Ginger, a tropical plant related to turmeric and cardamom, produces a pungent, sweet-tasting root. Herbal tea aficionados steep freshly grated ginger in hot water to make tea, and various cuisines incorporate fresh or dried ginger into both sweet and savory recipes. Herbalists recommend ginger root as a natural treatment for a wide range of health conditions. Consult your doctor before using ginger to treat a medical condition.
Ginger root's immune-system benefits may help protect brain function
, according to a study published in the August 2012 issue of the journal "Neuropharmacology."
In the tissue culture study, 6-shogaol, one of the active constituents in ginger, prevented damage to microglia, important support cells in the brain, by inhibiting production of several immune-signaling molecules, including prostaglandins and interleukins. The ginger extract also inhibited genes that, when activated, lead to production of cyclo-oxygenase-2, or COX-2, a pro-inflammatory enzyme that is the target of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Researchers concluded ginger shows good potential as a natural supplement for prevention of some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis
A study published in the July 2011 issue of the "Official Journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology" found that ginger may help inhibit some forms of cancer. Ginger provides non-toxic benefits that activate the immune system to prevent cancer from developing, kill existing cancer cells and prevent tumors from spreading, according to researchers.
In a study published in the December 2012 issue of the "European Journal of Cancer Prevention," individuals at high risk for colorectal cancer showed significantly decreased inflammation in the colon after taking 2 grams of ginger daily for 28 days. Ginger inhibited the inflammatory enzyme COX-1, but did not affect levels of another key inflammatory enzyme.
You may be able to fend off the next respiratory virus making its way around your office, school or neighborhood by using ginger, according to a study published in the November 2012 issue of the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology."
The tissue culture study found that fresh ginger prevented human respiratory syncytial virus, or HRSV, from attaching to and infecting upper respiratory tract cells. Doses of 300 micrograms per mililiter of fresh ginger stimulated the respiratory cells to secrete an anti-viral protein
called interferon-beta.Ginger also inhibits mucous production and helps clear up congestion
, according to Dr. Sandra Cabot, author of the book "The Juice Fasting Bible: Discover the Power of an All-Juice Diet to Restore Good Health, Lose Weight and Increase Vitality."
AntibacterialA combination of ginger, garlic and lime may offer antibacterial benefits
against some types of drug-resistant bacteria, according to a study published in the March 2011 issue of the journal "Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials."
In the test-tube study, equal concentrations of each of the three plants together, but not individually, inhibited an antibiotic resistant strain of E. coli, a bacterium that causes intestinal and food-borne illness.
Ginger lemongrass tea recipe & tips to peel ginger