For over 2000 years ginger has been part of Chinese medicine, used for preventing and curing many health problems. It is known to promote energy circulation in the body while increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Anything used by the Chinese for medicinal purposes always gets a thumbs up from me personally. They always seem to be a few steps ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to these matters.
Nowadays ginger is used all across the world and is included in many popular recipes. Like China, many other countries are also using it to prevent and heal minor ailments, but also to combat more serious diseases like cancer. Below are just a few ways ginger is used:
Morning and Motion Sickness – A study from the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that ginger can treat nausea that is caused by pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can reduce the symptoms of motion sickness including vomiting, dizziness and cold sweating.
By grating a few inches of a fresh ginger rhizome and then diluting it in filtered water, you can ease the pain of an upset stomach, and reduce the effects of nausea and vomiting. You can add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten the strong taste. This is the reason why people are given ginger ale when they are seasick; but nothing beats the original fresh extract if it’s available.
Ovarian and Colon Cancer Treatment – Several studies have showed that ginger has the ability to defeat several types of cancers cells including some of the most aggressive and most difficult ones to treat, including ovarian and colon cancer.
The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found through their research that ginger can destroy ovarian cancer cells, at a similar or better rate, than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer.
Menstrual Cramp – In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is given as a treatment for menstrual cramps. So the next time your wife or girlfriend asks for a present, show up with a ginger root instead of a box of chocolates. But before you get slapped across the face, make sure she reads these benefits of ginger!!!
Improvement of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis – In numerous studies researchers found that the awesome anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in ginger, are responsible for reduction in pain and improvement in mobility for those who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
In two separate clinical studies it was revealed that by taking ginger, arthritis patients and patients with muscular discomfort experienced less relief of pain and swelling by 75% and 100% respectively.
Cough, Sore Throat and Stuffy Nose –The countless health benefits of ginger go on and on. A natural cure for coughs and sore throats is to drink your own fresh ginger tea. Partially slice a few strips of ginger and crush them to help out the active ingredients. Then boil to make a southing tea, adding either lemon slices or honey to add even more healthy nutrients, and also to add some taste. Instead of adding lemon slices in your tea, try adding some coconut milk. Again not the best of tastes but it does help to break up phlegm and will boost your immune system.
Ginger is undoubtedly a superfood, best known for it’s gastrointestinal soothing effects. It should definitely be introduced in your healthy balanced diet if you have been neglecting it so far. Like all foods and superfoods, consuming with moderation is the key to gaining the health benefits of ginger. It is also advised to consult your local physician for any food you add in your daily food diet.
NOTE: If you would like to add comments on the above article or if you have any personal opinions and know of other health benefits of ginger, we would be grateful and honored if you shared your thoughts and ideas in the "comment" section below. Adding ginger recipes would also be a big bonus.
Saucy Coconut-Chicken Stir-Fry
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pepper, minced (optional)
1 bunch scallions, sliced, whites and greens separated
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup “lite” coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups sliced napa cabbage
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
2. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the wok or pot. Add jalapeño pepper(if using), scallion whites, mushrooms and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the mushrooms start to soften, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Stir in cabbage, the chicken and scallion greens; cook, stirring constantly, until the cabbage is slightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Stir in basil just before serving.
Tofu with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
5 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or white vinegar
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
TOFU & VEGETABLES
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, preferably water-packed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups baby spinach, (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, (4 ounces)
4 scallions, sliced (1 cup)
1. To prepare sauce: Whisk water, peanut butter, rice vinegar (or white vinegar), soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
2. To prepare tofu: Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Slice the block crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Coarsely crumble each slice into smaller, uneven pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes.
4. Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more.
5. Add spinach, mushrooms, scallions and the peanut sauce and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Serves: 4 servings
Approx.calories 220 per serving