10 Health Benefits of Ginger – Prevent Cancer, Inflammation, and More
Food as Medicine
Ginger truly does top the list of effective natural home remedies. Being used throughout history by different cultures around the world, ginger harnesses an incredible healing power proven for a host of ailments. The spice is packed with essential nutrients and rejuvenating compounds. While ginger has been shown to help countless ‘minor’ problems such as an upset stomach, amazingly the health benefits of ginger also include combating cancer more effectively than pharmaceutical cancer drugs.
Health Benefits of Ginger – Revealing Amazing Healing Power
1. Ginger is a Powerful Cancer Fighter
While ginger helps common illnesses, it’s positive effect on more serious health conditions can not be disregarded. One such serious health condition that ginger has been known to help treat for years is ovarian cancer. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found out through their research that ginger can also destroy ovarian cancer cells. What’s more, they found that ginger triggered two types of cell death – apoptosis and autophagy. “Apoptosis…results from cancer cells essentially committing suicide. The other type of cell death, called autophagy, results from cells digesting or attacking themselves.”
“In multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer,” says Jennifer Rhode, M.D., a gynecologic oncology fellow at the U-M Medical School.
Aside from helping to treat ovarian cancer, ginger also offers plenty of protective benefits for colon cancer. The University studied how ginger could hinder the progression of colorectal cancer cells. One trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown that those consuming ginger root had lower levels of colon inflammation and inflammation of the intestines, thereby helping to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Other studies have also shown that ginger could help tumor formation for those exposed to a cancer-causing chemical.
Related Read: 4 Anti-Cancer Foods
What’s most impressive regarding ginger’s place in protection against cancer, though, is it’s ability to outperform dangerous cancer drugs. The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a whopping 56% in mice. But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the ‘only option’ for cancer patients by medical doctors? It turns out that cancer drugs are not only ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly – something natural foods won’t do. The health benefits of ginger are looking even better.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help with Many Conditions
As mentioned earlier, ginger possesses awesome anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it may be what the root is best known for. The anti-inflammatory compounds responsible for significantly reducing inflammation are called gingerols. These compounds make ginger an amazing beneficial tool for various inflammatory-related health conditions.
In numerous research pieces, researches found that the compounds are responsible for reduction in pain and improvement in mobility for those with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. In two clinical studies, it was found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling. In addition to pain levels decreasing, the compounds may also lessen swelling.
In addition to helping those with arthritis, ginger can also benefit those experiencing other diseases caused by or fueled by inflammation such as obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, numerous cancer types, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few.
But the health benefits of ginger don’t stop there.
3. Treating Heartburn/Acid Reflux with Ginger
Millions suffering from heartburn and indigestion might be saving a pretty penny if they gave ginger a try as a treatment for heartburn instead of the multi-billion dollar drug industry’s many acid-blockers. The costs of pharmaceuticals for acid reflux, known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, may well outweigh any potential benefit. These drugs have been known to increase risks of bone fractures, malabsorption issues, pneimonia, cancer, and Clostridum difficile.
Instead of turning to drugs, just try ginger. In a 2007 study published in the journal Molecular Research and Food Nutrition, researchers compared the anti-ulcer and anti-Helicobacter plyori (a bacteria linked to ulcers) properties of ginger and conventional acid-blockers like Lansoprazole, or Prevacid. Remarkably, ginger performed six to eight times better than the drugs. Rather than interfering with or removing stomach acid barrier (and thereby deactivating proteolytic enzymes and increasing risk of infection), ginger inhibits acid reflux and contains potent proteolytic enzymes.
Other Health Benefits of Ginger
- 4. Cough – In addition to the countless other ginger benefits, it is also one of the most famous natural cures for cough. The ginger has to be partially sliced and boiled and to ensure potency, should be crushed a bit before boiling. This will help to draw out the active ingredients. Drinking ginger as a tea will ease sore throat, non-stop coughing and even congestion.
- 5. Sore Throat – As with cough, upset stomach, and headaches, tea made with ginger is also great for a sore throat. Try one of the tea’s mentioned on this page, or boil a 1 inch piece of ginger root or a few slices, then add honey and/or lemon.
- 6. Stuffy Nose/Congestion – Try having some ginger tea with coconut milk and local honey. This isn’t only for amazing taste; it breaks up phlegm and gives a boost to the immune system.
- 7. Upset Stomach / Improved Digestion – Many herbs and spices are great for calming upset stomachs, and ginger is no exception. It’s the logic behind giving someone who’s seasick some ginger ale. Grate some ginger or pluck a few sprigs of mint leaves and steep in boiling water for a few minutes and enjoy with a spoonful of raw honey to subdue a bellyache.
- 8. Headaches/Migraines – Herbs like peppermint, cayenne pepper and ginger can be beneficial in the treatment of headaches and migraines. Ginger is especially useful to combat the nausea that often accompanies migraine headaches. To use the 3 herbs together in tea as a natural pain reliever, mix a one inch piece of ginger with a teaspoon of dried peppermint and a pinch of cayenne in boiling water. Allow the mixture to seep for 15 minutes before drinking. Sweeten only with honey or stevia.
- 9. Toothache – Also among health benefits of ginger, using the spice as a home remedy for toothaches is something that has been passed down from generation to generation. Many people even experience immediate relief from the tooth pain. Try rubbing raw ginger into the gums or boil the ginger root, letting it cool and using it as a mouth rinse.
- 10. Pain – In addition to helping treat pain associated with inflammation (joint pain), upset stomach, sore throat, and toothache, ginger can also help with muscle soreness. The compounds gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone found in ginger are more effective than drugs for inflammation drugs known as NSAIDS, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. Try some ginger tea after a workout, and if it doesn’t work, try some other natural pain relievers.
Ginger Benefits Summary – Ginger is Great for:
- Cancer protection
- Heartburn/acid reflux/GERD
- Boosting the immune system
- Sore throat
- Stuffy Nose or Nasal Congestion
- Upset stomach
- Sore throat
- Diseases caused by or fueled by inflammation such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, numerous cancer types, cardiovascular disease, and more
Originally, ginger was mostly used in China. These days, there are many plantations across the globe — particularly in East Africa and the Caribbean. This is why many branches of natural health care like herbal therapy, aroma therapy, ayurveda and naturopathy depend on the multiple gigner benefits.
People have been experiencing the many health benefits of ginger for ages; it is time that you see it as more than just an ingredient for your dishes, but also as a powerful natural remedy.
Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.