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The use of ginger root has been used for thousands of years as medicinal and as a spice. There are some unknown and yet fully proven benefits to taking and using ginger root daily.

Ginger - used medicinally and as a spice

Ginger, a plant, which is predominately grown in Africa, Caribbean, India, and Southeast Asia; is sometime referred to as ginger root or root ginger and is used medicinally and as a spice.  It also found in items such as ginger ale, which is known to help relieve an upset stomach.

Ginger is known for its health benefits as it can help prevent cancer because of the chemical properties that make up the plant and root.  It is noted medicinally in modern and ancient cultures as being a very healthy and positive additive to your diet.  

Because ginger has been known to cleanse the blood, this is a positive effect on the heart which, in turn, is a positive effect on all other bodily organs.  It is believed by those who practice Chinese medicine, that if the stomach is healthy all other parts of the body shall remain healthy as well. 

Uses of Ginger for Health

  • Car Sickness

If you are prone to having car sickness, air sickness, or are planning on taking a cruise, bring along tablets of ginger which will settle the stomach and relieve the symptoms.  In general, if you have an upset stomach take a ginger tablet or drink real ginger ale; it is proven to be most effective in treating this ailment.  Another thing to note is if your diet is prone to cause you indigestion from possibly drinking too many cups of coffee or sodas, drink a cup of ginger tea a day to promote a healthy digestive system.

  • Balancing the body systems

In India they practice a form of medicine known as Avurvedic; it prescribes ginger as a key ingredient to put in foods or drink as a tea to keep the body system regulated.  It is recommended to help treat and reduce the symptoms of a cold.  It works by, as those who practice this Indian medicine, to balance the energy in your body looking for changes in your systems such as hot and cold.  If the ginger finds something that is out of the normal range it will help to balance it.  It is further noted that mixing honey, lemon and ginger together is one of the healthiest drinks your body can utilize.  Honey is said to be a natural antibiotic and has been used for thousands of years in this aspect.  Please note, however, young children should not be given honey; there are risk factors that a young body cannot be subject to until their immune system is working at full capacity. 

I am sure you remember, as I do, when I was a little girl and I got a stomach ache, my mother would give me a cup of ginger ale to sooth my stomach.  It seemed to always work then and as I’ve grown up I have continued to use one type of ginger or the other when my stomach is upset.  I specifically enjoy drinking warm ginger tea with honey; it seems to sooth my stomach better than ginger ale. 

Other Benefits

  • Arthritis

Besides being used to spice up meals, ginger root has also been known to treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis.  It is still not known why or how ginger seems to treat arthritis so well but it is an alternative that can be used with other treatments or by itself. 

  • Colds

Many people believe, steadfastly, that taking ginger daily or drinking ginger tea with honey is a way to help build the immune system and fight off the common cold.  You can buy ginger tea already prepared or you can buy ginger root and snip or cut off a piece of the root and grind it or smash it using a garlic press.  Add it to boiling water and let it stand for a bit of time; maybe 15 minutes.  Pour into a cup and add honey.  It has a delightful taste and many people are true believers that this has kept them from catching colds or flu during those peak seasons when colds and the flu are at its worst. 

Different Forms of Ginger

There are many forms in which you can purchase ginger for use as a spice or for medicinal use.  It can be found in most grocery stores as a spice as well as in the root form.  You can also buy it as a daily supplement in pill form. 

You can use the root form for cooking as well and it tends to add more flavors to the dish then buying it in powdered spice form.  If you want to use the root form to cook with, just chop or grate a piece of the root and add it to your dish.  If you wish to use the root form for medicinal reasons, chop it finely and boil to make a tea, as stated above.

Most major grocery stores keep a good supply of ginger root in stock and if they don’t, just ask the produce manager to order it or inquire where you might be able to find it.  You most certainly should be able to find it at health food stores or stores that specify a certain culture, such as Indian foods, whom use a great deal of ginger in their cultural dishes. 

Ginger has a great deal of benefits for both the taste buds and your health.  Considering that my mom gave me ginger ale when I had an upset stomach and her mother gave her ginger ale when she had an upset stomach, just goes to prove that there has to be something to this; it’s always worked pretty well for me and I will continue to always keep some sort of ginger product in the house for such occasions.

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