Ginger Benefits, Medicinal Properties and Side Effects

Know in one minute about Ginger benefits

  • 1,8-cineole compound in ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and treats acute bronchitis.
  • Gingerol in ginger acts as an anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, and hepatoprotective.
  • Shogoal compound in ginger is good as anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic to various central nervous system activities.

Introduction

Ginger is a herbaceous perennial rhizome known as Zingiber officinale Rosc. Ginger benefits are well-known in Sanskrit therefore it is called Universal medicine. It compares ginger as a lion and all other diseases are like small animals. The rhizomes are aromatic and are valuable throughout the world as a spice or herbal medicine and as an essential oil (1). India is the largest producer of ginger in the world (2).

Active components of Ginger

Some of the important components are acetic acid, α-linolenic acid, α-phellandrene, α-pinene, α- terpinene, α-terpineol, arginine, ascorbic acid, β-sitosterol, boron, caffeic acid, camphor, capsaicin, chlorogenic acid, curcumene, zingiberene, resins, starches, fats and proteins (3). Important constituents of ginger and their functions are as follows

  • 1,8-cineole: Act as an anti-inflammatory and used for the treatment of acute bronchitis (4).
  • Gingerol: Acts as an anticancer, anti-inflammation, and anti-oxidant (5), anti-microbial, and hepatoprotective (12, 13).
  • Shogoal: Acts as an anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic to various central nervous system activities (6).

9 Health benefits of Ginger:

  • Anti-oxidant activity

    The main components of ginger that exhibit antioxidant activity are gingerols, shogoals, and zingerone. Zingerone is the most potent antioxidant active compound it protects the DNA and intestine from oxidative damage (7 and 8).

  • Anti-cancer activity

    Recent studies on mouse found that compounds that are gingerol, zingerone, and shogoal showed anti-cancerous activity against different types of malignancies including carcinomas of the prostrate liver colon and oral cavity (2).

  • Anti-fungal activity

    It showed effective anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans, therefore, can be effective against disease candidiasis (9).

  • Anti-diabetic activity

    Studies on Type I diabetic rats showed that treatment with ginger extract causes decreases serum cholesterol and blood pressure (10).

  • Anti-hepatotoxic activity

    Increased pollution also caused many diseases related to the liver due to exposure to various toxins. Liver dysfunction is mostly managed by herbal treatment. Ginger is considered as a good natural hepatoprotective constituent. Studies showed that its extract protects CCl4 induced toxicity in rats (11).

  • Anti-microbial

    Antibiotic use against various microbesise the most effective way to prevent many diseases. But with the increase of antibiotics, the resistance of all microbes also increases, and again it causes more dreadful diseases. The only safe way to prevent is the use of herbal extracts. Ginger and its constituent’s gingerol are effective against many harmful microorganisms like E coli, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus subtilis (14).

  • Cardiovascular activity

    It acts as a great heart tonic for reducing blood clotting, decreasing cholesterol hence reducing thrombosis leading to a healthy heart.

  • Antidepressant activity:

    Studies in albino rats showed that ginger extract associated with potential antidepressant activity (15).

  • Gastroprotective activity

    Ginger and its constituents are anti-ulcerative in its nature mainly acts by increasing mucin secretion (2).

Therefore it increases immunity. Stimulate the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Helps in revitalizing the body by boosting the circulatory system.

Medicinal Properties of Ginger

  • Digestion – For improving digestion take around half or one-fourth teaspoon of dried ginger with salt before the meal
  • Headache – Ginger mixed with oil can be applied on the forehead to relieve from a cold and cold-related headache.
  • Cold –  A teaspoon of ginger juice and honey is effective.
  • Menstrual Cramps – Ginger tea is helpful for relief from cold and menstrual cramps. It is prepared mainly by simmering fresh or dry ginger in water with black pepper and basil leaves.

Precautions

Ginger heats up the body therefore, it should be taken in a small amount during the summer season. Excess intake can cause bleeding menstrual problems and bleeding ulcers.

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