Ginger (Zingiber officinale), a staple in Asian cooking, has been used for thousands of years as both a culinary and medicinal herb.
The first uses of ginger date back to 400 B.C. Through the centuries, the herb has been used to treat stomach-related ailments, such as nausea and diarrhea, and toothache as well. Ginger has also been known to help stimulate the appetite and aid in digestion. Today, ginger is a common remedy for motion sickness due to traveling and morning sickness associated with pregnancy.
Researchers have found yet another reason to bring ginger to the front of your spice rack.
Photo by kfergos/Courtesy Flickr
Now, researchers think they have found yet another benefit from indulging in a diet rich in ginger. This herb could help fight cancer.
In previous studies, when fed to mice and rats that were exposed to chemicals known to cause colon cancer, tumors were non-existent. So, researchers decided to turn their studies to humans to see if these effects would carry over.
In the study, researchers instructed individuals to consume capsules containing either 2 grams of powdered ginger root or a placebo powder daily for one month.
Their findings were preliminary, yet encouraging. Before the study began, researchers took samples of tissues from the lining of each participant’s colon. At the end of the study, those who had consumed the ginger capsules had decreased inflammation in their colons. This is important because chronic inflammation of the gut is highly associated with developing cancerous polyps that can lead to colon cancer.
So, next time you’re planning out your meals for the week, consider adding a ginger-infused entrée to your menu, such as this Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup, to warm your body and lead to a happier, healthier you.
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