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Friday, 11 January 2019

Therapeutic uses of Ginger: Treat Cough, Sore throat, Make Ginger Tea, and more

Ginger is a perennial plant having thick branching aromatic rhizomes and leafy reed-like stems. It is a knotted, underground stem packed full with nature's healing properties. Apart from its many therapeutic uses, ginger is a popular food seasoning used widely in Asian cookery. The US National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus website states that the chemicals packed in ginger may be effectual in reducing nausea and inflammation. The chemicals in this potent herb according to research, work majorly in the stomach and intestines. They have also been seen to be able to affect the brain and nervous system, and the herbal root has been effectively applied in the treatment of many ailments such as cough, sore throat, etc.
Ginger home remedy (photo: google images)

As an age-old spice and herbal remedy, ginger has been an old favourite extensively used in the Asian cultures of mainly China, India and the Middle East - who have evolved many uses for ginger including incorporating it into sweets, and beverages such as tea and coffee. Ginger is well valued and cherished for its alluring fragrance as well as its essential oil which since ancient times have been extracted and used by perfumers. For over 2,000 years ginger has been used by the Chinese in herbal and aromatic treatments of various ailments such as inflammation, treatment and prevention of infections like flu, and diarrhoea, etc.
Ginger is a herbal food ingredient which experts have highly recommended for both cooking and as viable composition for so many traditional and modern remedies. It promotes the health of bones as well as eases joint pains. Scientists working in the University of Miami, USA did a study with several patients from various backgrounds and ages - who had symptoms of osteoarthritis. Having been weaned and cleansed form any form of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications, the patients were divided into two groups a week later. One was placed on a placebo while the other was on ginger supplements.
Having gone through six weeks of intensive dosage the two groups felt improvements, but the group on ginger supplements recorded a notable pain reduction higher an above those on placebo – up to 63 percent of them. And the last test which involved the group taking a walk, showed a remarkable ease for the ginger group patients in walking a distance of 50 feet, an improvement twice as much as for those who were on placebos.
Ginger contains several distinctive very strong organic anti-inflammatory compounds found in foods. These days they have become what experts refer to as gingerols. These compounds have been known to directly ease knee inflammation with the pains that come with it. Thus ginger has proven from series of studies that it is able to treat and prevent sicknesses and diseases such as – in the treatment of diarrhoea, since it’s able to effectively avert stomach spasms and gas, which lead to this condition. Ginger has proven to be efficacious in the elimination of excess gas, as well as acting as an appetiser while aiding digestion.

Ginger root (photo: Google images)

The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger (gingerols) have been found to immensely benefit the gastrointestinal system, and further be capable of preventing cancers. For example, through the carcinogenic preventive activities of these compounds in the colon, ginger is able to therefore stave off the development of colorectal cancer.
Ginger also acts as a detoxifier and disinfectant by improving sweating - thereby helping to eliminate bacteria and viruses from the body. It has equally been found as a natural sex enhancer or aphrodisiac; it does this by enabling increased blood circulation, and flow to the mid-section. In addition, ginger helps women of child-bearing age by preventing and alleviating menstrual cramps. It will also reduce or prevent nausea especially with pregnant women.
A word of caution though, experts say if you suffer from gallstones, or have a history of gall bladder conditions, it will be good to consult your doctor before using ginger as a form of treatment due to its side effects on such conditions.
Many at times ginger has been used to alleviate sore throats and treat coughs, especially one resulting from the common cold. Also, the University of Maryland Medical Centre, USA, states that adding a drop of ginger oil or a few slices of fresh ginger to a bowl of steaming water is one of the many ways you could benefit from the healing powers of ginger. This can be done by inhaling the aromatic vapours to enable soothing of sore throat for example.

Studies also show that when ginger is combined with hot water, lemon and honey, you have an Ayurvedic beverage like tea to effectively deal with cough and the sore throat that may come with it. An Ayurveda website tells how you can make your own ginger tea: Boil one cup of water and add 1/8 tsp. of fresh mashed ginger together with freshly squeezed juice of half a fresh lemon. Having boiled this, pour it into a cup and mix 1 tbsp. of honey, and there you are!.

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