Health Benefits of Fresh Ginger

Add some fresh ginger to your diet and enjoy its numerous health benefits

Credit: Wellness Matters

Fresh ginger has been used as medicine for millennia

Besides its great flavour, fresh ginger comes chock-full of amazing health benefits

Fresh ginger added to a stir-fry or stew, or brewed in a soothing tea, delivers amazing flavour. But, there’s more to this aromatic root than its robust taste.

Ginger also offers numerous health benefits.
The underground stem of the Zingiber officinale plant, ginger has been used as medicine for millennia in Asian and Indian cultures. Eaten fresh or taken as a supplement, ginger is high in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, among other nutrients. 

Use Ginger to Treat Stomach Ailments

Ginger is commonly used to help prevent and treat the nausea and vomiting that accompany motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy.

It’s also effective at relieving mild stomach aches; its active components (phenol compounds such as gingerols and shogaols) are said to relax the muscles of the intestinal tract. It also seems to reduce inflammation resulting from conditions like arthritis and ulcerative colitis. 

Like any herb, ginger can interact with medications or supplements. People with gallstones or who are about to have surgery or anesthesia should consult their doctor before taking ginger. Those with bleeding disorders or who take blood-thinning medications should not take ginger.

Tip: For a soothing ginger tea, bring two cups 
(500 mL) of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add a one-inch (2.5-cm) piece of peeled, sliced fresh ginger. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add one tablespoon (15 mL) each of lemon juice and honey. Enjoy.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.