When was the last time you ate/drank some ginger? Ginger is a superhero! It is a remarkable herb with intense anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is revered in India and Asia for its healing powers. Can you believe this: In China, ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years! For curing the common cold and cough, Ayurvedic practitioners in India (and around the world) rely first and foremost on ginger.
Thanks to Shubhra Krishan, author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you, here are 10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger:
1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite. (Ayurveda recommends that lunch should always be your main meal of the day, because this is when your digestive energy is naturally at its peak).
2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.
4. Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.
5. Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!
6. Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger—for best results, toss it in a little warm ghee before you chew.
7. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.*
8. Got a surgery done? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.
9. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!
10. Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst…the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties, too!)
*From Discovery Fit & Health, I learned why ginger is so effective in combating inflammation: because it partially inhibits two important enzymes that play a role in inflammation gone awry — cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase (LOX).
While anti-inflammatory drugs block COX more strongly, they don’t affect LOX at all and therefore only address part of the problem. Even worse, anti-inflammatory drugs can cause side effects, such as ulcers, because they also block the beneficial effects that COX has on the digestive tract, including protecting the stomach.
Pineapple Ginger Dressing
- 1 cup pineapple,chopped
- ½ inch piece of ginger
- ½ cup water
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!
Think like Hippocrates…Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. (As always, consult your doctor before making changes to your diet. While ginger is extremely safe, you do want to be sure it won’t have any negative impact on your current healthcare regimen.)