What Is Ginger?
For thousands of years, herbalists have used the root of the ginger plant to relieve stomach troubles. With its natural anti-inflammatory effects, ginger is also a common remedy for inflammation-related health problems like rheumatoid arthritis.
Health Benefits of Ginger
A number of studies have supported ginger's stomach-soothing effects. In addition to easing post-surgery nausea and vomiting, the herb appears to reduce motion sickness and morning sickness. What's more, a 2009 study of 644 cancer patients found that taking ginger supplements decreased post-chemotherapy nausea by 40%.
Related: Ginger for Nausea.
Ginger may also help alleviate chronic pain, possibly by lowering your levels of hormones that induce inflammation. A study published in 2005, for instance, suggests that ginger could lessen pain more effectively than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
In lab tests, scientists have showed that ginger extract may slow the growth of colorectal and ovarian cancer cells, as well as protect against Alzheimer's disease. However, scientists have yet to confirm these findings in studies on humans.
Sipping ginger tea can help calm an upset stomach, as well as ease congestion when you've got a cold.
Learn how to make ginger tea.
More Ginger Recipes
Ginger in Supplement Form
If you're going to take ginger in supplement form, look for ginger capsules or powders at your health food store or an online shop that specializes in herbal remedies.
Since ginger acts as a blood thinner, it's important to discontinue use at least two weeks before surgery and let your doctor know you've been using the herb.
In some cases, ginger may cause heartburn.
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Smith C, Crowther C, Willson K, Hotham N, McMillian V. "Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials." British Journal of Anaesthesia 2000 84(3):367-71.