Ginger and Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a common herb used in vegetable recipes, throughout the world. It is a rhizome, which grows underground. The texture is firm and has striations, adding flavor to culinary dishes. Based on the variety of rhizome, ginger is red, yellow or white in color. A thick or thin brownish skin is seen covering the flesh. This depends on the maturity levels of ginger. Botanically referred to as Zingiber officinale, ginger, is a medicine used for gastro intestinal problems. It is a herb, which aids in getting rid of flatulence. It relaxes the gastrointestinal tract and eliminates the signs and symptoms of any existing problem.
What are the Health Benefits of Ginger?
Ginger exhibits anti inflammatory property by retarding the production of compounds, active in swelling process. It also serves as a potent antioxidant. Motion sickness is completely controlled by ginger administration. It also reveals its superior functioning, in comparison to Dramamine, an over the counter drug, used in the treatment of motion sickness. Typical symptoms of motion sickness include, vomiting, nausea, dizziness and cold sweating. Morning sickness in pregnancy is associated with nausea and vomiting. Ginger portrays its effect on nausea, even in severe cases, such as hyperemesis gravidum. Lack of side effects during its administration makes it compliable for pregnant women.
Gingerol, a chemical component of ginger is attributed for its anti inflammatory property. It is an active phenolic compound that helps in free radical protection. Nitric oxide, a nitrogen molecule, produces a free radical, peroxynitrite. This is prevented by gingerol. Research reveals the increase in the synthesis of a natural antioxidant, glutathione. This explains the reason behind the consumption of ginger by individuals suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Pain decreases and degree of movement is much better on regular consumption of ginger.
Gingerol is also responsible for retarding the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Leukocytes, chondrocytes and synoviocytes synthesize pro-inflammatory compounds, which, are in turn, inhibited by ginger. Thus, ginger is a potent chemotherapeutic agent. It also instigates apoptosis or programmed cell death and self digestion, resulting in cessation of ovarian cancer cells. A reduction in the inflammation causing compounds, such as, interleukin-8, prostaglandin E2 and vascular endothelial growth factor, is seen in the carcinogenic ovarian cells. Ovarian cancer is life threatening and the symptoms occur at a later stage. Ginger decoction or tea helps in increasing perspiration on a cold day, thereby assisting in detoxification. A tea made in hot water with fresh ginger slices help in eradication of nausea.