Ginger: the Universal Medicine

Author: Jacky Rae

Zingiber officianle, or ginger, also known as the Universal Medicine, is a root with the following properties:

  • Carminative (antigas)
  • Cardiotonic (cardiovascular enhancing)
  • Antiatherosclerotic (cholesterol-reducing)
  • Antimicrobial (reduces microorganisms)
  • Antioxidant (defends against free radicals)

Ginger is a common spice and has been around for more than 5,000 years. The root of the ginger has been used as a tonic to treat aliments from migraines to menstrual cramps as well as aid in digestion and inflammation.

How is it Used?

Ginger is widely used to counteract atherosclerosis by lowering blood fats, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Ingesting 500mg per day has significantly shown to reduce cholesterol in adults. By lowering glucose levels, ginger has also been shown to reduce diabetes in both children and adults.

Herbalist have used ginger for centuries to reduce inflammation in the joints by increasing peripheral circulation adding a heating element to the hands and feet when blood vessels become narrowed. By slicing fresh ginger root lengthwise and wrapping the ginger around your tissues, it is an effective way to reduce inflammation, not to mention the anti-aging benefits. It contains around 40 antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage and protect against aging.

Did you ever notice that when you are sick, someone always suggests hot ginger tea and honey? Using 1 teaspoon of this hot herb, brewed as a tea 3 times per day, strengthens your immune system, reduces phlegm, soothes a sore throat and combats the rhinovirus.

It also eases gas, bloating, nausea and upset stomach – all things that affect everyone at some point in their lives. Gingerol eases digestive upset by neutralizing the toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and increasing peristalsis. Consuming half a teaspoon of ginger with an 8-ounce glass of warm water will aid in digestive upset and relieve abdominal discomfort and bloating.

Recipes Using Ginger

Interested in trying out ginger to boost your health? Here are a few home recipes that will help you feel invigorated.

1. Bring water to a boil. Add 2 parts ginger, 3 parts cinnamon and just a pinch of cardamom. If a touch of sweetness is needed, add 1 teaspoon of honey. This will help keep your body happy and healthy.

2. Boil 1 cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. Add 1-part ginger, 1-part turmeric, fresh squeezed lemon and ½ teaspoon of honey. A must during winter months to help heat up the body.

3. Add fresh cucumber and lemon slices to an 8-ounce glass of water. Shave fresh ginger and add ice. This refreshing drink will keep you cool and hydrated on a hot summer day.

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