Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger Health Benefits - Many And Varied

If you are eating a meal spiced with ginger, health benefits are present in every mouthful. Ginger, specifically the ginger root, has been an important culinary ingredient for as long as anyone knows. It is a staple in many oriental foods, has been in European kitchens for centuries, and today is possibly even more well known for its medicinal properties and health benefits than for its flavoring of foods.

One can make lists of ginger culinary uses, ginger medicinal uses, and ginger health benefits, and they will all be long lists. Many ginger health benefits are rooted in folk lore, and some claims remain unproven, at least in scientific circles. Yet one fact seems certain. Ginger does many positive things for our bodies, and for most people there are no significant side effects experienced when ingesting the spice.

Learn By Eating and Drinking - In North America we use ginger in some recipes though not to the extent it is used in many other countries. For the most part we became familiar with the flavor of ginger when we first were given ginger snaps or ginger bread cookies to eat. Later on, we became familiar with ginger ale. At some point in time, we discovered that ginger ale wasn’t just another soft drink. It seemed to have a calming effect on an upset stomach, and also was nice to have handy to fight off bouts of nausea or motion sickness. Ordinary soft drinks wouldn't do that, in fact usually behaved just the opposite.

As time went by, we familiarized ourselves with ginger supplements and ginger teas, and began to fully realize that ginger health benefits were very real and not just the usual hype associated with many herbs, spices, teas, and other supplements. As mentioned earlier, eating ginger in powdered or supplement form, eating the root, or drinking ginger tea, seldom causes any adverse side effects. People having certain conditions should avoid ginger, but the percentage of people needing to do that is quite small. For most of us, taking in too much ginger has similar effects to taking in too much of anything. We may feel temporarily out of sorts, but will recover, having learned a lesson in the process.

There is indeed a certain amount of folklore and home remedy myths tied together with actual ginger health benefits. Ginger ale has the same effect on us as chicken soup, or Grandma's special vanilla pudding, when it comes to making us feel better. The benefits are real enough, but psychology plays a bit of a role as well. When we drink ginger ale, we expect to feel better.

Some Ginger Health Benefits Are Very Real, Others in Question - Besides being a known remedy for nausea, motion sickness, and a queasy stomach, ginger is quite effective as a digestive aid. It tends to neutralize stomach acids and is consequently valuable in easing the symptoms of heartburn. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and is thought to stimulate insulin production, play a role in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), and help regulate blood pressure. None of these latter benefits have been entirely proven, but laboratory tests indicate that there may be something to them. Ginger has been promoted as a cure or preventive agent for motion sickness, including seasickness. It is neither, but it does definitely appear to lessen the chances of contracting motion sickness, and also appears to ease the symptoms. The situation is similar when it comes to reducing chronic pain. Ginger is not a cure here either, but does seem to act positively in easing certain types of chronic pain.

Ginger does tend to thin the blood and it is generally considered that it is not a good idea to take it prior to having surgery. It also affects the production of liver bile, and gall bladder patients are often advised not to take ginger in any form. For the most part though, ginger health benefits are regarded as being risk free. Even if you are not into supplements, an occasional glass of ginger ale and a ginger snap or two will probably do you more good than harm.