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Top Ten Therapeutic Benefits of Ginger

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1.Helps Digestion:
Ginger has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years by ancient cultures. Its carminative properties promote the elimination of intestinal gas to prevent bloating and flatulence, while its intestinal spasmolytic properties relax the gastrointestinal muscles to soothe an upset stomach.
Eating slices of ginger sprinkled with salt before meals can increase saliva flow to aid digestion and prevent stomach issues. It is also helpful to drink ginger tea after a large meal to reduce bloating and flatulence. If your stomach problems are more severe, you can also take ginger to help alleviate the various symptoms of food poisoning.
Ginger is frequently recommended to treat dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), provide relief from colic in children, and help in the treatment of bacteria-induced diarrhea.

2 . Therapy for nausea: Reduces motion sickness and more:
Ginger is very good at subsiding various types of nausea and vomiting, including morning sickness in pregnant women, motion sickness in travellers, and even nausea in chemotherapy patients.
70% of patients who undergo chemotherapy report struggling with nausea, despite being given anti-emetics during treatment. A recent study on adult cancer patients found that supplementing a daily dose of 0.5 to 1 gram of ginger before chemo, significantly reduced the severity of acute nausea in 91% of the participants.
The herb also helps reduce the dizziness and nausea associated with vertigo. Research in this area indicates that the spice’s therapeutic chemicals work in the brain and nervous system to control the effects of queasiness.

3.  Powerful anti-inflammatory: Reduces joint pain and relieves arthritis:
Ginger contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol, which is the substance responsible for alleviating joint and muscle pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level. It shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, making it an effective treatment for both acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Many other scientific studies support the effectiveness of ginger for its pro-analgesic effect on the joints, particularly in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients suffering from osteoarthritis have also reported reduced pain and improved mobility by consuming ginger on a regular basis.
Research in Hong Kong suggests that massage therapy using an oil of ginger and orange seems to reduce short-term stiffness and pain in patients with knee issues.
Ginger can also reduce inflammation and muscle pain caused by exercise. In a study carried out by the University of Georgia, researchers administered raw and heat-treated ginger to two groups of 34 and 40 volunteers, over 11 consecutive days. The results, published in The Journal of Pain, concluded that daily use of ginger supplements relieved exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.

4 . Provides Pain Relief: Soothes migraines and menstrual pain:
Research has shown that ginger can provide pain relief from migraine headaches. A study performed in Iran and published in the Phytotherapy Research journal, found that ginger powder is as effective in treating migraine symptoms as sumatriptan – a common medication for the illness.
In the clinical trial, 100 migraine sufferers with acute symptoms were randomly selected to receive either sumatriptan or ginger powder. The researchers found that the efficacy of administering both were similar, while the adverse effects of ginger powder were less than sumatriptan – making it a safer remedy for migraines.
Ginger works on migraines by blocking prostaglandins, which stimulate muscle contractions, control inflammation in the blood vessels, and impact some hormones. Drinking ginger tea at the onset of a migraine attack stifles prostaglandins to block the unbearable pain, and stop the associated nausea and dizziness.
Ginger can also help women effectively reduce the pain associated with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). A research study in Iran divided 70 female students into two groups. One group was administered ginger capsules and the other was given a placebo – each for the first three days of their menstrual cycles. The researchers found that 82.85% of the women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms, compared to 47.05% of those on placebo.
Many cultures also pour fresh ginger juice on their skin to treat burns, and topical application of ginger oil has been found to be very effective in treating joint and back pain.

5 . Anti-tumor properties: Successful in killing cancer cells:
Modern research has recently been looking to ginger as a potential remedy for various types of cancer, and has come up with some promising results.
One study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger not only killed ovarian cancer cells, it also prevented them from building up resistance to chemotherapy – a common issue in ovarian cancer patients.
In the study, researchers applied a solution of ginger powder and water to ovarian cancer cells. In each and every test, they found that the cancer cells died when they came into contact with the ginger solution. Each of the cells either committed suicide, which is known as apoptosis, or they attacked one another, which is referred to as autophagy.

Ginger has also been proven to effectively treat breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
Research published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology discovered that chemicals from the ginger plant halted the proliferation of breast cancer cells, without affecting normal mammary cells. This property, known as selective cytotoxicity, is highly significant as it does not occur with conventional methods. And while many tumors respond well to chemotherapy treatment, breast cancer cells can be more difficult. They tend to survive and gain resistance to the treatment.
The use of natural remedies like ginger that are safe and can suppress growth of breast cancer cells is highly desirable. The other advantages of using ginger are that it is easy to administer in capsule form, it has few reported side effects, and it’s a low-cost alternative to conventional drugs.

In 2011, a Georgia State University study set out to explore ginger’s effects on prostate cancer, based on the herb’s proven anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Their results, published in The British Journal of Nutrition, found that ginger extract killed cancer cells in the prostate without affecting any of the healthy cells.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that ginger can also reduce inflammation in the colon to potentially prevent colon cancer. In a University of Michigan study, researchers administered two grams of ginger root supplements or placebo to a group of 30 patients over 28 days. After 28 days, researchers found significant reductions in colon inflammation markers in patients that were assigned ginger root, making it an effective natural prevention method for those at risk of colon cancer.
Ginger compounds have also been studied to inhibit other forms of cancer, including rectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer. It’s also interesting to note that beta-elemene – an anti-cancer pharmaceutical – is derived from ginger.

6.  Anti-diabetic compounds: Lowers blood sugar and increases insulin release:
In the case of diabetes, studies have shown ginger to be effective both preventively and therapeutically.
Research at the University of Sydney in Australia found ginger to be effective in glycemic control for people with type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the Planta Medica journal, showed that ginger extracts can increase uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, therefore it may assist in the management of high blood sugar levels.

Another clinical trial concluded that diabetic patients, that consumed three grams of dry ginger for 30 days, had a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglyceride, and in total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Overall, ginger works on diabetes by increasing insulin release and sensitivity, inhibiting enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism, and improving lipid profiles. Ginger also has a very low glycemic index (GI), which means it breaks down slowly to form glucose, and therefore does not trigger a spike in blood sugar levels like high GI foods do.
Several other studies have also established ginger to have a preventive effect against diabetes complications. Ginger can protect a diabetic’s liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, and reduce the risk of cataracts – a common side-effect of the disease.

7 . Heals the heart: Treats a variety of cardiovascular conditions:
High in potassium, manganese, chromium, magnesium and zinc, and famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been used for years to treat heart conditions.
In Chinese medicine, ginger’s therapeutic properties were said to strengthen the heart, and ginger oil was often used to prevent and treat heart disease.
Modern studies indicate that the herb’s compounds go to work by lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, improving blood flow, and preventing blocked arteries and blood clots – all of which help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

8. Relieves respiratory disorders: Effective in treating asthma:
Ginger compounds have shown positive results in treating respiratory disorders, and research indicates it is a promising treatment for patients suffering from asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that occurs when the muscles in the lungs’ oxygen channels become inflamed and sensitive to different substances that induce spasms.
Recent research published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, demonstrates that ginger works on treating asthma in two ways: first, by inhibiting the enzyme that constricts airway muscles, and second, by activating another enzyme that works to relax the airways.

Part of the reason ginger works is due to its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds, which have properties similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the negative side effects. While asthma can be a deadly disease, some of the medications used to treat asthma can also carry troubling side effects. Therefore, finding alternative, safe remedies like ginger, is a promising discovery in the treatment of this disease.

9. Immunity-booster: Reduces coughs and colds:
Ginger is a wonderful immune system booster, making it a well-known treatment for colds and flus. And since it helps calm symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, it also works on coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.

Ginger clears the micro-circulatory channels of the body, including the pesky sinuses that flare up during colds. Drinking ginger with lemon and honey is a popular cold and flu remedy that has been handed down for many generations, both in the east and the west.

Ginger also has thermogenic properties, so it can warm up the body in the cold and, more importantly, can promote healthy sweating. This type of sweating, which helps to detoxify the body and assist in releasing cold symptoms, has also been shown to fight off bacterial and fungal infections.

Recent research in Germany found a potent germ-fighting agent contained in sweat which they named dermicidin. This is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface, where it works to provide protection against bacteria like E. coli and fungi like Candida albicans.
Best of all, ginger has concentrated active substances that are easily absorbed by the body, so you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects.

10. Potent Antioxidant: Slows down DNA damage:
Many worldwide studies have found ginger to contain potent antioxidant properties, which help protect lipids from peroxidation (rancidity) and DNA damage.
Antioxidants are extremely important as they provide protection against free radicals, which helps reduce the various types of degenerative diseases that come with aging, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more.

While all spices are known to be powerful antioxidants, ginger seems to be extra-potent. It contains 25 different antioxidant properties on its own. This makes it effective at fighting a variety of free radicals, and in different areas of the body.

Some Important Things to Note:

*Ginger should not be given to children under the age of two
*In general, adults should not take more than 4 grams of ginger per day, including in cooking
*Pregnant women should not take more than 1 gram per day
*You can use dried or fresh ginger root to make ginger tea and drink that two to three times daily
*To reduce acute inflammation, you can massage the affected area with ginger oil a few times per day
*Ginger capsules are said to provide better benefits than other forms
*Ginger can interact with other medications, including blood thinners
*Always consult a doctor for ginger dosage information and potential side effects for specific issues.

Adopted from a very reliable source

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Some Health Questions And Answers

Q: I have a paunch. How can I reduce it?….CLICK & SEE

A: Spot reduction of a paunch alone is not possible. You have to attempt all-round weight reduction and toning exercises. This can be done with a judicious combination of diet and exercise. Either alone will work only in the short term.

Men tend to accumulate weight around their middle. It will probably be the first place you gain weight and the last place you lose it. The risk factors associated with a paunch are diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. In men the risk increases once the waist measurement crosses 102 cm.

No surgery
Q: My eight-year-old son has frequent attacks of tonsillitis when the weather changes or if he drinks or eats refrigerated things. The doctor says I should wait and not have them operated. Is that correct?

A: Years ago many children had their tonsils removed as they were considered a useless troublesome organ. Today, we know that the tonsils filter out harmful viruses and bacteria and prevent them from entering the body and causing disease. Surgery is seldom necessary. It is recommended if there are seven or more episodes of tonsillitis in one year, the swollen tonsils interfere with breathing or swallowing, or an abscess develops in the tonsils.

Infection occurs with bacteria and viruses. These are usually spread with close contact. The number of infections increases when the child starts school. The refrigerator probably has little to do with the frequent attacks.

The tonsils tend to decrease in size as the child grows older. Waiting and watching instead of rushing into surgery seems like a sensible option. Your doctor is right.

Safe period
Q: We are a newly married couple and do not want children. My wife dislikes condoms and refuses to take the pill. My friend advised natural family planning and the safe days. I was too embarrassed to find out the details. How do we go about it?

A: First, you have to calculate the length of your wife’s menstrual cycle. This can vary in different women and can be anywhere from 26 to 45 days. The first day of bleeding is taken as day one.

Pregnancy occurs if there is sexual intercourse around the time the egg is released. This is usually 14 days before the next period starts. The safe period is thus seven days before and seven days after menstruation. It is not a very reliable method though.

Some couples practice coitus interruptus. In this method, ejaculation takes place outside the vagina.

Medication and sterility
Q: My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for the last 20 years. She is now nearing 40. She has had two miscarriages in the past. I was given methotrexate on and off for my medical condition of psoariasis. I now think this may be the cause of our problem.

A:
Gonadotoxins are substances that interfere with sperm formation and quality. They may be chemicals, medication (both prescription and non-prescription), tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. The severity and reversibility of the problem depend on the duration and amount of exposure. Methotrexate is one of the medicines that can do this if taken long term.

Consult a reproductive medicine unit in a hospital near you. They will be able to work with your physician to determine the best course of action.

Memory loss
Q: I am preparing very hard for my exams. My marks used to be very good. Now the more I study the less I remember. My marks are decreasing. All these late nights are making me irritable.

A: Sleep deprivation leads to memory loss, irritability and a decline in reasoning. All the three would work against good academic performance.

Most people need around eight hours of sleep a day. Your brain automatically knows how tired you are. If you are consistently using an alarm clock to wake up, it means that you are forcing your brain to function when it is not ready. This decreases efficiency and impairs memory.

Perhaps your marks will be better if you put in 30 minutes of physical activity a day and also got rid of your alarm clock.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)