Guest Author - Arrow Durfee
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a age old medicinal herb used in China and India for thousands of years. It is tested and true for a variety of conditions and it has been proven by homeopaths to be potent in its unaltered form or in homeopathic preparation.
Ginger can be helpful for a number of GI complaints including nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness from pregnancy, constipation and chemotherapy induced nausea. It increases GI motility. It is an appetite stimulant which can also be helpful for chemo induces appetite loss. Studies have indicated that its anti-inflammatory effects may be protective against colon cancer and it has proven to kill cancer cells in vitro with ovarian cancer. It is often helpful with reflux, gas and other digestive complaints.
The main compound in ginger is gingerol. It is known to combat free radicals and to stimulate the natural production of glutathione and enzyme processes in the body. It may be helpful in reducing the negative effects of radiation therapy and poisoning.
Ginger has also been used for its anti-inflammatory properties for muscular skeletal pain. It is a known COX 2 inhibitor and some people report good effects with arthritic pain both in rheumatoid issues as well as osteoarthritis. It may even be helpful in common strain and overuse pain issues.
Ginger is also known for its benefits in preventing cataract, for reducing blood sugar levels, and inhibiting platelet which will have a blood thinning action which may be of significant benefit to those in a high stroke risk category.
Ginger is best taken in a capsule in a standardized extract or it may be home brewed by using fresh root available at most supermarkets. I recommend the use of organic root for this purpose. Some people cook with it regularly to take advantage of its preventative properties. Tea can be taken several times a day. It is not an herb that can easily be overdosed. Move with caution when using capsules and increase as your stomach tolerates. It is an herb that produces heat.
I recommend the use of ginger in food preparation on a regular basis to keep the body fortified with the beneficial antioxidants and enzyme process stimulators that it provides. If you have stomach issues it may be worth keeping a bottle of standardized extract capsules in your medicine cabinet.