Native to Southeast Asia, the ginger flowering plant belongs to the larger family of plants that include turmeric and cardamom, making it one of the healthiest spices on the planet.
Here we take a look at 10 benefits of ginger that have been proven by scientific research and numerous medical studies.
Ginger has a long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It helps fight flu and colds.
Research has shown that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For example, it helps reduce oxidative stress caused by excessive free radicals in the body.
Ginger is very effective against nausea. It also helps people who are undergoing certain types of surgery or chemotherapy-related conditions.
Several studies have shown that ginger is more effective for pregnancy-related nausea in women, especially morning sickness.
Helps to lose weight
Ginger plays an important role in weight loss, with human and animal studies up to 2019 concluding that ginger supplementation can significantly reduce the accumulation of fat around the waist and hips.
A 2016 study of 80 obese women found that ginger can help lower body mass index and blood insulin levels.
Reduces joint inflammation
A review of several related studies found that people who used ginger to treat arthritis experienced a significant reduction in pain and disability.
Another 2011 study found that a mixture of ginger, mastic, cinnamon, and sesame oil helped reduce pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis.
Lowers blood sugar
In a 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, consuming 2 grams of ginger powder per day reduced blood sugar levels by 12 percent.
Ginger significantly improves hemoglobin, which is a sign of long-term blood sugar control.
Treat chronic indigestion
Interestingly, ginger speeds up stomach emptying. In a 2011 study, people with indigestion were given ginger capsules and it took 12 minutes for their stomachs to empty.
Reduces menstrual pain
In a 2009 study, 150 women drank ginger during the first three days of their periods and found that ginger was effective in reducing pain.
In a 2018 study of 60 people with hyperlipidemia, 30 people who took 5 grams of ginger powder daily reduced their LDL cholesterol by 17.4 percent over a 3-month period.
A 28-day study in people at high risk for colon cancer found that 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon.
Improves brain function
Some animal studies have shown that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger inhibit inflammatory responses in the brain.
There is some evidence that ginger can help boost brain function directly.