Ginger: Health Benefits, Risks, Uses, Dosage, Facts, and Nutrition

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a reed-like plant from the Zingiberaceae family, native to Southeast Asia. It has a thick, fleshy, rhizome (underground part of the stem) with more aerial stems covered with green leaves. People who consume ginger benefit from its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. The herb is safe to use; however, excessive intake might increase the risk of bleeding.

Also known as ginger root, Ginger is commonly used as a spice. Cultivated all year round, it contains 14 main bioactive compounds and 6-gingerol (chief bioactive compound). Ginger also has phenolics and flavonoids, namely Quercetin, Catechins, and Kaempferol. Antioxidants are abundant in ginger, but it contains few vitamins, minerals, and calories. Based on the USDA’s nutritional scale, one teaspoon of ginger provides four calories and only trace amounts of nutrients.

What are the Benefits and Uses of Ginger?

Ginger possesses natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and other health-promoting properties. It has at least 115 components that have been identified by various analytical techniques. Gingerols, ginger’s primary component, and its other compounds make ginger a versatile supplement with varied uses. Gingerols overall are reduced in dried ginger, though shogaols, the major gingerol in dehydration products, are more prevalent in dry ginger than in fresh ginger. The following are some of the possible benefits of ginger:

1. Reducing Gas and Improving Digestion

Ginger helps reduce gas and improves digestion mainly due to the presence of gingerols and shogaols and their activity on cholinergic M receptors and serotonergic 5-HT and 5-HT receptors. This is based on a review issued in the journal European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies.

In a research study published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information, ginger enzymes can aid in the breakdown and expulsion of the gasses that begin in the intestinal tract during digestion. Based on the study, ginger appears to positively affect the enzymes (trypsin and pancreatic lipase) involved in the digestion process. It is thought that the addition of these enzymes helps increase movement through the digestive tract and aid in the treatment or prevention of constipation as well. Ginger has also been used to treat diarrhea. One gram is a sufficient dosage to improve intestinal motility, according to the study.

2. Relieving Nausea

A small study, led by Dr. Pillai and published by Pediatric Blood Center in 2010, investigated the effects of ginger root powder supplementation on nausea in 60 children and young adults undergoing chemotherapy. Based on the analysis, people who took the supplement did experience reduced nausea. Dr. Nikkhah Bodagh led a 2011 meta-analysis of studies that reached a similar conclusion. According to the research findings, an average of 1,500 milligrams (mg) of ginger extract taken daily can help relieve nausea.

3. Easing Colds and Flus

Ginger is commonly used as a home remedy to ease a cold or the flu. Zingiberene, a component that gives ginger its distinctive flavor and anti-inflammatory properties, makes it a good remedy for colds and flu according to Dr. Wang and his colleagues, in a study performed at Shandong University in China and published in Advanced Materials Research.  A review in the British Journal of Anaesthesia by Ernst et al. also found that ginger prevents nausea which often accompanies influenza.

4. Relieving Pain

Ginger helps in relieving muscle pain caused by excessive exercise. In a study led by Dr. Christopher Black and published in The Journal Of Pain, participants performed 18 unnatural motions of the elbow flexors to induce pain; they were given 2 grams of either raw or heated ginger. Black’s research found that uncooked, heat-treated ginger can largely reduce muscular pain brought on by exercise-induced muscle damage.

5. Reducing Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infections, physical damage, and even toxins. Depending on the type of insult, the body can release white blood cells, increase or decrease blood flow, promote inflammatory or inflammatory-reducing chemical messengers, and more. Sometimes inflammation can be excessive and prolonged causing health issues and unwanted pain. Research shows that ginger helps in reducing inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a primary debilitating, degenerative disease associated with inflammatory pain afflicting the elderly. A 2017 meta-analysis of 16 clinical studies conducted by Dr. Inserra and Dr. Brooks discovered phytochemical components of ginger to lower inflammation. Their studies were published in a book titled Nutritional Modulators of Pain in the Aging Population. Since ginger is high in these phytochemicals, they are often extracted in oil to fight inflammation. Dried ginger, and even ginger crushed into a powder form, can also be used for this purpose. The study acknowledged that further research is needed on optimal dosages for ginger extract and its other forms.

6. Supporting Cardiovascular Health

There is some substantial indication that ginger extract may help with cardiovascular disease. One review by Dr. Rachel Nicoll, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, states that a dosage of 5 grams or more elicits significant antiplatelet activity and lowers the risk of thrombi, or blood clots. Another review published by Dr. Roudsari and colleagues found evidence that ginger extract reduces the risk of inflammatory-related diseases which can cause heart problems by inhibiting the activation of genes involved in the inflammatory response. 

The discovery that ginger inhibits the induction of several genes (cytokines, chemokines, and COX oxidative mediators) implicated in the inflammatory response and the oxidative stress defense system has revolutionized its pharmacological use. Given its safety record as conventional medicine for many years, Dr. Roudsari’s paper supports the value of ginger and its chemical components as a nutritional supplement in the management of cardiovascular disease. 

7. Lowering Cancer Risk

According to Dr. Ann Bode and her team, ginger can reduce various types of oxidative stress due to it being an excellent source of antioxidants. Free radicals are a harmful byproduct of normal metabolism but can be introduced to the body’s system from outside sources as well. With high levels of free radicals in the body, oxidative stress occurs. Dietary antioxidants aid in the removal of free radicals from the body. 

In a 2013 study published in Cancer Prevention Research by Dr. Jessica Citronberg et al., participants with a high risk of developing colorectal cancer were given doses of 2 grams of ginger. The number of adverse changes in healthy colon tissue was lower among those who took ginger. This group also had decreased cellular proliferation results, indicating that ginger may lower colorectal cancer incidence. Ginger’s effects on stable colon cells were verified by their biopsies. 

 

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9. Helps with Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea or period pain, are painful sensations many women experience before and during their menstrual cycle. It can be mild and bothersome to severe and intense. Menstrual cramps are associated with ovulation when the ovaries release an egg that travels down the fallopian tube.

In a 2015 study published in Pain Medicine, Dr. Daily and his colleagues reviewed past trials testing the effects of ginger on dysmenorrhea not brought on by pelvic issues. They discovered, through their review, that ginger was more successful than a placebo at reducing pain. Ginger may help prevent the increase in inflammation by blocking prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandin is a type of pro-inflammatory chemical involved in causing muscular contractions that also aids in the shedding of the uterine lining. Because prostaglandins appear to be produced excessively during menstrual cramps, consuming ginger powder or tea is a safe method to help reduce the pain.

10. Helps with Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that a woman experiences during pregnancy. No matter what time of day or night it is, morning sickness can happen at any time. In the first trimester of pregnancy, an estimate of up to 80% of women have nausea and vomiting, but most women’s nausea lessens by 12 to 14 weeks after conception, according to the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. In a randomized controlled trial published in the Midwifery Journal led by Dr. Jenabi Ensiyeh et al., ginger was more effective than vitamin B6 in reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting episodes during early pregnancy. 

12. Ginger and Headaches

Based on the findings by Dr. Roger Cady et al., ginger appears to be safe and effective as a first-line treatment for migraine sufferers who experience frequent mild headaches before the onset of a more severe form. The active chemical compounds of ginger (gingerols and shogaols) are responsible for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that promote said results.   

13. Ginger and Weight Loss

In a pilot study conducted by M. Mansour et al., drinking 2 g of powdered ginger dissolved in hot water following breakfast was associated with reduced appetite and a greater feelings of fullness, suggesting that ginger may be helpful for weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), weight loss can typically be linked to health advantages such as lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. 

14. Ginger and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that affects millions of people worldwide. It happens when the cartilage that protects the ends of bones wears down over time. Osteoarthritis can harm any joint, but it most often affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and back. According to Dr. R D Altman, a highly concentrated ginger extract improves symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee in a statistically significant manner. Ginger extract was given a good safety profile rating, with only minor gastrointestinal adverse effects reported in the group that took it.

15. Ginger and Blood Sugars

Glucose, or blood sugar, is the body’s principal energy source which is found in the blood and is obtained from the food you eat. Diabetes is an illness characterized by excessively high blood sugar levels and reduces insulin output combined with reduced insulin sensitivity. Ginger can help reduce blood sugar levels and other vital indicators of diabetes. These were the findings of a research study led by Nafiseh Khandouzi and published in the National Library of Medicine. In this study, 2-gram doses of ginger powder were administered orally for 12 weeks. As a result, levels of fasting blood sugar were reduced in the ginger group in comparison to the baseline and control groups. Because of this, Khandouzi’s team believed ginger may play a role in reducing blood sugar levels.

16. Ginger and Digestion

The digestion of food involves breaking it down into smaller components that the body can absorb and distribute for use throughout the body. Among the conditions ginger has been known to treat are those affecting the digestive system, including dyspepsia, nausea, flatulence, and abdominal pain. In patients with functional dyspepsia, ginger increased gastric emptying and antral contractions without affecting gastrointestinal symptoms or gut peptides based on a study led by Dr. Hu, M. et al. as published in the World Journal Of Gastroenterology.

17. Ginger and Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the bloodstream that is essential for the body’s healthy cellular regeneration. The presence of excess cholesterol in the blood causes fatty deposits to form in the blood vessels, making it hard for blood to flow through the arteries. Ginger was shown to reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides levels in a 2014 research study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition led by Dr. Tahereh Arablou et al. High cholesterol levels in the blood raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

What are the Risks/Side Effects of Ginger?

According to Dr. Ann Ming Yeh of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University, the following side effects of ginger can happen when a person consumes more than 5 grams of ginger per day. 

  • Heartburn: Heartburn occurs due to acid reflux causing a burning sensation in the lower chest. The scientists analyzed 109 studies and reviews as part of a 2020 systematic meta-analysis published in Nutrients by Dr. Anh et al., and 16 of them reported heartburn as an adverse side effect.
  • Digestive effects: Ginger may induce abdominal pain, gas and bloating, and diarrhea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
  • Bleeding: Ginger inhibits the platelet thromboxane, a chemical produced by platelets that leads to blood clotting and vessel tightening. According to the NCCIH, ginger may interact with blood-thinning medication such as warfarin. As a result, individuals should avoid consuming ginger before undergoing surgery to minimize the risk of bleeding. Before taking ginger in any form, individuals with bleeding disorders should consult their doctor.

In a 2019 comprehensive study published in Food Science & Nutrition led by Dr. Nikkhah Bodagh, researchers found that ginger may cause these minor adverse effects; however, this is uncommon.

How Does Ginger Work Within the Human Body?

Ginger works within the human body by exerting a variety of powerful therapeutic and preventive effects. The gastrointestinal tract is a common site for the accumulation of ginger and its metabolites, as consistently documented in research findings. The presence of its bioactive compounds such as [6]-gingerol and shogaols is believed to exert various extraordinary pharmacological and physiological activities. Researchers led by Dr. Srivastava hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger might be related to its capability to inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. 

What are the Side-Effects and Risks of Ginger Usage?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the risks of ginger usage are increased by its interaction with blood-thinning drugs. Ginger’s ability to interfere with blood clotting also worries patients with cardiovascular disease. 

Based on a research published in the National Library Medicine, which Dr. Bordia and his team led, a 10g ginger bolus reduced platelet aggregation in individuals with a confirmed myocardial infarction. However, a lower dose of 4g ginger per day had no effect when taken daily over the three month observation. Individuals who take blood thinners should consult their doctor before using ginger.

How to Determine the Proper Dosage for Ginger?

When taken as a supplement, it is best to follow the instruction label or consult a doctor to determine the proper dosage for ginger, especially for those using other medications. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists ginger as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) and recommends a dosage of up to 4 grams daily. Below you will find dosage recommendations and their respective usage purposes based on the Internet Drug Index resource. 

  • Migraine Headache: 500 mg by mouth every 4 hours as needed, no more than 1.5-2 grams per day.
  • Morning Sickness: 250 mg by mouth 4 times daily or 500 mg by mouth 2 times daily.
  • Nausea or vomiting in Pregnancy: 250 mg powder by mouth 4 times daily, may take up to 6 grams per day.
  • Motion Sickness (Powdered Root): 1 gram by mouth 30 minutes-4 hours before travel.
  • Nausea, Chemo-induced (Powdered Root): 1-4 grams per day by mouth, no more than 4 grams per day.
  • Osteoarthritis (Extract): 170 mg by mouth 3 times daily or 255 mg by mouth 2 times daily, no more than 4 grams per day.

What are the Facts About Ginger?

The facts about ginger are based on real-world knowledge and observations about this plant. Ginger is regarded as a superfood, often eaten raw or as a garnish when cooking. Here are some interesting facts about ginger:

  • Ginger is often known as ginger root, although it is a rhizome. A rhizome is a plant stem that can generate root and shoot systems in a new plant that grows underground.
  • There are more than 1,000 species of ginger. Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae Family of flowering plants. Zingiberaceae is the largest family of the order Zingiberales, containing approximately 56 genera and 1,300 species.
  • Ginger has been used everywhere for thousands of years. It has been used by the Chinese and Ayurvedic Indians in traditional herbal medicine for more than 5,000 years.
  • Ginger is considered an herbaceous plant because it has no woody stem. It is also a perennial plant, which means it lives for more than two years. The plant’s stem grows every year and reaches about 39 inches (1 meter) in length.
  • The leading producers of ginger are located in India and South Asia. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT), world ginger production was 3.2 million tons in 2019.
  • Ginger thrives in subtropical regions. It has an attractive aesthetic appeal, making it a favored as a landscaping plant, as well as a remedy.
  • The gingerbread man is said to have been invented by Queen Elizabeth I of England. The term gingerbread is derived from the Latin word zingiber and Old French gingebras, which means preserved ginger. Gingerbread is often described as a sweet pastry made with honey and spices. 
  • Ginger has a therapeutic effect known as a sialagogue, responsible for promoting saliva production.

What is the Nutritional Profile of Ginger?

The nutritional profile of ginger describes the various vitamins and minerals it contains. Ginger is considered safe and nutritious when consumed as part of a balanced diet according to the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines. The following is the nutritional profile for a 1 tsp (2 g) serving of ginger based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.

Calorie 1.6 calories

Vitamins

  • Vitamins C 0.1 mg
  • Thiamin  0.001mg                     
  • Riboflavin  0.001 mg     
  • Niacin 0.015 mg     
  • Pantothenic acid 0.004   mg
  • Vitamin B-6  0.003 mg     
  • Folate, total  0.22 µg      
  • Folate   0.22 µg                                                                                                      
  • Choline 0.576 mg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.005 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.002 ug

Minerals

  • Calcium, Ca  0.32 mg
  • Iron, Fe 0.012 mg
  • Magnesium, Mg 0.86 mg
  • Phosphorus, P   0.68 mg
  • Potassium, K  8.3 mg
  • Sodium, Na 0.26 mg
  • Zinc    3.64 mg
  • Copper, Cu 0.005 mg
  • Manganese, Mn 0.005 mg
  • Selenium, Se  0.014 µg

Composition

  • Water   1.58 g
  • Energy  1.6kcal
  • Energy  6.66kJ
  • Protein 0.036 g
  • Total lipid (fat)   0.015 g
  • Ash  0.015 g
  • Carbohydrate 0.356 g
  • Fiber total dietary  0.04 g
  • Sugars 0.034 g

How is Ginger Processed?

Ginger processing encompasses any variety of operations by which raw ginger is made suitable for consumption, cooking, or storage. The stages of ginger processing are peeling, drying, polishing, cleaning, grading, and storing. Modern science has validated many of ginger’s medical uses, and today, numerous healthcare practitioners consider ginger a household therapy. As a result, ginger plays an essential part in herbalism and pharmaceutical research. Ginger is a valuable spice in the culinary and pharmaceutical industries but is also used in cosmetics as a fragrance ingredient and skin-conditioning agent.

 

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What are the Types of Ginger?

The types of ginger are based on their edibility. It is classified into two main categories:  cultivated ginger (edible) and wild ginger (non-edible). Cultivated ginger comes from West Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Tahitian varieties. The plant grows in the U.S Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 to 12; it prefers moist, well-drained soil and moderate daytime temperatures. Alternatively, wild ginger is found throughout the eastern United States. It grows in shady, moist woods and thickets.

The following are the types of ginger used as a spice that belong to the family Zingiberaceae from the Wisconsin Horticulture website. 

  1. Cultivated or the Common ginger: Cultivated ginger is the rhizome cultivated in Asia, sometimes called Asian or Chinese ginger. It is one of the forms of ginger most commonly used in curries, stews, and soups all around Asia. Cultivated ginger is used in candies, cookies, ginger ale, and other goods throughout North America and Europe.
  1. Galangal  (Alpinia galanga): Galangal is a type of ginger native to Indonesia, Thailand, China, and other tropical areas. It has a milder flavor than common ginger and is frequently frozen or pickled.
  1. Turmeric  (Curcuma longa): Turmeric has a bright orange flesh that takes on a distinctive yellow color when dried or cooked. It is used in broths, yogurts, margarine, and salad dressing as a coloring agent.

All types of ginger contain high levels of important pharmacologically active metabolites in their rhizomes that originate from the phenylpropanoid pathway. These compounds are gingerols in ginger, curcuminoids in turmeric, and 1,8-cineole in galangals. You can find them in dietary supplements, and they provide almost the same therapeutic and medicinal effects.

What is Cultivated Ginger?

Cultivated ginger, commonly referred to as culinary ginger, is grown for its hot, spicy flavor. The rhizome is often used to make medicines and food. Cultivated ginger can be fresh, dried or ground into a powder-like form for use in cooking. It may be used in fruit salads, teas, preserves, and baked goods like gingerbread, gingersnaps, and many other spicy desserts. Certain medications, such as warfarin, may interact with it.

What are the Wild Ginger Types?

Wild ginger belongs to the genus Asarum, which contains 75 species of woodland perennials. Wild ginger is not related to commercial ginger; nevertheless, it has been dubbed wild ginger because of the resemblance in flavor and fragrance of the roots. Its leaves have various textures, hues of green, and patterns. The most frequently found wild ginger in the United States are European wild ginger (A. europaeum) and wild ginger (A. canadense). Once established, both types spread slowly and produce dense colonies. The tiny, bell-shaped flowers are concealed by the leaves and blend in with dirt and leaf litter. Wild ginger may be grown purely for aesthetic purposes.

1. European Wild Ginger (A. europeaum)

European wild ginger is indigenous to Europe and Asia. Growing as a creeping plant, it has glossy leaves and bell-shaped brown flowers. Plants can grow into neat clusters of up to 6 inches in height. It is used in purgatives, snuff, and various medicines.

2. Wild Ginger (A. canadense)

Wild ginger is more robust and has larger, rougher leaves than its European counterpart, growing up to 8 inches in length. This North American native is also hardier, with survivability up to USDA hardiness zone 3. Wild ginger features large, dark green leaves that are heart-shaped. The fibrous root has a rich ginger-like aroma and flavor, similar to culinary ginger.

3. Other Species of Ginger

Other ginger species found in the Eastern half of the United States are listed below.

  • A. arifolium or evergreen wild ginger is a North American native with triangular, dark blue-green leaves speckled with gray or silver.
  • A. caudatum is slow-growing wild ginger with large, light green, heart-shaped leaves.
  • A. shuttleworthii can be recognized by its large, dark green, semi-deciduous leaves with silver markings.
  • A. speciosum grows in a small region of Alabama and produces large arrow-shaped leaves that form compact tufted clusters.
  • A. splendens is a hardy perennial plant native to Asia with large arrowhead-shaped leaves with splashes of silver.
  • A. virginicum has green, round-shaped leaves that are distinctly spotted with silver.

What are the Supplement Forms of Ginger?

While fresh or dried ginger are commonly used in cuisine, some people choose to take ginger supplements for their known health benefits. The following are examples of different ginger supplement types: 

  • Tablets: A combination of ginger’s active components and excipients combined into a solid form, most frequently coated to make ingestion and absorption easier. Tablets that are compressed and formed like capsules are called “caplets.” They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and surface textures. 
  • Capsules: A capsule is a soft-shelled pill containing a powdered version of ginger encased in gelatin, cellulose, or similar material shells. It is worth noting that capsules can be devoid of excipients and are typically purer than different forms of ginger supplements.
  • Ground/Powders: A fine off-white or slightly brownish powder with a strong aroma and a spicy flavor. It is extracted from the root of a ginger plant that has been dried. This creates a 100% pure Ginger powder with no added ingredients. However, some products do choose to include additional supplementary herbs. 
  • Liquid extracts: The most common liquid extract from the ginger rhizome is ginger oil, extracted via distillation. It is similar to other essential oils in terms of its concentration. In other words, it is highly concentrated and should be used topically and usually with another more inert oil as a base, such as coconut oil. Ginger oil has a powerful, warm, or spicy scent. As a result, it is frequently utilized in aromatherapy and several skin and hair applications.
  • Tea: Ginger tea, also known as ginger water, is prepared using fresh ginger added into hot water. It may also be consumed later, once cooled. You can use pre-made tea bags or fresh ginger powder. There are also several ginger drinks on the market, though many are very low doses. Be careful with the sugar content in these pre-made drinks.Lozenges: Lozenges are solid dosage forms designed to be dissolved over time in the mouth. They are made with one or more active components of ginger and flavored or sweetened to produce a more pleasant taste. Adding gum to the lozenge improves its strength and cohesion for faster drug/essence release. 

What Are the Most Common Questions for Ginger Usage?

To learn more about ginger, read on for the most common questions for ginger usage and their answers.

Which Plant Produces the Ginger?

Ginger is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Zingiberaceae that grows in warm, humid locations. It is not to be confused with any of several other plants often referred to as ginger, such as turmeric (Curcuma longa), white turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria) and bitter ginger (Zingiber zerumbet).

What are the Top Scientific Research Topics on Ginger Today?

Many studies have shown the positive effects ginger has on one’s health, but there are valid questions that require more investigation. Based on the PubMed website, here are the top studies on ginger’s effects:

  1. (Effects of) Nausea and vomiting
  2. Pain relief
  3. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
  4. Menstrual pain
  5. Weight loss, obesity and metabolic health
  6. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients
  7. Immunity 
  8. Digestive function
  9. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects

What are the Differences Between Ginger and Garlic?

Although both plants are commonly used as spices in culinary preparations, it should be noted that there are distinct differences between ginger and garlic. Ginger has a higher antioxidant capacity, has antiemetic actions and anti-allergic properties, while garlic has been associated with some allergies. While raw garlic causes bad breath, ginger does not. A pungent compound in ginger called 6-gingerol stimulates salivary enzymes to break down foul-smelling substances, providing a fresher breath and a better aftertaste.

What is the Etymology of Ginger?

ginger (n.)

Zingiber is the Latin name for ginger, derived from the Sanskrit name singabera (sringam=horn+vera=body), which was changed to the Latin gingiber and Old French gingibre. The origins of the word may be from Sanskrit folk etymology, or from an ancient Dravidian word that also produced the Malayalam name for the spice, inchi-ver, from inchi “root.”

What is the Place of Ginger in Society and Culture?

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, ginger has an important place in several societies and cultures. Gingerbread houses are a well known holiday decoration and activity. The candied roots of ginger plants have also been traditionally used to decorate Christmas trees in many parts of the world. UNESCO’s (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity added Croatia’s Licitars or gingerbread to the representative list in 2010.

What are some Food Recipes that Contain Ginger?

Ginger is used as a spice used in many different cuisines all over the world and many of these recipes can be easily prepared at home. With its slightly sweet and spicy flavor, it adds depth to dishes. These dishes are exciting, unique, and delicious because they use ginger as one of the main ingredients:

  • Chocolate Ginger Snaps
  • Gingerbread Cheesecake
  • Ginger-Chicken Stir-Fry
  • Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing
  • Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs
  • Ginger Salmon with Cucumber Lime Sauce
  • Ginger Marmalade
  • Ginger Bars

What are the Parts of the Ginger Plant?

The parts of ginger include the roots, leaves, and flowers. Its spike has tiny flowers that are usually sterile and rarely produce seeds. Fresh and dry ginger leaves can also be used in cooking preparations or be boiled and made into tea.

What is Ginger Root?

The ginger root is the part of the plant used in herbal medicine and cuisine. Its roots or rhizomes grow buds and nodules that are sold in grocery stores and are the main portion of ginger that is consumed.

Is Ginger Root more Effective than Ginger?

No, ginger root is a misnomer. Ginger actually comes from the rhizome (underground modified stems) of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). However, when ginger is dehydrated, gingerol decreases while shogaol increases. Shogaols are responsible for many of the health benefits and characteristics of ginger, particularly those which can enhance memory and learning functions. As a result, dried ginger contains both gingerol and shogaol in their properties.

What is the History of Ginger?

The history of ginger is a long and winding one. For over 5,000 years, historians believed that ginger had been used as a tonic root by Indians and Chinese to cure various ailments. Ginger was cultivated in India and exported to the Roman Empire over 2,000 years ago, prized for its medicinal qualities. Ginger was still highly valued in Europe long after the fall of the Roman Empire, with Arab traders controlling trade in ginger and other spices for hundreds of years. 

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, a pound of ginger was monetarily equal to that of a sheep. It was being imported in dried form for desserts by medieval times. Queen Elizabeth I of England is credited with the creation of the gingerbread man, which became a popular Christmas dessert.

What are the Other Plants that are Called Ginger from Time to Time?

Listed below are other plants that are called ginger from time to time because they are used in similar ways. 

  • turmeric (Curcuma longa)
  • white turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria)
  • bitter ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)
  • myoga (Zingiber mioga)
  • fingerroot (Boesenbergia rotunda)
  • bitter ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)

Is Ginger Good for Memory?

Yes, ginger is good for memory, according to a research article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information led by Dr. Saenghong et al.. The ginger extract improves healthy, middle-aged women’s attention and cognitive processing skills without causing harmful side effects. However, further study is needed regarding the specific underlying mechanism, mainly how the extract affects acetylcholine and monoamine transporter’s activity.  

Is Ginger Good for the Kidneys?

Yes, ginger is good for the kidneys based on the study published in The Scientific World Journal by Dr. Manal A. Hamed et al. The beneficial corrective histopathological findings provide evidence that ginger enhances free radical removal, reduces inflammation, improves kidney function, and promotes a healthy state of renal cells, indicating its potential use as a renal protective medication. 

Is Ginger Good for Tinnitus?

According to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, ginger is good for tinnitus.  Tinnitus is the medical term for a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, affecting how you hear sounds. In the study led by Dr. Nafiseh Shokri Mashhadi et al., ginger has plenty of health-promoting properties. Having a complex structure and antioxidative compound, it is an excellent choice for treating ear complications and inflammation.

 

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Are Ginger Supplements Approved by the Authorities?

Yes, ginger supplements are approved by the authorities. Still, they do not require comprehensive pre-marketing endorsement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They do not warrant or regulate its use as a medicine or supplement. It is up to the manufacturers to ensure that ginger supplements are safe and effective, but they are not required to prove it. Supplements containing ginger may include a variety of ingredients, and their amounts and components may differ from those specified on the label.

Is Ginger an Anticoagulant?

Yes, ginger is an anticoagulant because it contains salicylates, the chemical in aspirin that acts as a blood thinner. Ginger aqueous extract in various doses decreased clot formation and improved the prothrombin time in a research led by Dr. Hamedelniel et al. published in the American Journal of Research Communication (AJRC). They concluded that ginger might be a supplementary anticoagulant to enhance or prevent heart disease.

Can you Take Ginger at Night?

Yes, you can take ginger during the night or any time of the day. Compared to teas made from the Camellia sinensis plant, such as black or green tea, ginger is a naturally caffeine-free food and, therefore, will not interfere with your sleep.

Can you Take Ginger After Meal?

Yes, you can take ginger after a meal. A study by Dr. Mansour et al., published in Metabolism Journal, has found that overweight men who drank 2 grams of ginger tea after breakfast had a noticeable effect on men’s hunger pangs by experiencing a more incredible feeling of fullness among them.

Can you Take Ginger Every Day?

Yes, you can take ginger every day as long as it doesn’t exceed 4 grams daily as recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Can a Child Take Ginger?

Yes, a child can take ginger because it helps ease stomach problems like nausea or gas pain. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that ginger should not be taken by children below two years of age. The research on ginger and children is limited at this time, but the current evidence indicates that it is safe for children. The US FDA has marked ginger as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe).

Can your Pet Consume Ginger?

Yes, ginger may be given in little amounts to pets. It is non-toxic and safe for them to consume. Ginger provides many health advantages to pets for digestive comfort and heartworm prevention.

Can Ginger Make You Nauseous?

No, ginger does not make you nauseous. Studies demonstrate that ginger may prevent and treat nausea and vomiting associated with many conditions.

Is Ginger A Diuretic?

No,  ginger is not diuretic. It has been popularly claimed that ginger is detoxifying because of its diuretic properties; however, no published research on humans has demonstrated these effects thus far.

Can Ginger be Used as a Blood Thinner?

Yes, ginger can be used as a blood thinner. Ginger carries a natural acid called salicylates, the chemical in aspirin that functions as a blood thinner.

What Will Happen if You Take Too Much Ginger?

You will likely experience heartburn, burping, diarrhea, and general stomach discomfort if you take too much ginger.

Can you Eat Ginger Root Raw?

Yes, you can eat ginger root raw. It allows you to get the most out of its curative properties right away.

When Not To Take Ginger?

Do not take ginger when you are on blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin and possibly NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Aspirin and before undergoing surgery to minimize the risk of bleeding.

What are the Benefits of Eating Pickled Ginger?

Pickled ginger, which is soaked in vinegar and spices, has many nutritional benefits. 

  • It is low in calories: Pickled ginger has a low-calorie content. Two tablespoons, or 28 grams, have just 20 calories.
  • It is low in sodium: Although pickled ginger is made with a brine of vinegar and salt, it contains relatively little sodium once cooked. High sodium intake raises the risk of high blood pressure, one of the major heart disease risk factors.
  • It has no fat: Pickled ginger has 0 grams of total fat and is not high in saturated fat according to the USDA. A diet rich in saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels.
  • It has no added sugar: Pickled ginger contains zero grams of added sugar. Some pickled ginger manufacturers may add sugar to the mix; be sure to check the label for any additions.
  • It contains probiotics: A pickled ginger is full of good bacteria, called probiotics, which promote a healthy gut and digestive system. Probiotics have been linked to improved gastrointestinal function, enhanced immunity, and a decreased risk of colon cancer based on a 2014 review in Biotechnology Research International. The longer pickled ginger is fermented the higher is its probiotic content.

Can you get the Same Benefits of Eating Processed Ginger in Supplements as when you Eat Ginger Raw?

No, processed ginger contains some distinct medicinal benefits than eating raw ginger. The process of creating ginger supplements (dehydration) decreases the amount of gingerol content. Gingerol is the active component of ginger that delivers many medicinal health properties.

References

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