For hundreds of years, people and cultures all over the world have been using ginger to naturally treat and prevent illnesses as a part of traditional and alternative medicine. Check out these ginger benefits and how you can use this root for natural healing and prevention!Jump to Recipe
*note: We are not medical professionals. Talk to a licensed medical professional if you’re concerned about any illness, sickness, or symptoms. You can talk to a professional about your alternative medicine options.
What are the Benefits of Ginger?
Ready to experience some ginger benefits? It’s been the secret weapon of natural healing for centuries. Check out some of the scientifically-supported evidence that suggests ginger may be the perfect supplement to your diet.
1. Fights Germs and Bacteria Growth
Gingerol, the primary bioactive compound in ginger, helps reduce the oxidative stress that results from an excess amount of free radicals in the body. Oxidative stress happens when your body has an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants, so your body can’t fight pathogens or infections very well.
Ginger helps restore this balance and helps your immune system run efficiently.
It also contains chemical compounds known to kill rhinoviruses, agents that cause colds. These compounds also have calming properties and help support the immune system in protecting us from harmful microbes, acting as antioxidants, and helping with cellular repair.
2. Boosts Oral Health
Ginger contains raffinose and gingerol, two compounds that studies have shown to help reduce the oral bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease.
3. Fights Nausea
Whether you’re dealing with morning sickness, a tummy ache, motion sickness, or postoperative nausea, ginger is often used to treat symptoms of nausea. That’s why mom always gave us ginger ale when we were sick! Doctors think it helps keep your digestive function stable and blood pressure consistent.
4. Relaxes Sore Muscles
A 2010 study of adults who took 2 grams of ginger as a daily oral supplement showed that ginger reduced exercise-related muscle pain by 23-25%. Ginger may be helpful as a pain management alternative, especially if you can’t tolerate anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. The antioxidants in ginger suppress the cellular production of nitric oxide, a compound that leads to tissue damage and inflammation.
5. Combats Arthritis Symptoms
Ginger’s benefits come from several different compounds, including gingerols and shogaols, both of which have anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties. The anti-inflammatory properties seem to help relieve pain and improve joint function in people who have arthritis.
Compounds in ginger may work similarly to how common arthritis medications ease the pain. A 2015 study concluded that ginger was “modestly effective and reasonable safe” for people with osteoarthritis. An analysis of data from 593 people showed that those who used ginger had a 30% greater reduction in pain than those who used a placebo.
6. Lowers Cancer Risk
Ginger has been shown to aid in preventing gastrointestinal cancer, one of the most common cancers in the world. In ginger, gingerol and shogaol work to fight against GI cancer. Ginger may also have anti-cancer qualities is because it regulates several signaling molecules and cell growth regulatory proteins.
7. Blood Sugar Regulator
Ginger has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. In a clinical trial, the people who received daily ginger supplements had improved fasting blood sugar compared to their baseline levels. Studies have also found that ginger encourages your muscles to absorb glucose without requiring you to take extra insulin.
8. Reduces Menstrual Pain and Symptoms
Menstrual cramps can be debilitating, and ginger can be an excellent remedy. Research suggests that ginger compounds may help protect against the increases in inflammation by inhibiting the body’s production of prostaglandins (a class of pro-inflammatory chemicals involved in triggering the muscle contractions that help the uterus shed its lining). Because the onset of menstrual cramps appears to be linked to excessive production of prostaglandins, consuming ginger can help reduce menstrual pain.
9. Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that ginger can reduce levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).
10. Disease Prevention
Disease prevention is one of the biggest industries out there, but cultures have been using ginger as a natural way to prevent a host of diseases and illnesses for hundreds of years.
11. Indigestion, Bloating, Gas Relief
Ginger protects and heals the gut, encourages food movement through the gastrointestinal tract, and reduces wind, bloating, and cramps. It also awakens the taste buds, gets digestive juices flowing, and reduces the buildup of excess stomach acid.
12. Pain Relief
Ginger contains salicylates, which your body transforms into a chemical substance called salicylic acid. Salicylic acid prevents your nerves from making certain prostaglandins, which eases pain and discomfort.
13. Improved Skin Health
The antioxidant properties of ginger can be helpful for skin health and hair growth. A recent study found that eating a combination of turmeric and ginger helped improve the skin’s appearance and ability to heal.
14. Prevents Inflammation
Inflammation is tricky. It’s your body’s natural, healthy reaction to fight bacteria or infection. However, lots of people deal with chronic inflammation without knowing it. This is when your body continues sending inflammatory cells even when there is no outside danger. This can cause a host of other issues, but mostly discomfort. Symptoms of chronic inflammation can include abdominal pain, chest pain, fatigue, fever, joint pain, and rashes. Chronic inflammation, when left untreated, can contribute to a host of other serious illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
How Do I Eat Ginger and Is It Safe?
Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried, powdered, or made into oil or juice. Doctors recommend incorporating no more than 3-4 grams of ginger into your daily diet. The equivalent is 1/2 tsp of powdered ginger or 1 tsp grated, raw ginger. You can also buy ginger supplements in pill form.
Side effects from eating ginger are uncommon, but the following can occur if you eat too much:
- Burning sensation
If you take medication, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before adding ginger as a supplement to your diet because it can interact negatively and cause discomfort.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Ginger Into Your Diet
The easiest way to incorporate this root is with ginger powder, a ginger capsule, or ginger juice. I like to add two Tbsp of ginger juice to my daily smoothie. Keep in mind, gingerol is a bit spicy, so if you add powder or juice to a beverage or food, it’ll give it a bit of kick. Try adding fresh ginger to stir-frys, flavorful sauces, or soups!
Popular Recipes with Ginger
Thinly slice your fresh ginger. You don’t need to peel it, but rinse it and scrub off any dirt. Use about a one-inch piece of ginger per cup of tea. In a saucepan, combine the ginger with fresh water (use one cup of water per serving). Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes (depending on how strong you want the tea). Pour the tea through a fine sieve to catch all of the ginger. If desired, serve your tea with a thin round of lemon or orange for some. You might also like a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, which will offset the fiery ginger flavor.
Mango Ginger Kale Green Smoothie
This is the perfect pick-me-up to get your body feeling healthy and nourished!
Ginger Mango Kale Green Smoothie
- 1 blender
- 1 cup ice
- 2 cups packed kale
- 1 cup frozen mango cubes
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1-1/2 cups filtered water
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Add ice to the blender first and crush. Then add kale, mango, peaches, ginger, lime juice, and 1 cup water to start. The amount of water will depend on how many of your ingredients are frozen.
- Blend until smooth, only adding water a little at a time as needed, and scraping down the sides and blending as needed.
- Once your smoothie is well-blended, taste and make adjustments as you'd like. If it's too sour, add more fruit or a bit of maple syrup (optional). For more zing, add ginger. And for more acidity, add more lemon juice. To make it thicker or colder, add more ice and blend.
- Divide between two serving glasses and enjoy immediately.
Daily Ginger Benefits with Hot Water, Lemon, and Ginger
This is the perfect way to start your day and is especially comforting in the colder months. I make this all day when I’m feeling sick and even occasionally enjoy a mug to wind down before bed in the evenings. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Slice a lemon in half and juice each half into a serving mug (each mug gets half of the lemon). Be sure to place the juiced lemon halves in the mugs for more flavor! Add 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh, sliced ginger and a dash of ground turmeric. Black pepper and cayenne are optional but bring more balance and heat. Top with boiling water and wait a few minutes for the flavors to infuse. Enjoy immediately!
Typically served with sushi, pickled ginger is sweet, spicy and helps enhance the milder flavors of the dish. And it’s surprisingly easy to make! Cut 8 ounces of fresh, young ginger into chunks and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tsp of sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar. In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar. Allow the mixture to cool, then close the jar and store it in the refrigerator for at least one week. The liquid will change to slightly pinkish in a few minutes, but that’s normal. Cut pieces of ginger into paper-thin slices for serving.
Start Experiencing Ginger Benefits Today!
Are you ready to incorporate ginger into your everyday routine? We certainly are! The ginger benefits are truly worth it! Stay healthy out there, and don’t forget to share your best tips for staying healthy with the people you love!