By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Ginger is one of the most popular and well-liked spices in the world, and it has been used in cooking and medicine for generations. It is native to Southeast Asia and is classified as both a herb and a spice. It’s a popular spice in India and is used in some way in the majority of dishes. Ginger is high in bioactive chemicals, which provide a variety of health benefits. It contains a good amount of potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, as well as vitamins C, B5, and B6. Gingerol is the most important chemical in ginger, and it is responsible for the majority of its therapeutic benefits.
Ginger strengthens our immune system by creating perspiration in our sweat glands. Sweating not only aids in the detoxification of damaging radicals and toxins, but it also aids in the prevention of diseases caused by certain bacteria. Dermicidin is the substance found in our perspiration that helps us fight infections. This substance is created in our glands, travels to the skin’s surface, and defends us against invading bacteria like E. coli. Candida Albicans, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus
Ginger and fertility
Ginger, in the form of fresh or dried root (Zingiber officinale) is thought to help support fertility and several studies provide evidence on this. Ginger is not only an anti inflammatory, it also plays a role in cleansing, pain relieving and improving circulation to the reproductive organs.
Ginger is known to increase fertility in men. In study conducted in 2012 it was found that after treating men with ginger, their sperm count increased by 16.2%, sperm motility increased by 47.3%, and sperm volume increased by 36.1%. The study also concluded that the men taking ginger experienced an increase in serum LH, FSH, and testosterone. This is good news for men who might be struggling with low sperm count or low testosterone.
There were some limitations to this study, as the quantity and form of ginger used was not specified and there was no control group.
Ginger is also known to aid women with uterine fibroids because it improves blood circulation, which supports a balanced inflammatory response and appropriate detoxification. It also aids in normal digestion, which is crucial in the treatment of inflammatory disorders.
In a recent study Ginger was found to be effective in minimising the severity of menstrual pain.
There are various ways in which you can include ginger in your diet. Ginger root can be added to any juice such as apple or lemon juice. You can also make ginger tea by boiling an inch of ginger in two cups of water. You can simply grate ginger into any food items that you prepare – especially tasty and easy in stir fries and soups. Ginger is often used in curries and stir fries too.
Ginger may lower blood sugar and increase the effectiveness of insulin and other drugs used for treating diabetes. Diabetics taking blood-sugar-lowering medication should be cautious about ingesting large amounts of ginger…..always check with your GP if unsure.
Jenabi E (2013) The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea. JPMA 63: 8
Romm, Aviva, M.D. (2010) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. St. Louis, Missouri: Churchill Livingstone
Waleed Abid Al-Kadir Mares and Wisam S. Najam (2012)
The effect of Ginger on semen parameters and serum FSH, LH & testosterone of infertile men. Depts. of Physiology, Medicine, College of Medicine, Tikrit. University.
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