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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Science and Nature/Friday, September 17, 2021

What Are The Health Benefits Of Ginger (Zingiber officinale)?

                              
                            
This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of ginger (Zingiber officinale)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: When was ginger first discovered? Where did ginger originally come from? What was ginger originally used for? What does ginger do to the body? What happens if you eat ginger everyday? What is the best way to take ginger for health benefits? What are the dangers of ginger? Can ginger be harmful? Who should not take ginger? What happens if you drink ginger everyday?

History Of Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is the common name for the monocotyledonous perennial plant Zingiber officinale, an erect plant in the Zingiberaceae family that is widely cultivated for its edible, underground rhizome (horizontal stem). The term also is used to refer to this pungent, aromatic rhizome, which is commonly dried and prepared as a popular spice, and is sometimes referred to as gingerroot. In a broader sense, the term ginger can be applied to all plants in the genus Zingiber (the "true gingers"), and the Zingiberaceae family is known as the "ginger family." There also are some other plants that utilize the term ginger as part of their common name. One in the Zingiberaceae family is galangal (Alpinia sp.) which is known as blue ginger or Thai ginger, and is used for similar purposes as Zingiber officinale. A dicotyledonous native species of eastern North America, Asarum canadense, is also known as "wild ginger," and its root has similar aromatic properties, but it is not related to true ginger. The plant contains aristolochic acid, a carcinogenic compound. Ginger is one of the world's more well-known and useful plants, being used for centuries as a spice for flavoring food and as a medicinal plant. Ginger ale is an example of a currently popular beverage that includes ginger and also utilizes ginger's reputation as a digestive aid, a property that was utilized even in ancient Greece (Crawford and Odle 2005). Ginger also is used as an ornamental plant for landscaping.

Description Of Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Zingiberaceae, the "ginger family," is a family of flowering plants consisting of aromatic perennial plants with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes. A rhizome is a horizontal stem that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. Some plants have rhizomes that grow above ground or that sit at the soil surface. Rhizomes, which also may be referred to as creeping rootstalks or rootstocks, differ from stolons in that a rhizome is the main stem of the plant, has short internodes, and sends out roots from the bottom of the nodes and new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes; a stolon sprouts from an existing stem, has long internodes, and generates new shoots at the end (e.g., the strawberry plant). The ginger plant has a long history of cultivation, probably native to South Asia and likely China, but now cultivated in many tropical and semi-tropical areas, including India, Australia, Japan, West Africa, and the Caribbean.

Health Benefits of Ginger

  • Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • Few grams of ginger (1-1.5g) can help prevent various types of nausea, including chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery, and morning sickness
  • Ginger can help in the improvement of weight-related measurements like body weight and the waist-hip ratio
  • Ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort
  • Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period
  • Ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and blood triglyceride levels
  • Ginger appears to have protective effects against cancer
  • Ginger may help fight harmful bacteria and viruses, which could reduce your risk for infections

Side Effects of Ginger

  • It can lead to increased bleeding tendency
  • It can lead to abdominal discomfort
  • It can lead to cardiac arrhythmias if consumed in excess
  • It can lead to Central nervous system depression if consumed in excess
  • It can lead to Dermatitis
  • It can lead to Diarrhea
  • It can lead to Heartburn
  • Mouth or throat irritation
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