Ginger is a warming spice that is versatile both as a medicinal spice and cooking ingredient. This wonderful root is an excellent natural remedy for a wide range of conditions such as combating colds or viruses, nausea, digestive problems and reducing muscular pains.
Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to cure a variety of conditions ranging from stomachache, diarrhea, morning sickness and general nausea, arthritis, and headache. In traditional medicine, ginger is one of the most important spices for fighting colds and the flu, and for digestive problems. It is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract).
The noble scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his Prophetic Medicine described ginger as having warming properties, aiding digestion, having benefits for eyesight and memory, and generally being good for the liver and stomach.
Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects and the ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds.
Ginger is a rich source of powerful antioxidants such as gingerols, shogaols and zingerones. These all help to stimulate circulation and help the body to detoxify by flushing out toxins. Its warming oils have potent antiseptic and expectorant properties, making it a useful remedy for colds and bronchial infections.
Studies have confirmed ginger's benefits for counteracting nausea, both travel and pregnancy sickness, even more effectively than routine drugs. The powerful anti-inflammatory action of ginger has been found to relive arthritis pain without the side effects of NSAIDs, and its active ingredients, gingerols, can kill cancer cells.
Ginger is useful when it's cold outside or you feel under the weather. Add fresh ginger to soups and stir fries, or make a warming infusion.
For a warming, detoxifying drink, pour hot water on a thumb-sized piece of peeled, crushed fresh root ginger and drink it as a tea. For coughs, colds and sore throats, add lemon juice and/or honey to the drink.
Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried, powdered form since it is not only superior in flavor but contains higher levels of active compounds such as gingerol.