Every Herb Has a Story: The Health Benefits of Ginger

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One of the most highly regarded herbs and medicines of Asia and India, ginger has the ability to address numerous body systems. Recently, ginger has been the subject of clinical research because it appears to support the body’s inflammation response, which is an underlying factor in the overall health of the body.

1-5-2011-ginger in bowl
Photo by Chiot's Run/Courtesy Flickr

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger helps support a natural healing response to injury or illness. In a healthy body with a healthy inflammation response, the inflammation subsides after the body heals. Sometimes, though, the inflammation does not go away. It becomes chronic and can lead to many other problems.

The reason ginger is so useful in supporting the inflammation response is that is partially inhibits two important enzymes that both play an important role in an unhealthy inflammation response—cyclooxgenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase (LOX) enzymes. Anti-inflammatory drugs effectively block COX, but they have no effect on LOX; therefore they address only half of the problem.

Ginger does not cause stomach irritation. In fact, it is widely known for soothing and protecting the stomach. Since ginger does not stop the inflammatory process entirely, it is speculated that the herb may actually allow inflammation to work properly—helpfully—and then turn itself off, the way it does with an injury.

Ginger also helps relieve nausea and is loaded with powerful antioxidants.

A yummy and practical way to take ginger: Make a tea by cutting a 2-inch rhizome cube into slices and simmer in 1 cup water on low heat for 10 minutes. Cover the pot while cooking to retain as many active constituents as possible. Remove the slices and sip the remaining liquid before a meal. Eat the slices after drinking the tea. Drink three cups of tea per day—one before each meal.

Every herb has a story, and ginger’s story is one which, by all indications, suggests that the herb is entirely safe, promotes health and healing, digestion, and even supports the body’s inflammatory response. There’s no reason at all to take ginger gingerly.

*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. It is also recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications.


R.BureshRandy Buresh (Registered Nurse and Herbalist), is the co-owner and founder of Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Oregon’s Wild Harvest grows, harvests and produces their own medicinal herbal products, many of which use the herbs grown on their certified Biodynamic® and Organic farm in Sandy, Oregon. Oregon Wild Harvest.