Ginger Root has a long history in many cultures. The Ancient Indians used Ginger as a physical cleanser, to treat digestive ailments, and as a spiritual healer. Greeks used to wrap a piece of Ginger in bread and eat it after a long meal to help with digestion and alleviate indigestion.
In England they added Ginger to beer creating a tonic to ease nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Perhaps the most well-known culture to use Ginger has been the Chinese, whose history of use goes back as far a 3000 B.C. They have given Ginger its traditional role as a remedy for heartburn, nausea, motion sickness, loss of appetite, vomiting, and stomach cramps. They believe Ginger is such a powerful herb, which is why it is featured in many Chinese foods.
Today Ginger is still relied on to help control nausea and ease digestion. Ginger Root can be found in the Cleanse component of Puristat’s 7-Day Cleansing System.
Ginger Root originates from Southern China, but can be grown in the subtropics and tropics of Asia. In addition to China today it is cultivated in Jamaica , Brazil Nigeria, and the tropical areas of the United States. For best quality the Ginger Root that is being cultivated for medicinal purposes is allowed to mature for 8 to 9 months before being harvested. After harvesting the leaves are removed and the root is washed, peeled, and cut. The pieces are then left in the sun to dry. After drying the Ginger is either ground into a powder or the oil is extracted to be used.
Nausea and Ginger
Perhaps the most well-known use of Ginger Root is its ability to relieve nausea associated both with an upset stomach and motion sickness. “In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness” (the world’s healthiest foods p. 2). Unlike other anti-nausea medications, Ginger Root will not cause any drowsiness because it works directly on the digestive system. Most anti-nausea medications block the message from the brain, where Ginger goes directly to the stomach to ease the problem. Ginger Root’s active ingredients are gingerols and shogaols. These ingredients work to neutralize stomach acids that may be causing stomach irritation. They also increase the secretion of digestive juices to better digest foods that are already in the stomach. This combination greatly aids the digestive process providing relief from and preventing nausea.
Gas, Indigestion and Ginger
Ginger Root increases saliva secretions and the secretions of the stomach. Both of these actions help to sooth the entire digestive tract so there is no irritation. Gas and indigestion are often caused by these irritations of the lining of the digestive tract. Once soothed the result is a relief from any gas and indigestion discomfort one may be experiencing.
Ginger as an Anti-Inflammatory
The gingerols that are found in Ginger are very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which help relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. The gingerols inhibit the production of nitric oxide, which is responsible for the joint pain and arthritis. Once the production of nitric oxide is reduced so is the irritation on the joints providing much needed relief from those suffering from chronic arthritis. “Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly” (the world’s healthiest foods p.3).
Ginger is thought of as a “hot” spice, which means in produces a warming effect on the human body. It is this warming effect that produces a sweat, which provides an increased immunity, yes there is some truth behind “you have to sweat out a cold.” The sweat glands produce a compound called dermicidin which once delivered to the skin provides protection against infection. This compound fights off any infection that may come in contact with the skin. “Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flu’s” (the world’s healthiest foods p.5).
Summary of Benefits
- Ginger root is effective in relieving nausea associated with an upset stomach and motion sickness.
- The increased digestive secretions that Ginger Root produces eases gas and indigestion.
- Ginger Roots ability to reduce nitric oxide provides relief from joint pain associated with arthritis.
- There is truth to sweating out a cold, Ginger Root’s ability to make you sweat provides increased immunity.