Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Ginger

Ginger is a medicinal herb used by people since ancient times. It is native to Asian countries, including China, Japan, and India but now can be also found in some African countries and South America. Ginger is used in medicine for different health problems. The most common health benefits of ginger are the following: 

Improves digestion. 

It helps to improve the movement through the digestive tract by preventing constipation. Also, it reduces such symptoms as diarrhea, upset stomach, and colic caused by irritable bowel syndrome.  

Eases the flu or a cold. 

Ginger helps to relieve a sore throat and kill rhinoviruses causing a cold and the flu.  

Relieves pain

According to the study conducted by the American Pain Society in 2009, 2 grams of heated or raw ginger can reduce muscle pain by 25%. It also helps women to reduce dysmenorrhea – the pain caused by menstruation.  

Reduces inflammation 

A review of 16 clinical trials in 2017 revealed that ginger is able to combat inflammation.  

Lowers cancer risk

Ginger is a great source of antioxidants reducing different types of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes building up free radicals – substances responsible for cellular damage and development of cancer.  

Treats burns

Ginger juice is often applied to skin to treat burns. Ginger also is also effective for preventing insect bites.   

Possible risks 

Many compounds of ginger have not been investigated by researchers yet. Moreover, there is still no scientific proof that ginger has healing qualities. Doctors also warn that by interacting with other medications, ginger might cause unpredictable health complications. Moreover, ginger might also cause allergic reactions, such as skin rash, swelling of the face, lips, or throat, and difficulty breathing. Therefore, to avoid any risks, it is highly recommended to consult a physician or health provider.