Why Ginger Should Be Your Best Friend

I was up late a few nights ago, and started watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island. By the time I got to the third episode, something occurred to me that I have never met a woman who liked Ginger. 

Thirty years later, my opinion of Ginger, the castaway, has not changed. However, because I am a woman with stomach discomfort, ginger, the spice, has become one of my best friends.

Ginger is a member of a plant family that includes cardamom and turmeric. For most cooking and medicinal purposes, the root (rhizome), is the part of the plant that is used. 

Ginger has been used for thousands of years in Rome, Greece, China and India to treat many different ailments. As the use of “natural” and “alternative” medicines has reemerged, scientists have discovered that ginger does have numerous health benefits. Ginger is particularly important for anyone suffering from gastrointestinal distress.

1. Ginger Relieves Nausea:

Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve the nausea and discomfort of morning sickness. In addition, a double-blind study done with naval cadets on rough seas showed that ginger was very effective at reducing the vomiting and cold-sweats associated with seasickness.

 2. Ginger Is a Pain Reliever:

A five month, double-blind study of 150 women with primary dysmenorrhea (basic menstrual symptoms) revealed ginger to be effective in reducing normal menstrual pain and cramping.

3. Ginger Is an Anti-Inflammatory:

In lab studies, ginger has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Because low-grade intestinal inflammation plays a pivotal role in stomach discomfort, taking ginger supplements may be a safe and effective way to ease symptoms.

4. Ginger Is a Hangover Remedy:

The pain relieving properties of ginger can help alleviate a “morning-after” headache, while simultaneously easing hangover nausea.

After learning so much about ginger, I now take a daily ginger supplement. When my stomach discomfort flares up or it is “that time of the month”, I make myself a soothing cup of ginger tea. I would still rather hang out with Mary Ann if I were stranded on a desert island. However, when it comes to my health, I find myself spending a lot more time with ginger.