights.
Due to it's warming properties and it's effect on circulation, ginger has been reported to help increase sexual desire and help people to get in the mood. If you have been experiencing, a low sex drive, try diffusing some ginger essential oil. Ginger can be used to increase sexual desire and activity in both women and men.
Migraine and Headache
Anyone who has ever experienced migraine pain will know that you become desperate for something that will ease the pain. Ginger may be able to help. What it does is stop substances which cause pain and inflammation in the blood vessels, which are what cause migraine pain. Different migraines present with different symptoms. Some come with nausea, others come with sensitivity to light or smell. Use ginger however it makes the most sense for you and your migraine. Because of it's pain-relieving and sinus-clearing properties, ginger can also be used to treat pain from tension and sinus headaches.
Not only does ginger help to relieve pain, but it can also help to reduce inflammation making it perfect for people who suffer from arthritis. The ginger can be taken internally with food, beverage, or supplements, or applied topically with oil.
If you suffer from menstrual cramps every month, I'm sure you are always looking for something that will help. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they use ginger tea sweetened with brown sugar. You can also try diffusing ginger oil, drinking ginger tea, or applying the oil topically. I recommend diluting it with a carrier oil, spreading some on your lower abdomen, and using a hot pack.
General Pain Relief
While ginger can be used to treat specific pains and ailments, it is also great for general pain and soreness. Ginger can help to reduce pain and inflammation in muscles, as well as reduce swelling. It can also help to relieve the pain from a toothache. If you tend to suffer from muscle aches and pains throughout the day, try drinking some ginger tea in the morning.
Nausea, Motion Sickness, and Morning Sickness
Ginger is an effective treatment for nausea overall. It can help to relieve nausea caused by motion sickness, morning sickness, food poisoning, flu, or other illnesses. If you are suffering from nausea, try holding a bottle of ginger oil under your nose and inhaling, or diffusing it in the room. If you are able to keep down fluids, try drinking ginger tea or ginger ale.
Immunity and Disease Prevention
While ginger won't help to treat Alzheimer's Disease, it can be a great way to help prevent it. Ginger has been proven to help decrease the rate of brain cell loss that happens before you get the disease. If you are at risk for or worried about Alzheimer's Disease, make an effort to incorporate it into your diet daily to help decrease your chances of getting it.
Ginger has been proven to help prevent and treat some forms of cancer including ovarian and colon cancers. Studies have shown that it can help slow the rate of growth of colorectal cancer cells, and has also been shown to cause ovarian cancer cells to attack each other and cause cell death in the cancer cells themselves. If you are at high risk for either of these, try adding more ginger into your diet.
Ginger has been shown to help with both prevention and treatment of Diabetes. It helps to improve insulin release, and improves metabolization of fats and carbohydrates. It also helps to prevent kidney damage as a result of Diabetes. Ginger is a good idea to add to your diet if you have or are at risk for Diabetes.
Ginger is used to effectively clear the sinuses and nasal passages and clear airways. While it will not cure asthma, ginger can be a helpful part of your treatment plan. Not only does it reduce inflammation in your airways, but it can also help to soothe some of the pain associated with asthma.
Cold and Flu
Ginger is very effective at both preventing and treating cold and flu viruses. It gives a good boost to the immune system which means that not only should you get sick less often, but when you do, you will likely recover more quickly. Ginger is also great for opening up nasal passages and clearing up congestion, and can also soothe a sore throat. Drinking tea is one of the best treatments for a sore throat, especially when combined with lemon.
Digestion and Weight Loss
Ginger tea has been used for many generations to treat heartburn symptoms. Basically, the ginger helps to block the acid causing your heartburn.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Because of it's soothing effect on the digestive tract, ginger is a great treatment for those suffering with IBS. The benefits to the digestive tract can be achieved through ginger in food, beverage, or supplements.
Ginger tea is also a great way to neutralize excess gas, and is often less expensive and more natural than some of the over-the-counter gas medications.
One interesting thing about ginger is that not only does it help to burn fat, but it also helps you to feel fuller faster. It also helps your body to absorb nutrients, so while you are eating less and burning it more effectively, your body is also getting all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. In short, it makes your eating more efficient and beneficial.
How to use Ginger
Ginger is probably most commonly found in food. It has a rich spicy flavor that can be added to many dishes. Ginger is also found in popular seasonal deserts like gingerbread. Try cooking or baking with ginger to reap the many benefits it has to offer. If you are a big candy eater, try crystalized ginger candy. It may be a bit intense if you have never had it before, but it is quite delicious.
Ginger is used very often in beverages. You can get ginger ale, ginger beer, ginger soda, ginger tea, or ginger cocktails. I also like to add shredded ginger into fruit smoothies, or you can use it to make flavored water. Much like food, when getting a ginger beverage, it is most beneficial to make sure that real ginger is being used rather than artificial ginger flavoring. You can also make your own fresh ginger tea very easily. Get a ginger root like the one in the picture, and cut off a few slices about the width of a coin. Put them in a cup and pour in hot water. Let it steep for a little while, and drink.
Ginger oil is safe to use topically, but you may wish to dilute it with a carrier oil. Check out my blog on carrier oils for suggestions. If you have never used it before, I recommend doing a small patch test to rule out allergic reactions.
To use ginger for it's aromatherapeutic properties, try diffusing the oil with a hot or cold oil diffuser. You can also smell the oil while it is still in the bottle. You can also try adding it to water in a spray bottle to make a room spray.
Ginger is a powerhouse spice that can be used for a variety of reasons in a number of different ways. What is your favorite way to use ginger?
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.