Thai Black Ginger, Black Turmeric, Thai Ginseng, or Krachai Dum – Black ginger is the latest buzz in the naturopathy world.
The botanical name for black ginger is Kaempferia parviflora. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is native to the North and Northeast parts of Thailand. The rhizomes of black ginger, are traditionally used in folk medicine to cure a variety of ailments such as inflammation and allergies.
What Is Black Ginger?
For more than a thousand years, Black ginger or Kaempferia parviflora rhizome has been used in traditional Thai medicine. It has been found effective in the treatment of various kinds of allergies and has also proven helpful in dealing with diarrhoea, diabetes, and impotency.
The black ginger plant can reach up to 20 cm in height. The leaves are green, rounded at the base and are 8-15 cm long. When compared with regular ginger, black ginger is darker in colour. The outer appearance is the same, however inside, black ginger exhibits a deep purple shade.
Benefits of Black Ginger Extract
Black ginger extract is available in many forms such as black ginger powder and liquid. Black ginger extract has many uses and benefits. Let us look at some of the common application areas of the black ginger extract.
- In food flavouring
Black ginger enhances the flavour of many dishes. There are many uses of black ginger in curry as well as in the bakery due to its pungent and spicy taste.
- As a medicinal supplement
Black ginger is recommended as a dietary ingredient for the improvement of conditions such as cold hand and feet, swelling. It is also used as an aphrodisiac and for improving muscular endurance and physical fitness. Black ginger extract also finds use as an anti-obesity and anti-fatigue agent. It improves metabolism and is also a good solution for people looking to stop weight gain.
Black Ginger Health Benefits
There are many health benefits of black ginger. It is rich in amino acids. It is also rich in antioxidants such as tannins, anthocyanins and flavonoids. Here we look at some of the black ginger benefits.
- Promotes Sexual Health
Black ginger has been used in traditional Thai folk medicine for treating erectile dysfunction. Since it is an aphrodisiac, for females it finds use in increasing libido. Black ginger naturally acts as an inhibitor to PDE5 (Phosphodiesterase5). This action is the same as induced by chemical compounds found in Viagra. Due to these effects, black ginger extract is useful in boosting men’s sexual health. Black ginger extract stimulates nitric oxide production. This action aids in penile erection by helping the muscles relax. The nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, promoting a better flow of blood. Due to no proven side effects of black ginger, it is recommended as a very effective and safe option to promote sexual wellness in men. It can be considered as an alternative to chemical-based supplements which may cause harmful side effects.
- Increases Physical Performance
Black ginger extract is useful in increasing physical performance. In clinical studies, it has shown effectiveness in improving muscle endurance and grip strength. Black ginger extract enhances fat metabolism. This makes it a useful supplement for fitness enthusiasts and athletes who are looking to increase their body performance.
- Increases Energy Expenditure
Black ginger extract increases the activation of the brown adipose tissue. This tissue plays an important role in your body’s energy expenditure. This effect makes black ginger a useful herb for those seeking to inhibit weight gain. A single dose of black ginger extract can help you burn more calories and help your weight-loss commitments.
- Anti-Cancer properties
Black ginger extract may be useful in fighting cancer. Studies have shown that black ginger extract successfully exhibits the suppression of cancer cells and cell migration. The black ginger extract has also proven to be effective in inducing death to ovarian cancer cells. More studies are needed to study this effect so that black ginger can be widely used as a natural way to fight cancer.
- Anti-Microbial and Anti-Inflammatory properties
Black ginger has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this effect, it is very useful in the treatment of acne as it kills the acne-causing bacteria, reducing inflammation. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, black ginger can boost blood circulation in the scalp and ensure hair follicles are getting the right nutrition. This helps in enhancing hair volume. Black ginger also helps in reducing pigmentation disorder by stimulating melanin production and is thus useful in enriching hair pigmentation.
- Anti-allergic effect
Black ginger extract has been traditionally used for the treatment of allergy and allergy-related diseases. Black ginger tea benefits during allergic common cold and congestion.
Side-effects of Using Black Ginger
It is recommended that you avoid black ginger if you are allergic to traditional ginger. In small doses, the side effects are very limited. In some individuals, black ginger may cause an increase in temperature. However, there is very little to no evidence of any adverse black ginger side effects that might arise from its consumption. The Thai Traditional Medicine Institute has recommended Black ginger as a safe supplement. It is also being promoted as healthcare food among the public by the Thai government.
Black ginger uses range from culinary to medicinal. You can consider black ginger extract as an alternative to traditional medicines that might have side effects. Black ginger has not shown any evidence of side effects. If you are looking for better sexual health, black ginger is the best-suited alternative to both chemical-based supplements as well as other natural options.
Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.