Ginger (zanjabil) is described by the great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his book "The Prophetic Medicine" as a mild cleanser with some of the following benefits on the body:
- Warming and aids digestion;
- Beneficial for obstructions of the liver;
- Beneficial for blurred eyesight, such as that caused by glaucoma, when eaten or used as kohl;
- Drinking a warm solution of ginger mixed with sugar and water could reduce blood clots from forming;
- Can be used to treat nausea;
- Freshens the breath;
- increases the power of memory
Ginger is mentioned in the Qur'an as one of the delights for its inhabitants: "And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with ginger." [76:17]
What is ginger?
Although ginger is often referred to as a root, it is actually a reed-like herb that has rough, knotty rhizomes (underground stems).
Ginger is a rich source of powerful antioxidants such as gingerols, shogaols and zingerones. It also has blood-thinning qualities.
Some of the many health benefits of ginger include:
- Osteoarthritis: one study found that taking extract of ginger helped to reduce knee pain in osteoarthritis patients.
- Morning sickness: several studies have shown that eating ginger extract during the first trimester of pregnancy can significantly reduce the nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness.
- Motion sickness: two studies have demonstrated the effects of ginger on preventing and treating motion sickness.
- Cancer: The antioxidant that gives ginger its flavor, 6-gingerol, was found to decrease tumor size and produce fewer tumors in mice. Ginger also induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagy (cells digesting themselves) in ovarian cancer cells. It was effective in controlling inflammation, thus stopping cancer cells from growing.
Tips on Using Ginger
- Ginger is available in fresh, pickled, dried or powdered form. Fresh ginger should be stored at room temperature.
- The centre of the ginger stem in more fibrous and contains the stronger flavors.
- Ginger can be used to spice up any dish, to make a marinade, or to flavor fresh juices or teas.
References for further reading
- Altman RD and Marcussen KC. Effects of ginger extract on knee pain in patients with ostecarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001;44(11) :2461-2462.
- American Association for cancer Research 97th annual meeting, April 1-5, 2006, Washington, D.C. Study author J. Rebecca Liu, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive cancer Center.
- Grontved A, Brask T, Kambskard J, Hentzer E. Ginger root against sea sickness: a controlled trial on the open sea. Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1986;48(5): 282-286.
- Han-Chung L, et al. Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrythmias induced by circular vection. Am J Physiol Gastrintest Liver Physiol. 2003;283:G481-G489.
- Manju V, Nalin i N. Chemopreventive efficacy of ginger, a naturally occurring anticarcinogen (during the initiation, post-initiation stages of 1,2 dimethylhydrazine induced colon cancer. Clin Chim Acta. 2005 Aug;358(1- 2):60-67.