learn more about this wonderful healing super-spice
Dr Jess says:
For thousands of years, ginger has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Indian Ayurveda to help treat a multitude of health issues.
The root of the ginger plant is not only renowned for helping people to take nausea (sip on a cup of ginger tea, if you are feeling sick), but it is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.1
It is perfect for pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness, who are looking for a non-medicinal way to soothe their stomachs. Some studies show that it may be beneficial for those with heart disease2 and lowers blood sugar in diabetics.3 Its anti-inflammatory properties can likely also benefit a range of conditions caused by inflammation, Alzheimer’s.4 It is a brilliant digestive aid soothing bloating and cramping and settling upset stomachs, there is evidence showing it can prevent stomach ulcers (especially when taking anti-inflammatories like aspirin or ibuprofen).1 It is a heating and pungent herb in traditional Chinese medicine said to aid circulation, regulate the digestive system and warm the body. If you are a hot person you may wish to be cautious about over-using ginger.
Fresh (but not dried) ginger is also a great natural remedy for treating coughs and colds. Its natural anti-microbial properties can help to tackle germs and may stop infections going into your lungs.5,6
how should I use ginger?
ginger tea: Use slices of fresh ginger in hot water with apple cider vinegar and honey, for a natural way to treat coughs and colds or an upset digestion. Use two slices of ginger root, with a dessert spoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey. Add boiling water.
cook with it! Grate or pureé fresh ginger into your soups, stews and casseroles. And it goes without saying that it works brilliantly in Asian and Indian dishes like stir fries and curries!
try juicing: If you’re a fan of a morning smoothie, juice ginger with apple and carrot for a detoxifying, warming and energising drink.
give pickled ginger a try: This can be made at home, using either young ginger (you can find this in international supermarkets), or mature ginger (you will need to cure this type with salt for 30 minutes, before rinsing thoroughly, to remove some of that fiery ginger heat). Simply peel your ginger (this is best done using a dessert spoon to scrape away the skin), then finely slice and place in a sterilised jar with brine. To make your brine, take equal amounts of water and rice vinegar and place these in a pan with four teaspoons of sugar, for each cup of liquid you have used. Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, then use this to fill your jar or sliced ginger. Ensure the top of the ginger is fully submerged in the liquid and that the lid is fully sealed. This is ready for use after just three days, and is a great accompaniment to sushi or Japanese food.
- Haniadka R, Saldanha E, Sunita V, Palatty PL, Fayad R, Baliga MS. A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Food Funct. 2013 Jun;4(6):845-55. doi: 10.1039/c3fo30337c. Epub 2013 Apr 24. PMID: 23612703.
- Roudsari NM, Lashgari NA, Momtaz S, Roufogalis B, Abdolghaffari AH, Sahebkar A. Ginger: A complementary approach for management of cardiovascular diseases. Biofactors. 2021 Aug 13. doi: 10.1002/biof.1777. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34388275.
- Carvalho GCN, Lira-Neto JCG, Araújo MFM, Freitas RWJF, Zanetti ML, Damasceno MMC. Effectiveness of ginger in reducing metabolic levels in people with diabetes: a randomized clinical trial. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2020 Oct 9;28:e3369. doi: 10.1590/1518-8345.3870.3369. PMID: 33053078; PMCID: PMC7546607.
- Mohd Sahardi NFN, Makpol S. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) in the Prevention of Ageing and Degenerative Diseases: Review of Current Evidence. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Aug 20;2019:5054395. doi: 10.1155/2019/5054395. PMID: 31531114; PMCID: PMC6721508.
- Chang JS, Wang KC, Yeh CF, Shieh DE, Chiang LC. Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jan 9;145(1):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.10.043. Epub 2012 Nov 1. PMID: 23123794.
- Wang J, Prinz RA, Liu X, Xu X. In Vitro and In Vivo Antiviral Activity of Gingerenone A on Influenza A Virus Is Mediated by Targeting Janus Kinase 2. Viruses. 2020 Oct 8;12(10):1141. doi: 10.3390/v12101141. PMID: 33050000; PMCID: PMC7650803.