All the Goodness of Ginger: Zingiber Officinale
Zingiber officinale, also called ginger, is a spice which is used all over the world for cooking and medicinal purposes. The chemicals present in it make it an excellent antibacterial, antifungal, antiarthritic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent among other things. It is also used in a wide variety of traditional medicines for the treatment of various diseases. The beta-carotene, caffeic acid, capsaicin and gingerol present provide it with a number of curative and therapeutic properties. It is also used as a seasoning in the preparation of several dishes. Let’s find out more about the zingiber officinale uses.
Nutritional Value of Zingiber Officinale
Ginger (zingiber officinale) is considered to be more effective when used as a part of a healthy diet. If you have concentrated forms of the chemical compounds of the root then you could suffer from possible side effects such as gas, diarrhoea and heartburn.
The flavour and aroma of zingiber officinale is determined by the composition of its essential oil. The different types of hydrocarbons and different oil constituents are the determining factors in the distinct taste and aroma of ginger. Oils and oleoresins are used as ingredients in beverages, food items, soft drinks and various types of medicinal items.
Zingiber officinale is a rich source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, vitamin C and riboflavin. The pulverised ginger also has great nutritional value with the presence of protein, fatty oil, crude fibre and carbohydrates. The rhizomes also contain an excellent proteolytic enzyme known as zingibain. The composition of these elements differs with the type, agronomic conditions, storage methods and curing processes among other things.
The inflorescence of torch ginger is blessed as a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibres and essential amino acids. It also has a rich presence of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur. The addition of ginger oil helps augment the shelf life of a variety of foodstuff and also helps prevent microbial food spoilage.
Medicinal Uses of Zingiber Officinale
Zingiber Officinale common name ginger has a number of potent medical uses. It has been used for motion sickness, stomach upset and nausea among other things. It is also effective for osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, migraine headaches and diabetes.
One of the ingredients of zingiber officinale can assist in minimising symptoms such as bloating and acidity and help clear the bowels. Ginger is also promoted as an anti-gas, antacid and laxative too. Let’s find out more about zingiber officinale medicinal uses.
- It is believed that the zingiber officinale has significant benefits for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Taking ginger 30 minutes before each dose of the antiretroviral treatment for a period of 14 days brings down the risk of nausea and vomiting considerably.
- Painful menstrual periods in women and teens can be minimised if you take 500-2000 mg of ginger powder for the first 3-4 days of your menstrual cycle.
- Oral consumption of zingiber officinale could help people who suffer from osteoarthritis.
- Similarly taking ginger orally can also reduce the feeling of nausea in some pregnant women. But do remember to take the advice of your healthcare provider before deciding on this remedy.
- Taking ginger extract reduces a runny nose and is also helpful for a person with hay fever.
- Zingiber officinale is also believed to help enhance appetite of people with cancer. It could also help reduce acid reflux, nausea and stomach issues in people with this condition. It helps with sudden vomiting issues in cancer patients. It could also be used as a supplementary medicine along with other anti-nausea drugs for cancer and provides for greater efficacy.
- It is also a suggested remedy for people with acute obstructive pulmonary disease (AOPD). The recommended dose under medical supervision could offer relief for people with AOCD.
- Zingiber officinale helps reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes. 3 grams of ginger on a daily basis taken for a period of 3 months might be effective. It is also effective in reducing the blood sugar levels of diabetic pregnant women.
- A dose of 1.2 grams of ginger powder prior to eating might help ensure faster movement of the bowels of people with dyspepsia.
- Ginger is also effective in removing the effects of hangovers. Pith of citrus tangerine and brown sugar if added to zingiber officinale before drinking lessens symptoms of hangover like vomiting and nausea including diarrhoea.
- A dose of 1 gram of zingiber officinale 3 times a day for a duration of 45 days is recommended to reduce extreme levels of cholesterol and triglyceride.
- People with diabetes and high blood pressure might be able to lower their levels with the help of black tea and ginger.
- Taking ginger before a surgery might help reduce the feeling of nausea. Applying ginger oil on a patient’s wrist before surgery might also help prevent the feeling of nausea.
- A combination of zingiber officinale along with other herbal ingredients is considered to be an effective remedy for irritable bowel syndrome.
- Ginger is also used in combination with other compounds as a remedy for joint pain. This works well if taken for a continuous period of 8 weeks.
- Young women with abnormally high bleeding problems during menstruation could take ginger to help reduce bleeding.
- Zingiber officinale can also be an effective remedy for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It has been observed that taking ginger daily for a period of 3 months may lead to reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with NAFLD.
- The consumption of ginger can also help mollify pain and accelerate healing in kids who have had their tonsils removed.
- Zingiber officinale is also very effective in lessening the pain and swelling of the joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- A combination product of ginger and a herb root is helpful in enabling stroke victims to swallow food.
- Some drugs that are effective against tuberculosis have the potential to cause liver damage. A combination of ginger with this medication could help stop the damage caused to the liver
- Zingiber officinale could also help minimise the degenerative effects of people with inflammatory bowel disease. Ginger releases microscopic particles that treat this disorder.
- Ginger might also be helpful for people with vertigo but only to the extent that alleviates the symptoms of nausea.
Uses of Zingiber Officinale for Health
The common name of zingiber officinale is ginger and is popularly recognised as being one of the healthiest spices in the world. It benefits are recognised as being very close to turmeric and cardamom and they also belong to the same family. Ginger can be used in many different forms. It can be used as a powder, as a juice or oil. It can also be an ingredient in many health products and processed foods.
Ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol which is responsible for many of its medicinal properties. Gingerol has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is very useful in reducing oxidative stress which is the result of having free radicals in the body. Let’s look at the ginger benefits.
- Weight and obesity: Zingiber officinale is a very effective remedy for obesity and weight loss. Ginger has been found to be helpful in reducing body mass and blood insulin levels. Excessive blood insulin has been connected to obesity. It could also be used to increase the number of calories burnt and increase inflammation.
- Osteoarthritis: Studies have indicated the positive effects of zingiber officinale on osteoarthritis. A dose ranging from 500mg to 1 gram of ginger administered over a period of 3 to 12 weeks has helped reduce pain in the affected. A combination of cinnamon, mastic, sesame oil and topical ginger has been found to help lessen stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Blood sugar: A dosage of 2 grams of zingiber officinale per day has been found to be very useful in reducing blood sugar levels significantly. It has also been effective in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Correspondingly it also leads to a lowering of malondialdehyde, which leads to oxidative stress, and could be a cause of heart disease.
- Indigestion: One of the main symptoms of indigestion is pain and resultant discomfort in the upper section of the stomach. Delay in clearing the contents of the stomach leads to this problem. This is where ginger has been found to be very useful for it facilitates the faster removal of the contents of the stomach.
- Cholesterol: Heart disease could be the result of high levels of bad cholesterol and your diet could be one of the possible reasons for it. Ginger has been used effectively in reducing the bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.
- Cancer: The gingerol found in raw ginger has been found to have potent anti-cancer properties. This has led to ginger medication being recommended as an alternative way to cure cancer. The ginger helps prevent the accumulation of pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon and is a cure for colorectal cancer. Evidence has indicated that zingiber officinale could be similarly effective in treating pancreatic and liver cancer as well.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Inflammation and oxidative stress could make you age sooner. This is also a reason for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related degenerative diseases. Zingiber officinale is believed to affect the brain directly and inhibit the inflammatory responses with the help of its antioxidants and other compounds. It has also shown positive effects on memory and response time.
- Immune system: Zingiber officinale can also help augment the immune system and increase resistance to harmful virus and bacteria. It is known to restrict the growth of oral bacteria and bolster the immunity of the system against respiratory infections.
Benefits of Zingiber Officinale for Hair
Ginger is believed to be very useful in improving the scalp circulation that enhances the flow of blood to the scalp. It works on the hair follicles and augments natural hair growth. The vitamins, fatty acids and minerals present in ginger could help you better the quality of thin hair. It also restores moisture content and prevents hair loss. The magnesium, potassium and phosphorus present in ginger greatly aid in faster hair growth and that is why the number of people using ginger for hair is consistently growing.
Ginger could also be the answer to all your dandruff issues. Its antiseptic properties could work as a potent remedy in removing dandruff from your hair and fight scalp infections and a flaky scalp. Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil to 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, add some lime and mix well. Apply this thoroughly to your hair and scalp and wash off in half an hour. Do this 2-3 times a week for best results.
Ginger is a natural conditioner and helps improve the look and feel of your hair. The antioxidants present in zingiber officinale offer protection to your hair against hair breakage. Take 2 tablespoons of grated ginger and blend it with a small amount of water to make a paste. Let this sit on your hair for 45 minutes before rinsing it off with water. Try this 2 times a week if you are experiencing severe hair fall issues.
Ginger juice for hair is excellent for fighting infections and also helps detangle your hair and prevent split ends. Apply fresh ginger juice from your roots as you work your way down to ensure faster and healthier hair growth.
The gingerol present in ginger is a powerful antioxidant which helps fight off free radicals and prevent hair loss and thinning.
Ginger has been used since centuries for its comprehensive therapeutic properties and also for its capacity to add flavour to our cooking and improve our appetite. There are manifold medicinal uses of Zingiber including benefits for skin and hair, helping to rejuvenate and revive its quality. For more remedies for zingiber officinale do come and visit us at Traya as our experts will put you firmly on the road to better hair and body health with their suggestions.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.