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Ginger root is a delicious herb that has powerful medicinal properties. Fresh ginger root, dried ginger, and ground ginger powder all have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-spasmodic uses in natural medicine. You can eat raw ginger or drink ginger tea to help prevent and treat nausea, improve your cardiovascular health, and boost your brain function.
You can get the many health benefits of ginger root if you add fresh, minced, grated or ground ginger to your diet. You can use fresh or ground ginger to make a therapeutic ginger tea. Or, you can chew on fresh ginger to help relieve nausea. Also, adding ginger to your cooking doesn’t destroy many of its therapeutic properties.
In this article, I will look at what science says about the true health benefits of ginger. You will also find out how to make your own ginger tea at home that you can enjoy at any time of the day.
To benefit from the medicinal value of ginger (botanical name is Zingiber officinale), it is important to know which the best kind of ginger to use is. The good news is that both fresh ginger and ground ginger powder have many health benefits.
Research has discovered that fresh ginger contains many anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants called gingerols and shogaols. Gingerol compounds are more prevalent in fresh ginger. Gingerols have been linked to reducing obesity, treating diabetes, and they also have anticancer properties. (1, 2)
Drying ginger and making ginger powder changes the chemical makeup of ginger. Dehydrating ginger causes an increase in the amount of shogaols in ginger powder. Research suggests that shogaols are more potent than gingerols in treating and preventing many health conditions. (1)
Interestingly, the Journal of Chromatography B reported that the antioxidant activity of ground ginger is over 5-fold higher than fresh ginger. (3)
Studies have also shown that boiling or roasting ginger for between 2 and 6 minutes actually increases the antioxidant potential of ginger. (4) This is something I’ve already mentioned when I wrote about the benefits of cooked and dried ginger.
Both fresh ginger root and ginger powder have powerful medicinal compounds that have antioxidant properties. Some researchers say that dried ginger powder can be a more cost-effective way to get the medicinal benefits of ginger with the advantage that it doesn’t go off. (5)
So, you should not be overly concerned about the difference between using fresh or ground ginger for its health benefits.
Ginger root is good for you because it contains vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.
The nutritional value of 100 g fresh, raw ginger root is the following: (6)
The book Herbal Medicine says that ginger has over 115 therapeutic compounds. Gingerols and shogaols in ginger have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anticancer properties. Ginger root and ground ginger can also help prevent cardiovascular disease. (1)
Let’s look in more detail at the many health benefits of ginger tea, consuming fresh ginger root, or taking powdered ginger capsules.
Reducing inflammation is an important health benefit of taking ginger root or drinking ginger tea.
6-Gingerol is one of the main anti-inflammatory components in ginger. Research has suggested that gingerol helps to inhibit substances and enzymes that cause inflammation. (7)
Ginger extracts can be beneficial to reduce inflammatory pain caused by osteoarthritis. One study found that people with osteoarthritis who took ginger extract experienced a reduction in inflammatory pain. When compared to the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, scientists noted that ginger was just as effective but had less gastrointestinal side effects like heartburn. (8)
Research into the effects of gingerol and shogaol compounds in ginger has found that consuming ginger can help relieve joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists found that ginger taken orally has a similar effect to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen in reducing pain and inflammation. (9)
If you suffer from forms of arthritis, ginger root capsules can help to reduce your symptoms. You can also add grated ginger to your diet by adding it to salads, using in a stir-fry or adding it to hot water to make an anti inflammatory ginger tea.
Find out about other foods that can reduce inflammation and may reduce arthritis pain.
The pain-relieving properties of ginger tea can also help to reduce pain, especially muscle pain after exercise.
A systematic review of 7 studies into the analgesic effect of ginger found that it can help relieve painful muscles after resistance training. Researchers found that supplementing your diet with 2 g ginger (1 tsp) per day can help to lower muscle pain when taken for at least 5 days. (10)
Other studies have found that ginger can help to reduce inflammation that is the result of cardio exercising. (10)
A review of medical studies over a 10-year period concluded that ginger helps to reduce the progression of muscle pain over a period of time. Some researchers have found that taking ginger before cardio exercising could lessen muscle pain. (11)
Ginger powder is also helpful as an anti-inflammatory, pain relieving remedy that is as effective as ibuprofen. (12)
You can also find out how to make your own pain relief ointment using essential oil to help reduce muscle pain.
The anti-spasmodic properties of ginger tea can help to relieve abdominal pain associated with menstruation (dysmenorrhea).
One randomized, controlled trial on 120 women found that ginger root powder reduced menstrual pain. The women in the trial suffered from moderate or severe period cramping. Taking 500 mg capsules of ginger root powder three times a day helped to reduce pain and abdominal aches in the first few days of their menstrual period. (13)
A systematic review of 7 studies also found that ginger powder can help to relieve menstrual cramping in the first 3 or 4 days of menstruation. These studies suggested that taking 750 mg to 2,000 mg ginger powder can help to relieve dysmenorrhea. (14)
Find out about other home remedies that are effective for period pain and abdominal cramping.
Consuming more fresh minced ginger or drinking ginger tea can help to improve your digestion. Indigestion is often accompanied by heartburn (acid reflux) and excess gas.
One of the ways that ginger benefits your gastrointestinal system is that it helps food to pass through the digestive system easier. A study has found that taking ginger capsules can help food move through you digestive system faster. The researchers concluded that “ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers”. (15)
Studies have revealed that compounds in ginger have a beneficial effect on the gastric tract and help reduce spasms. It was suggested that chewing ginger, taking ginger candies, consuming ginger tea, or taking ginger root capsules could all have a therapeutic effect in relieving gastrointestinal upset. (16)
If you regularly suffer from heartburn, you can try one of these natural antacids for quick heartburn relief.
One of the most well-documented uses for ginger root or ginger tea is to prevent nausea and digestive upset.
The main medicinal compounds in ginger, shogaols and gingerols, help to soothe the gastrointestinal tract and help reduce symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Researchers describe ginger as having antiemetic properties and help relieve gastro-upset like abdominal cramping, nausea, and heartburn. (17)
In one trial, pregnant women received 1,000 mg ginger capsules per day or a placebo pill. The women taking ginger root pills reported a reduction in feelings of nausea and vomiting. The study concluded that ginger is good for relieving nausea and sickness during pregnancy. (18)
Ginger has antiemetic properties that also help treat chemotherapy-related nausea. One trial involved 576 patients. Those who took 500 mg or 1,000 mg ginger capsules per day reported a reduction in their symptoms of nausea. (19)
Did you know that ginger is just one of many natural remedies to relieve nausea?
Ginger tea also has a positive effect on your immune system and can help you fight infections better.
Studies have found that gingerols and enzymes in ginger root and powder can reduce inflammation caused by viral infections. It was also found that ginger has antiviral properties. (20)
Another study found that fresh ginger was superior to ground ginger root in helping to reduce the effect of respiratory viral infections. The scientists found that hot ginger tea made from fresh ginger has antiviral properties. (21)
One study found that gingerols in ginger extracts have an antibacterial potential against various strains of bacteria. (22)
As soon as you feel you are coming down with a cold or have the flu, drink ginger tea regularly to help boost your body’s defenses.
Learn about other herbs and supplements that can boost your immune system.
Regularly drinking ginger tea is good for high blood pressure because of the flavonoids and other antioxidants it contains.
Researchers have found that ginger extracts can help lower blood pressure. They found that compounds in ginger like 6-shogaol and phenolic constituents helped to lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. (23)
Other studies have pointed to the fact that ginger helps to prevent many cardiovascular diseases. Ginger has an anti-hypertension effect and reduces inflammation which has an overall beneficial effect on the heart. (24)
If you need to treat hypertension, make sure that you have made these lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure.
Another of the benefits of consuming more ginger tea in your diet is that it can help to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. Chewing ginger root can also help to prevent a buildup of plaque in your arteries.
The Journal of Nutrition reported that consuming ginger extracts can help to lower LDL cholesterol – the type of “bad” cholesterol that is associated with coronary heart disease. The phenolic compounds in ginger like zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols helped to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. (25)
The above study also found that ginger benefits vascular health because it may prevent a buildup of artery plaque (atherosclerosis).
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. It can cause narrowed arteries, angina, shortness of breath, stroke, and even a heart attack. (26)
Ginger extracts or ginger tea can benefit you if you suffer from diabetes because they may help to lower fasting blood glucose.
The anti-diabetic properties of ginger were shown in research published in 2017. One double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial found that ginger supplements significantly reduced fasting blood glucose levels. Supplementing your diet with 2,000 mg of ginger root powder also reduced HbA1C markers – this is how doctors monitor long-term blood glucose levels. (27)
Other studies have concluded that taking 2,000 mg ginger powder supplement can prevent the risk of chronic complications of diabetes. (28)
Learn how to spot the warning signs of diabetes and what foods you should eat to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Ginger tea can also protect against cognitive degenerative diseases due to its powerful antioxidant effect on the brain.
The effects of oxidative stress can negatively affect brain function. Research into the effects of the ginger extract 6-shogaol found that its anti-inflammatory potential can help prevent memory loss in patients with dementia. (29)
Other studies have shown that the antioxidants in ginger can help to increase cognitive function in humans. One trial involved middle-aged women who took ginger extract supplements for 2 months. Researchers found that ginger has a positive effect on memory and boosted working memory. (30)
It is not just ginger that helps to improve brain health, did you know about the other herbs that can improve your memory?
The antioxidant properties of ginger mean that consuming ginger tea has a positive effect on your liver.
For example, gingerol has shown to help remove toxins from the liver and reduce the negative effects of free radicals on liver health. (31)
It is not just in laboratory trials that ginger has proven to be good for promoting liver health.
One trial involving 50 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that taking 2,000 mg of ginger supplements per day help to negate some of the effects of liver damage. 23 of the people in the trial took the ginger supplements and at the end of 12 weeks, it was found that some of their symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were improved. (32)
Find out how to use other foods and herbs to keep your liver healthy.
Drinking ginger tea can help you lose weight and even help prevent obesity.
A systematic review of the effects of ginger on weight loss found promising results. Research found that ginger can help to inhibit intestinal fat absorption, control appetite, and increase the breakdown of fats during digestion. (33)
Another systematic review of randomized controlled trials found that increasing ginger consumption in the diet can help to reduce body weight, improve fasting blood glucose levels, and lower waist to hip ratio. (34)
Of course, ginger isn’t a wonder remedy that will in itself burn fat. However, studies suggest that using ginger as part of a wider weight-loss program could help you lose weight quicker.
Learn about specific ways that you can use ginger to get rid of unsightly belly fat.
One of the uses of ginger root or ginger tea is to help reduce inflammation and spasms in the airways. You can use fresh and dried ginger to help improve bronchial symptoms of asthma and respiratory infections.
A study from 2015 found that ginger has an anti-spasmodic effect and can help suppress airway inflammation. The researchers suggested that ginger can be used to help reduce the symptoms of respiratory allergic responses. (35)
Other research has discovered that ginger extracts can benefit people with asthma. Ginger compounds like gingerol and shogaol help to relax muscles in the airways. This could provide therapeutic relief from some symptoms of asthma. (36)
If you suffer from asthma, find out what other natural remedies can help relieve asthmatic symptoms.
Ginger root and ginger tea have anti cancer properties because of their powerful antioxidant compounds and anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2018 comprehensive review of the ginger extract 6-gingerol found that it has anticancer properties. Many studies point to experimental and clinical studies that have found that ginger has the potential to treat tumors and prevent the spread of malignant cancer cells. (37)
A study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology indicates that the gingerols, paradol, and shagaols contained in ginger are anti-cancer compounds that can help to prevent cancer. (41)
The researchers concluded: “the present study is the first report to describe identification and detailed evaluation of in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of whole GE (ginger extract) in the therapeutic management of human prostate cancer.” (42)
Other studies have shown that 6-shogaol from dried ginger can help to treat prostate cancer. (38)
Angiogenesis is the term that describes the start of cancer. If you can stop cancer from taking hold in the ovaries then you can effectively prevent cancer.
In a laboratory study published by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists proved that the active ingredients in ginger root had anti-angiogenic properties and that may stop cancer cells from growing. The study concluded that “the use of dietary agents such as ginger may have potential in the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.” (43)
In 2015 scientists presented evidence that ginger may prevent colon and liver cancer.
The scientists concluded that “a significant number of in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies further provide substantial evidence that ginger and its active compounds are effective against wide variety of human diseases including GI cancer”. But they also added that more research is needed. (39)
Ginger-based kombucha tea could be used in treating some forms of breast cancer. (40)
Although there are many promising results in using ginger as a therapeutic cancer treatment, it is still too early to say exactly how ginger can be used to treat cancer in humans.
It is extremely easy to get the benefits of ginger tea to help boost your health, relieve nausea, and prevent coronary heart disease. You can make ginger tea using fresh ginger or ginger powder.
Remember, don’t throw the ginger slices away. You can chew the ginger slices to help improve your digestive health and get even more of the ginger benefits.
There are many other ways to get the benefits of eating raw ginger if you don’t want to make ginger tea. Here are some helpful tips for using more ginger in your diet:
Ginger is so concentrated with active ingredients and it means you don’t need to use much of it to enjoy its health benefits.
As for nausea for example, ginger tea with 1-2 inches of fresh ginger in hot water may be all you need to calm the stomach.
For rheumatic arthritis pain you need even smaller amount of ginger in food or in your ginger tea each day. People who consumed larger amounts of ginger reported rapid and better relief.
When you buy ginger, make sure that it is stiff to the touch and has smooth skin. Young fresh (and organic) ginger doesn’t require peeling of the skin and can be grated as it is.
However ginger that was left on the shelf for a long time will have a hard skin that needs to be peeled, and it will also be more fibrous.
You can store fresh ginger in a cool dry and dark place up to three weeks when it is not peeled, or in the freezer for up to six months.
Dried ginger powder should be stored in sealed glass jar in a cool, dark and dry place. If you keep it in the refrigerator, it will extend its shelf life for up to one year.
Combining the benefits of both ginger and lemon is not only tasty, but a winning combination for great health (you can check out my article about the health benefits of lemon water).
This recipe is taken from my e-book The Detox Guide that teaches you about the concept of detox and how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body.
Finely chop ginger root and infuse in freshly boiled water for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, stevia or honey and stir. Serve hot or cold for a refreshing and revitalizing treat.
Many people can experience improvements in health by using ground ginger in food or as a dietary supplement, but it’s not the right choice for everyone.
There are certain groups of people that should avoid ginger consumption as it can interact with other medication and can worsen certain health conditions. You can read about in the related article: “Ginger Should Be Avoided By These People“.
Adding ginger to your diet is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.