In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, volunteers with a history of motion sickness took 1,000 and 2,000 milligrams of ginger before undergoing simulated rotation. Ginger not only reduced nausea episodes, but also quickened recovery time. Ginger was more effective than Dramamine, a popular motion sickness medicine, in a similar study published in 1982.
The nearly 1,400 varieties of ginger all have that pungent, spicy-hot flavor and stimulating aroma in common. Chalk that up to gingerols, the active compounds in both fresh and dried ginger that scientists believe make it such a powerful healing food.
Ginger is among the 20 top-selling herbal supplements in the United States and today, pharmacopeias of a number of different countries list ginger extract for various digestive diseases (Borrelli et al; 2004). The efficacy of ginger is purported to be a result of its aromatic, carminative and absorbent properties (Govindarajan, 1982 a, b). Ginger is a widely used spice and functional food, for centuries ginger has been an important ingredient in Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibb-Unani herbal medicine.
Ginger supplements reduced markers of colon inflammation in a select group of patients, suggesting that this supplement may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The part of ginger we use is not a root, as one might guess from the way it looks. It's actually the rhizome, or underground stem. The spicy, aromatic compounds in the rhizome that impart the medicinal activity to ginger are relatively susceptible to heat and oxygen, so tread gingerly when making medicine from this herb.
The original discovery of ginger's inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed. This discovery identified ginger as an herbal medicinal product that shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ginger products are made from fresh or dried ginger root, or from steam distillation of the oil in the root. The herb is available in extracts, tinctures, capsules, and oils. Fresh ginger root can also be purchased and prepared as a tea. Ginger is also a common cooking spice and can be found in a variety of foods and drinks, including ginger bread, ginger snaps, ginger sticks, and ginger ale.
Ginger is a knotted, thick, beige underground stem, called a rhizome. The stem sticks up about 12 inches above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers.
Ginger has been used effectively for gastrointestinal problems as major as colitis and as minor as motion sickness. It stimulates good digestion. It helps alleviate congestion and minimizes mucous, even helping asthmatics
Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called a rhizome). It is commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes.