Monday, July 7, 2014

Ginger Health Benefits | How to use Ginger

Ginger is a storehouse of medicinal values

The ginger health benefits are many. It is an herb, which plays two roles: as a flavoring agent and natural medicine. It is usually available throughout the year and costs less, in season, than some of the other herbs.  All these reasons should tempt you to know the ginger health benefits.

Ginger is used in, among others,  some Ayurvedic medicines. From indigestion to cold, stings to arthritis, ginger is said to be used as a treatment for a range of diseases. 

Brief Overview of the Ginger Health Benefits

Reduces Menstrual Pain

Dietary ginger may reduce painful menstrual cramps, a research study has found.1

Reduces Blood Pressure

A team of Thailand researchers found that the extract of cassumunar ginger, a type of ginger, has the potential to reduce the mean arterial blood pressure.2

Relieves Migraine

Ginger powder may significantly reduce headache. The team of researchers who found this ginger trait says that the adverse side effects of ginger powder were less than that caused by sumatriptan, a drug used in the treatment of migraine.3

Prevents Injury to Liver

Medicines such as acetaminophen or Tylenol, a painkiller, may also have an association with “chemically-driven liver damage”. A research study has found that ginger can prevent such damage.4

Relieves Asthma Symptoms

Ginger, the wonder herb, may reduce asthma symptoms.  Thanks to the three ginger constituents 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 6-shogaol. These constituents with asthma therapies, such as β-agonists, may give more relief of asthma symptoms.5

Works as a Part of Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

The researchers at the University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that ginger powder was able to cause the death of ovarian cancer cells.  Further, the research study revealed that ginger might be able to reduce the resistance of cancer cells to cancer treatment like chemotherapy.

According to the researchers, ginger was able to kill the cells in two ways. 1.  Apoptosis, which is the outcome of the cells killing themselves. 2. Autophagy, “results from cells digesting or attacking themselves.”6

Reduces Muscle Pain caused by Exercise

Raw ginger may be an answer to reduce the muscle pain caused by certain exercises, according to a research study. The researchers of this study say that “Daily supplementation with ginger reduced muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise…”7

Now that you are aware of some of the ginger health benefits and you know how to use ginger, you may want to make it a part of your regular diet to reap the advantages this herb offers.  As always, consult your physician before you begin to consume ginger for medical reasons. 

Ginger in Indian Dishes – A Quick Glance

Many Indian dishes recipes have ginger as their common ingredient.  The rice dishes like chitranna or lemon rice, methi pulao, palak pulao and ghee rice have this herb as an item.  It is used in a number of curries too. Many types of chutneys, for example, coconut chutney, have ginger as an ingredient.

What about the dishes prepared with ginger as the main item? The cuisines that are in this class include ginger chutney and ginger pickle.

It is common to add the pieces of a crushed ginger to buttermilk to not only give it a flavor, but also to add to its medicinal values.

Some herbal juices also have ginger as a key item.

“How to use ginger?” is a question some first-time users of this herb have.  Ginger chops, paste and crushed pieces are some of the forms you can use, depending on the type of dish you are preparing.  For instance, ginger paste is used in making ghee rice; ginger chops are used in preparing chitranna or lemon rice.

Dry ginger powder is also used in some dishes like Kanchipuram idli.

Here are the recipes, at, for the dishes mentioned above and that uses ginger.  Copy the URL / address in the second column of the table below and paste it in your address browser bar:

Dish Recipe at
Chitranna / Lemon Rice
Methi Pulao
Palak Pulao
Ghee Rice
Coconut Chutney
Butter Milk


1Comparison to assess the effectiveness of active exercises and dietary ginger vs. active exercises on primary dysmenorrhea among adolescent girls, Nursing and midwifery research journal,

2Potent antihypertensive activity of Thai-Lanna medicinal plants and recipes from “MANOSROI III” database, Pharmaceutical Biology accessed through Informa Healthcare,

3Comparison Between the Efficacy of Ginger and Sumatriptan in the Ablative Treatment of the Common Migraine, Phytotherapy Research accessed through Wiley Online Library,

4Hepatoprotective, Antioxidant, and Ameliorative Effects of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and Vitamin E in Acetaminophen Treated Rats, Journal of Dietary Supplements accessed through Informa Healthcare,

5Active Constituents Of Ginger Potentiate -Agonist-Induced Relaxation Of Airway Smooth Muscle, American Thoracic Society International Conference Abstracts accessed through ATSJournals,

6Ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die, U-M researchers find, University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center,

7Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise, The Journal of Pain,

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