Ginger is one of the most common and popular spices used in cooking. In addition, it is widely recognized for its medicinal benefits. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, together with turmeric and cardamom. The root or rhizome of the ginger plant is edible in its powdered, fresh, dried, or oil forms. It is also available as capsules and lozenges. Foods containing ginger are cookies, ginger ale, ginger snaps, gingerbread, and savory recipes. Several sources provide information on primary and secondary safety concerns of the ginger plant.
For most people, natural ginger does not cause significant side effects. Scientific analysis proves that ginger has many compounds that are essential for healing. These compounds eliminate gastrointestinal (GI) irritation. They also aid in the production of bile and saliva, and the suppression of gastric contractions (Jesudoss et al. 293). According to Chen et al., herbalists classify this plant as tonic, carminative, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial (1118). Several communities and societies have also used ginger as a traditional alternative medicine to cure many diseases.
Similarly, people have used ginger as a remedy for small health infections. For instance, research has shown that the plant alleviates vomiting, treats colds, and eases intestinal disturbances (Sahib 1010). It also aids in the prevention of colon cancer. Recently, scientists have conducted research on the possible effects of ginger extracts on cancer (Pashaei-Asl et al. 244). Clinical trials on human and animal studies have shown encouraging results; for instance, during chemotherapy, eating raw ginger prevents nausea. It is also safe for expectant women as it relieves nausea and can be consumed as candies or lozenges. For menstruating girls and women, ginger reduces dysmenorrheal symptoms that cause severe pain during cycles.
Ginger is helpful in healing wounds and relieving pain. Accordingly, patients nursing wounds from tonsillectomy experience reduced pain when they use ginger (Adams). There are also increased rates of healing compared to the patients that do not use the respective plant. It is also antiviral as it treats influenza (Si et al. 1119). Additionally research has studied and discovered that its extracts are toxic to the avian influenza virus, H9N2. In this respect, it disrupts infections that associate with the illness in question.
Ginger is safe and modestly efficacious for the treatment of osteoarthritis. When applied onto the skin, it reduces knee pain and osteoarthritis inflammation (Ware). Therefore, healthcare providers recommend it to patients as it reduces morning stiffness and increases their mobility. In cardiovascular health, it also reduces cholesterol, which aids in the maintenance of optimal levels of blood sugar. This aspect helps prevent diabetes and heart-related diseases.
Fresh ginger helps in the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus. It assists in the improvement of breathing and enhances oxygenation for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Constituents of ginger, such as 6-shogaol, 6-paradol, 6-gingerol, dehydrozingerone, and zingerone are effective for brain health, especially for aging individuals. They modulate the death of brain cells, which often materialize from neurological symptoms (Adams). Ginger also limits dry mouth and resolves any difficulties in swallowing.
Safety information on the use and consumption of ginger is helpful. Ginger extracts contain many compounds that help in the treatment of various health complications. It is advisable for patients undergoing various forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy, osteoarthritis, and other surgeries since it relieves pain. In addition, it helps in the management of wounds. Furthermore, ginger alleviates vomiting, treats cold flu, and relieves intestinal disruptions. It also prevents colon cancer and nausea.
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Works Cited Adams, Case. “18 Benefits of Ginger According to Research.” The Journal of Plant Medicines, 19 Oct. 2017, https://plantmedicines.org/gingers-many-amazing-medicinal-benefits-exposed-in-recent-research/. Accessed 18 Oct. 2019. Jesudoss, Victor Antony Santiago, et al. “Zingerone (Ginger Extract).” Gastrointestinal Tissue, 2017, pp. 289–297., doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-805377-5.00021-7. Pashaei-Asl, Roghiyeh, et al. “The Inhibitory Effect of Ginger Extract on Ovarian Cancer Cell Line.” Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 2, 2017, pp. 241–249.doi: 10.15171/apb.2017.029. Sahib, Ahmed Salih. “Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Using a Selected Herbal Combination of Iraqi Folk Medicines.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 148, no. 3, 2013, pp. 1008–1012., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.05.034. Si, Wenhui, et al. “Antioxidant Activities of Ginger Extract and Its Constituents toward Lipids.” Food Chemistry, vol. 239, 2018, pp. 1117–1125., doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.07.055. Ware, Megan. “Ginger: Health Benefits and Dietary Tips.” Medical News Today, 11 Sep. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php. Accessed 18 Oct. 2019.