Last week, I focused on Ginger's digestive benefits. This week, we'll look at a few more therapeutic properties of this great herb.
Ginger is antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. The herb contains several gingerols (chemical compounds related to capsaisin and piperine). Scientists have conducted multiple studies which demonstrate that some gingerols are TRPV1 agonists, some inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis, and some inhibit COX 2 expression. All of these actions by the gingerols reduce inflammation and pain - in one study, they were found to be as effective as NSAIDS. Other studies have documented improved brain function and protection against a loss of brain function due to Ginger's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities may be an aid to protect against Alzheimer's disease.
As a warming herb, Ginger may help improve circulation and lower cholesterol. A study by R. Alizadh-Navaei showed that ginger significantly lowered LDL -- and worked as well as Atorvastatin in doing so. In addition, more recent research regarding ginger's effect on type 2 diabetes is showing promising results. A study conducted in 2015 demonstrated that HbA1c was lowered by 10% after 3 months and daily fasting blood glucose went down by 12%. This study also showed a decrease in ApoB/ApoA-1 ratio by 28%. While this is just one study, the results of this study are an indication that Ginger may be effective in helping with both diabetes and heart health. More studies need to be done in this area.
So, Ginger is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and warming, and it may help improve circulation, lower blood sugar averages, keep the heart healthy, lower LDL, and protect against Alzheimer's disease. That's on top of keeping the digestive system healthy (as discussed last week). Wow, is there anything this herb can't do?
Some might answer with "It can't cure the common cold."
Or can it?
We'll find out next week -- same dragon time, same dragon website!
1. Grzanna, R. "Ginger -- an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions". J Med Food. Summer 2005 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117603/
Accessed February 18, 2019
2. DAILY HEALTH POST EDITORIAL, "30 Science-Backed Foods That Will Physically Block Joint Pain and Inflammation", Daily Health Post January 1, 2019. https://dailyhealthpost.com/anti-inflammatory-foods/2/ Accessed February 18, 2019
3. Leech, Joe . "11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger" healthline. June 4, 2017 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger Accessed February 18, 2019
4. Mashhadi, Nafiseh, et. al. "Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence" . Int J Prev Med. April 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/ Accessed February 18, 2019