If you are not at least aware of the wonders ginger tea can do for your sore throat, allow me to introduce the many benefits of ginger we know thus far.
Ginger is among the most widely used dietary condiments in the world today. It is derivative of the plant family that includes cardamom and turmeric (which we know a thing or two about http://makersnutrition.com/news/2017-10-05-dive-into-fall-with-tumeric/), so it is not surprising that ginger is so healthy. For 4,700 years, ginger has been used in Asian medicine, showing anti-inflammatory properties that resemble those of ibuprofen (draxe).
Why Do People Still Use it?
Specifically because of its active compounds, gingerols, ginger has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. High in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, this plant can alleviate symptoms of many conditions, including those of arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (bodyandsoul). A review published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences examined the findings of 60 studies performed on cell cultures, lab animals, and humans. The authors of this review concluded that these studies “have built a consensus that ginger and its major constituents exert beneficial effect against obesity, diabetes, [cardiovascular diseases] and related disorders” (time). But that is only the beginning. Let’s zoom into the specifics of what ginger supplementation can do for you.
A study with approximately 250 subjects found that ginger extract can lessen knee pain, but the real indication of ginger’s power resides in that many of these subjects were able to reduce the pain medication they were taking (wxyz). According to the Arthritis Foundation, ginger reduces inflammation in people who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), while increasing circulation in people with Raynaud’s syndrome (arthritis).
While ginger comes in all forms, ginger capsules can relieve menstrual cramp pain by preventing certain enzymes from producing prostaglandins—“chemicals that trigger pain and inflammation in the body” (livestrong). According to Dr. Nandi, MD, F.A.C.P., the creator and host of the nationally and internationally syndicated medical lifestyle television show, “Ask Dr. Nandi,” a study found that ginger capsules lowered severe pain many women endure during their monthly menstrual cycle. Researchers found that it was just as effective as ibuprofen, which only raises the question of why more people aren’t using supplements over medicine (wxyz). The studies from which this information was found can be read at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-teas-to-boost-your-health_us_59f88fb2e4b0449428337991. According to MSNBC Health, patients who took ginger capsules prior to receiving cancer chemotherapy experienced fewer and less severe attacks of nausea than those taking placebo (livestrong).
Ginger can diminish nausea, including that induced by chemotherapy, vomiting, and is a proven treatment for motion sickness. In fact, a 2012 in vitro study unveiled that the ginger extract Eurovita Extract 77 reduces inflammatory reactions in RA synovial cells just as effectively as steroids. Apropos this finding, one trial of more than 200 patients using the same extract showed less OA pain after standing and walking (arthritis.org). It is also possible that ginger capsules are less likely to cause unwanted side effects than prescription anti-nausea drugs commonly used by cancer patients. Capsules could be the better approach, especially when anti-nausea drugs are linked to adverse effects such as heart attacks and diabetes.
Speaking of which, gingerols facilitate improvement in those with diabetes, enhancing insulin sensitivity. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that gingerols can also suppress sorbitol accumulation in human blood cells. So not only does ginger better diabetics’ current condition, it can also prevent and reverse diabetes altogether (draxe). If proven further, ginger can potentially become part of treatment for diabetes (medicalnewstoday).
The phenolic compounds in ginger seemingly have positive effects on the enzymes pancreatic lipase and trypsin, raising motility of the digestive tract. Thus, ginger hints its ability to help prevent constipation. A healthy digestive tract means a healthy colon, which explains Cancer Prevention Research journal’s report that ginger supplements, lower the risk of colorectal cancer (medicalnewstoday).
Body Fat, Cholesterol, and the Heart
As explained in “How Ginger Fights Body Fat,” by Amanda MacMillan of Time, the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences review describes how ginger has the ability to lessen atherosclerosis, the buildup of dangerous fat in arteries, which may ring a bell about potassium (http://makersnutrition.com/news/2017-10-12-the-power-of-potassium-the-mineral-that-can-save-your-life/) (time). Studies discussed in MacMillan’s article suggest that ingesting ginger can reduce the feelings of hunger, which is helpful to overweight adults (time). The University of Maryland Medical Center released that ginger supplements can lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), thereby preventing blood clots and blood vessel damage caused by atherosclerosis. With their blood thinning effects, ginger supplements even ameliorate blood circulation throughout the body (livestrong). Lowered cholesterol and good blood flow make for a healthy heart. As with diabetes, if proven, ginger could be used in treatment for cardiovascular disease (medicalnewstoday).
Fungal Infections and Bacterial Infections
If you ask Dr. Axe, he will endorse ginger’s effects on fungal and bacterial infections. Of the 29 plant species tested in a Carleton University study, ginger dominated as the most effective killer of fungus. The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials published a 2011 study establishing that ginger far surpassed traditional antibiotics in killing Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, which are two types of bacteria (draxe).
Respiratory and Immune System
One of the oldest medical systems, Ayurveda, elevates ginger as an immune system booster. As stated by Dr. Axe, “It can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs, and is known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system” (draxe). In addition, Dr. Oz. states “By opening up these lymphatic channels and keeping things clean, ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that make you susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory system” (draxe).
So, if you aren’t drinking ginger tea to soothe your sore throat, perhaps you’ll find ginger supplementation a promising fit for a health issue you are currently facing.
As with any dietary supplement, please seek counsel from a licensed physician. Ginger is a highly beneficial possibility for many, but it may not be safe to take under your circumstances.