Ginger has been purported to cure a veritable snake’s oil list of ailments. Everything from morning sickness to arthritic pain, from impotence to flatulence has been treated with ginger. Eastern medicine has long used ginger to aid digestion. Modern science has confirmed that ginger can help calm an upset stomach, especially in the case of pregnancy.
As ginger spread throughout the world with the spice trade, each culture learned to combine it with local ingredients to prevent or treat illnesses. The Burmese mixed ginger with a sweetener derived from the palm tree to prevent the flu, and people in India made a paste out of it to treat headaches. When the plague struck Europe, some people used ginger to protect themselves from the disease.
Ginger is said to be able to lower cholesterol and triglyceride counts, thus helping to prevent heart disease and stroke. It also contains antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help against arthritis and muscle and joint pain. When mixed with honey, ginger can help with respiratory issues.
In the United States, ginger is considered an unregulated dietary supplement that is relatively safe though it does interact with some drugs. Those using any supplements for health reasons should make a full disclosure to their doctor to avoid any complications and contraindications in other medicines.Ginger’s refreshing smell makes it an ideal ingredient in cleaning products including hand soap and furniture polish. Putting a quarter to a half cup of fresh ginger in the bath tub of warm water will detoxify the tub. Ginger has been used as a trading commodity for a long time and at one point in history, a pound of ginger was worth a whole sheep.