One can argue that no other herb enjoys the kind of reverence from Ayurveda, which the ancient literature often bestows upon Ginger. Known in Ayurveda as a vishwabhesaj (The Universal Medicine), Ginger packs within itself a treasure trove of health benefits that make it an especially personal favorite of herbalists all around the world.
The knowledge of Ginger’s potency when it comes to rendering health benefits isn’t a new one. It has always found itself at an exalted position as both a culinary favorite and a crucial herbal resource. With an expansive history that includes ginger being a key ingredient in both kitchen recipes and medicinal concoctions, Ginger deserves its own book rather than a blog article to do justice to its merits.
However, we want to dedicate this article into making health conscious folks privy to these fascinating little herbs enriching benefits to the overall wellbeing of our mind and body. We will be looking at how exactly Ayurveda documents ginger in its thousand year old texts, understand its benefits to our wellbeing, as well as find ways to appropriately make ginger an integral part of our daily routine.
Ginger According to Ayurveda
Ayurvedic practitioners have always held this herb in high regard throughout its documented history. Ayurveda even goes so far as to describe ginger as the most sattvic of all the spices, meaning a food that is infused with compassion, wisdom, intelligence, and lightness.
Ginger is known to promote and support the healthy rekindling of the digestive fire aka agni within our body. It is this support of agni that ultimately makes ginger tenfold more effective in providing other crucial benefits that pertain to proper digestion, elimination of ama and weight loss.
In fact, Ginger’s pungent taste can be used to aid in protecting and healing the gut, finding relief from an upset stomach, bloating, cramps and much more.
Benefits of Ginger
Ginger’s primary role in rekindling the digestive fire can result in an array of benefits that alleviate several health conditions with utmost efficiency. Listed below are some of its most well-known benefits to us:
1 – Effective Remedy for Cold
Ginger’s role in alleviating symptoms associated with cold and flu has not only been well documented throughout Ayurvedic literature, but it is also something that is frequently used to cure severe and mild conditions of flu in several Asian households even today.
Ginger along with honey in hot tea is one of the most popular and effective remedies used against cold. Recently ginger has been at the forefront of studies that exhibit its prowess in reducing the risk of infection in men and women who ingest this herb regularly.
Ginger possesses both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that can help the body remain impervious to contagious infections that can wreak havoc on our body.
2 – Alleviate Nausea
Ginger possesses a distinctly pungent smell, which can be extremely beneficial in helping against nausea. Ginger can help relieve nausea in people who have undergone certain type of surgery, woman who are pregnant and people who suffer from morning and motion sickness.
Please note, it is usually recommended that pregnant women stay away from Ginger. We recommend you consult a reputed Ayurvedic practitioner to seek counsel on whether ginger would be safe for you or not.
3 – Find relief from Joint Pain
Ginger’s ability to rekindle agni also makes it quite effective in soothing joints when in pain. A recent study has also attributed ginger to reducing symptoms of pain and discomfort in people suffering from Osteoarthritis (OA).
As ginger helps flush out excess ama from the body, it can detect and eliminate toxins that accumulate around tissues surrounding the joints. According to Ayurveda, Ginger in combination with other spice and herbs like cinnamon, mastic and sesame oil can help reduce pain and stiffness in people suffering from severe cases of Joint pain.
4 – Help Reduce Menstrual Pain
We’ve already talked about ginger being effective for joint pain. However, it’s potential in helping find relief from pain pertaining to menstruation also makes the herb a crucial natural pain-reliever in Ayurveda.
In a 2009 study, 150 women were given the choice to either take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or ginger for three days straight in order to manage their menstrual pain. The final results showed ginger being as effective as NSAID in reducing menstrual pain in women.
5 – Cure Chronic Indigestion
Chronic Indigestion can be identified with a recurring pain or discomfort in upper part of the stomach. Chronic indigestion can be caused by inconsistent evacuation or delayed emptying of stools in afflicted individuals.
As ginger is a great Agni rejuvenator, it can also be an effective ally in the fight against chronic indigestion. In a study where ginger and placebo were given along with soup to a small group of subjects suffering from Chronic Indigestion, it was found that people who received ginger were able to empty their stomach in a matter of 12.3 minutes. On the other hand, people who received placebo took almost 16 minutes to empty their stomachs.
6 – Help with Weight Loss
Ginger has been long associated with weight loss in both men and women. In fact, a 2016 study only solidified the fact when 80 women with obesity found a reduction in their BMI or body mass index upon regular consumption of Ginger.
Ginger was also found to greatly reduce insulin levels in the body. As high insulin levels are affiliated with weight gain, ginger thus becomes the perfect antidote to bring down insulin levels and body mass with it.
Ways to Incorporate Ginger in Your Daily Routine
There are a vast variety of ways by which Ginger can be incorporated in your daily life. It can be used as an ingredient to flavor your favorite curry. It can also be had as a hot tea made with honey, cinnamon, cardamom, or other herbs to find relief from cold or flu.
Apart from the above, you can also add ginger to your lemon water, add ginger with vegetables and stir-fry them to make a good wholesome meal.
The Bottom Line
There are several ways in which Ginger can help you accomplish optimal health, and even more ways by which you can add them to your daily diet. There is a good reason behind ginger being deemed as a ‘Universal Medicine’. It can not only help with digestion, cold, and pain relief, but if recent studies are to be believed, can also find itself at the forefront of our battle against life-threatening conditions like Diabetes, Cancer and Strokes.
Therefore, if you haven’t been keen on ginger before, we hope this article helped shape your opinion of the herb for the better. To know what method of ginger consumption would best suited for you, we recommend seeking help from a qualified Ayurvedic expert.
Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.