This native herb has been adding a dollop of flavor and a king-sized serving of health in our diet for centuries.
Did you know that ginger, turmeric and cardamom come from the same family? With turmeric and cardamom being loaded with goodness, could ginger be left behind?
Ginger use was initially restricted to South Asia, but is now cultivated all around the world because of its rich and pungent flavour. It is an important part of Indian cooking, adding that dash of spice in our curries and sabzis. Apart from being flavourful, this herb has immense medicinal properties and is one of the most widely used roots in Ayurveda.
Health benefits of ginger
Great for stomach ailments: Ginger works wonders if you are suffering from stomach ailments like stomach upsets, diarrhoea, nausea, motion sickness and gas. It is also great for nausea and vomiting after surgery.
Treating coughs: Adraki chai is a common household remedy for cough. But apart from cough, ginger is also good for those suffering from bronchitis and respiratory tract infections.
Helps in relieving muscle pain: If you exercise regularly, you must be familiar with muscle aches. Chewing on ginger regularly can help you! Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which help in easing those persistent aches.
Reduces risk of cancer: Preliminary studies show that eating ginger regularly cuts down risk of colon and ovarian cancer. Research showed, that ginger eliminates cancer cells while keeping the surrounding healthy cells alive.
Rich in antioxidants: Ginger is power-packed with antioxidants that help prevent Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular conditions.
Lowers diabetes: Gingerol, the compound which gives ginger its distinctive pungent smell is known to ease diabetes, as it enhances insulin secretion. However, you must check with your doctor before making any changes to your diabetic diet.
Lowers cholesterol: Some studies have shown that ginger lowers cholesterol levels significantly and reduces blood clotting.
Treats burns: Pouring fresh ginger juice on the afflicted area helps in treating minor burns.
Caution while using too much ginger
Ginger is generally safe to use by all. However, in certain cases, it is necessary to use precautions and check with your doctor or nutritionist before consuming it in sizable quantities.
If you are pregnant: Some studies claim that ginger may cause some damage to the fetal sex hormones. As with any diet change, ensure you check with your doctor before you use ginger to help with your morning sickness.
If you are breast feeding: Studies have been conducted with respect to this with no conclusive result. It’s better to be safe and stay away from it.
If you are a diabetic: As ginger helps in lowering blood sugar, your doctor may need to adjust your medications accordingly.
If you have a heart condition: Some conditions get aggravated if you have high doses of ginger. if you are a heart patient, keep the quantity of ginger consumed small.
If you are taking other medication: Ginger interacts with medication for blood clotting, diabetes, blood pressure and heart diseases. So be cautious if you find yourself adding lots of ginger to your food.
Photograph via sxc.hu
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