Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a word that immediately conjures up exotic flavors and smells, a tingling of the tongue and heart. Indeed, this spice, derived from the root of Zingiber Officinale, has been beloved by humans for over 5,000 years and is one of the oldest medicines on earth. Originating in East Asia, ginger was in such high demand for trading that it was cultivated as far west as the Mediterranean coast by the first century.
Those ancients were no fools. They knew a magical root when they saw it, and the many benefits of ginger helped keep them — and their taste buds — healthy and happy. Ginger can help you stay healthy, too. Here are five benefits of ginger.
- It reduces gas and bloating.
Ginger can defeat flatulence and bloating by relieving constrictions in the intestinal tract and releasing trapped gases to help you avoid socially awkward personal issues. After eating troublesome food, or as soon as symptoms arise, just drink some ginger tea or enjoy some crystallized ginger.
- It soothes muscles.
Ginger can help soothe muscles tired from exertion, exercise, or cold weather. To take a soothing ginger bath, mix 1 cup Epsom salts, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup non-iodized sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of ground ginger in a large bowl. Pour 1-2 cups of the mixture under hot running water and soak for 15 minutes. You will sweat like crazy, which makes it a good detox bath.
For a localized injury or cramp, put a couple of drops of ginger essential oil into a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba oil, and massage it directly onto the area. Never apply ginger essential oil directly to your skin. This oil is so powerful it may cause a rash — or even chemical burns — if not diluted.
- It settles your stomach.
Ginger ale has long been used for nausea, and for good reason. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, putting a few drops of ginger essential oil onto a cloth or tissue and then inhaling the aroma can cure minor tummy troubles. Ginger ale can help, too. But if you use it for an upset stomach, be sure to allow most of the carbonation to escape before drinking it. No need to add gas to your intestinal woes.
- It combats motion sickness.
Ginger pills offer a side effect-free cure for motion sickness, which is caused by inner ear turmoil. This was the subject of a Mythbusters episode in 2005, "Seasickness: Kill or Cure," where they put ginger up against other cures like magnetic arm bands, a cinnamon flavored spray applied under the tongue, an electroshock wristband, a prescription medication, and a placebo. The ginger pills and prescription medication were the only remedies that worked, and ginger was the only one that worked without loopy side effects. This remedy has been well-known among Japanese fishermen for centuries, so we can safely say this root is a winner for those with travel woes.
- It improves your mood.
Ginger is a very popular scent for aromatherapy. Its uplifting fragrance boosts energy and mood, and it can help you focus. For a delicious treat for your nose, look for candles, lotions, and perfumes that combine ginger with other natural scents like apple, pear, cinnamon, and citrus.
Fragrant and funky, ginger root is far more lovely on the inside than it appears on the outside. From bad mood to achy muscle and upset stomach to wonky inner ear troubles, ginger has you covered.