Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ginger Is An Effective Treatment for Ailments
Today we will look at the wonder spice - ginger - and its healing qualities. Ginger is actually an herb, and its chemical structure has proved very effective in treating certain ailments. It has been used in China and India for over 2,000 years, but we know it more as the principle flavoring in gingerbread, gingersnap cookies and the gingerbread coffee cake that you see on the left.
Ginger is readily available - it comes from fresh or dried ginger root or from distillation of the oil in the root by steam. You can purchase ginger root in some groceries and health food stores, but you can make it easy on yourself and purchase ginger capsules or ginger oil at your favorite chain drug store. If you do purchase the root, it can be prepared as a steeped tea, making it easy to consume. Of course, it is a spice and can be purchased as such and used to flavor foods (also ginger ale), but be aware that when you eat one ginger snap, less than 1% of it is ginger.
The standard dose of ginger is between 75 and 2,000 mg per day, in divided doses, with food.
The best and most study-supported use of ginger is for stomach issues. It is effective in combating colic, upset stomach, morning sickness, motion sickness, gas, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after surgery, and nausea caused by cancer treatments. It also reduces dizziness and there is some evidence that it may reduce rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis pain, but it takes months to begin its effectiveness in these areas. There is also some evidence that ginger may protect against Alzheimer's by protecting brain cells.
Ginger helps stomach conditions by suppressing gastric contractions and stimulating the flow of gastric secretions, bile and saliva, and in this area, it is truly a wonder spice!