My First Experience of How Amazing Ginger is!
On a 5 hour trip around the harbor in a small ship, many years ago, replete with good food and drink, I started feeling nauseous. I tried to ignore it but with each passing wave the ship went through it worsened. Before long I was bent double in the bathroom ( I wasn’t alone, there were 3 others ‘in the same boat’ so to speak…) A friendly cruise attendant, obviously quite accustomed to the scene before her, offered us all a small piece of fresh ginger to suck on. Within minutes my vomiting had stopped, the nausea was gone and I no longer felt dizzy!
This was my introduction to the amazing health benefits of ginger. I’ve since learned that it’s FAR superior to the motion sickness drug Dramamine!
The results I got for motion sickness when I ate that small piece seem to be typical, so it’s no surprise that its also excellent for early pregnancy morning sickness – and no side effects!
But motion and morning sickness aside, what exactly are the health benefits of ginger?
ARTHRITIS AND OSTEOPOROSIS
Many arthritis and osteoporosis sufferers report a reduction in pain on taking ginger. 2 studies found 75% of arthritis sufferers and 100% muscular discomfort sufferers experienced pain relief.
The swelling associated with painful arthritis in the knee can also be radically reduced. A 12 month study done by Dr. Krishna Srivastava of the University of Denmark, on the effects of ginger on arthritis found that after 6 months the subjects reported, not only less pain in movement, but also less swelling in the knees. When they were switched to a placebo, the swelling increased again.
How exactly does ginger give this result? Pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines) are produced by the cells making up the synovial lining of the joints. It seems that ginger suppresses these, giving pain relief and reduction in swelling.
A study on mice, done at the University of Michigan by Dr. Suzanna Zick, ND, showed some promising results for this type of cancer . The mice all had colorectal cancer tumors, but the ones on ginger all had a significantly smaller tumor size than the mice not given ginger.
In time it could be found that ginger slows the metastasis of inoperable tumors.
The same anti tumor effects were noted in a study ( again at the University of Michigan, by Dr. Rebecca Liu and colleagues) involving ovarian cancer cells. Exposure to ginger extract caused cell death in all ovarian cancer lines tested.
It could be, that, consuming ginger is a good preventive measure for ovarian cancer. More than 50% of women who develop the disease are only diagnosed in the advanced stages.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER TEA?
There are so many, you’re going to want to drink it daily! The hot spiciness on it’s own is a taste sensation, but how about making it a gourmet experience by adding peppermint leaves, chamomile flowers, cayenne pepper or just lemon and honey?
Here is the recipe for basic ginger tea:
Place 1 TBS grated ginger in a 2 cup measuring jug. Fill to the 1 and a half cup line with boiling water. Leave 10 minutes. Strain and drink. Add honey, peppermint or lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, chamomile flowers, Echinacea tincture or cayenne pepper!
Do you suffer from motion sickness, early pregnancy morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, or nausea caused by cancer treatment? If so, ginger tea mad with fresh ginger is going to be your new best friend!
Drinking it before travelling can prevent the nausea of motion sickness. At the first signs of ANY nausea drink ginger tea to get relief. It’s been shown to give relief to any of these conditions. Of course to experience these benefits ginger tea must be drunk regularly – up to 5 times a day or more if you like. There are no side effects.
Aside from stomach upsets, other uses are for arthritis and osteoporosis pain. Regular use ha been widely reported to give substantial pain relief.
Upper respiratory tract infections, cough and bronchitis sufferers can also benefit from the mucus eliminating compounds in fresh ginger tea.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRESH GINGER TEA
Many claim it has weight loss properties as it is supposed to be able to burn fat and make you feel full. Certainly it is a diuretic so helps eliminate excess body water. It could help you feel fuller for longer too as it seems to help control blood sugar levels. However, these effects have been shown to be only very slight.
Ginger seems to help increase blood circulation so some have used it for frostbite, but, again, this effect is very small.
Other uses: Helps with heartburn by blocking acid, clears sinuses by its anti inflammatory compounds as well as mucus eliminating properties.
It can also help you get the most from your food by improving digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Ginger is just one of the many natural foods that are so good for you. The more we study it, the more astounded we are by its powerful properties. The great thing about ginger is the ease with which it can be included in your diet. So, eat more of it and feel healthier!
Fresh ginger is more spicy and pungent than dried, but both are good and effective.
One of the most delicious ways to eat ginger is by crystallizing it. Here is an easy recipe to try:
Recipe for Crystallized Ginger
1/2 pound fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 pound organic sugar, plus additional sugar for tossing the cooked ginger slices
1. Slice the ginger into 1/8 inch thick slices using a mandoline or a sharp knife. The slices should all be the same thickness so they cook evenly.
2. Put the sliced ginger into a pot on the stove and pour in enough water to just cover the ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes until most, but not all, of the liquid has cooked off (you want about 1/4 cup of liquid to remain).
3. Add the sugar to the ginger slices and remaining water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
4. Drain the ginger slices over a colander, reserving the ginger syrup for another use.
5. Spread the wet ginger slices out on a cooling rack set over waxed paper. Sprinkle one side of the slices with organic sugar. Allow to dry for a few hours, then turn over and sprinkle the other side with organic sugar.
6. Once sprinkled with sugar and completely dry, the slices will keep in an airtight container for several months.