Healthy Gastrointestinal and Cardiovascular System
Ginger has been shown to:
• Reduce abdominal bloating
• Stimulate digestion
• Keep intestinal muscles toned
• Reduce nausea and vomiting
• Support the cardiovascular system
What is Ginger and where does it come from?
Ginger has enjoyed use in the Orient for thousands of years as a folk remedy. Ginger is a plant that comes from Southeast Asia, and is now also cultivated in Jamaica and other tropical areas. The ginger herb root is used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Ginger is a natural spice and is known world wide for its smell and pungent taste. Ginger has been used by Chinese herbalists for more than 2,500 years as flavouring in food and also as a medicine.
What does Ginger do?
Ginger reduces abdominal bloating, stimulates digestion, keeps intestinal muscles toned, reduces nausea and vomiting, supports the cardiovascular system, and may be helpful for atherosclerosis, chemotherapy support, painful menstruation, migraine headaches, morning sickness, motion sickness, diarrhoea, flatulence, dyspepsia, alcoholic gastritis, and rheumatism.
Results of small studies conducted among seasick sailors or ship passengers, found that ginger generally has more effectiveness for relieving motion sickness than placebo (inactive sugar pills). Ginger has also been used in folk medicine to treat minor gastrointestinal problems such as gas or stomach cramps. Recent studies may confirm that ginger directly affects the gastrointestinal tract, helping to improve muscle tone and to prevent abnormally rapid and strong intestinal contractions.
Ginger lowers cholesterol levels by impairing cholesterol absorption, helping it convert to bile acids and then increasing bile elimination. Ginger's anti-nausea action also helps dispel dizziness, particularly when the dizziness is aggravated by motion sickness. Ginger helps indirectly to relieve chronic pain by reducing inflammation by lowering the body's level of natural pain-causing compounds called prostaglandins. Ginger is also used as an anti-inflammatory against rheumatic pain and arthritis. Ginger may boost the pumping action of the heart, prevent the formation of clots, reduce cholesterol levels, and fight inflammation.
Are there any side effects or warnings?
• Gas, bloating, and heartburn. These symptoms can lead to a stomach ulcer over a long period of time and if a large amount of ginger is used.
• People with gallstones should consult their doctors prior to taking ginger as it is know to increase bile flow.
• Large amounts of ginger should not be taken in pregnancy.