GINGER is aromatic, pungent and spicy. It is a root vegetable that adds a special flavor and zest to stir fries and many fruit and vegetable dishes. Ginger's benefits as a healing food are
well known in Asia. There it is frequently called "the universal medicine" and is regarded as an excellent "carminative" (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas), also an "intestinal spasmolytic" (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract).
Ginger's effectiveness as a buffer for stomach acid is due largely to its active phytonutrient ingredients: "gingerols" and "shogaols" which are responsible for ginger's distinctive flavor. Ginger's anti-vomiting/acid action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, also the result of excess acids. Dr. Robert O. Young's research indicates that ginger buffers excess acids which block vomiting. So, Ginger helps neutralize stomach acids, enhance the secretion of alkaline juices and tones the muscles of the digestive tract.
Both gingerols and shogaols have been shown to fight cancer as well. Scientific research has been shown that gingerols have antibacterial properties. In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dr. Chung-Yi Chen presented compelling evidence that ginger's shogaols effectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. A Rutgers University study later that same year supported the cancer-fighting properties of both shogaols and gingerols.
Denmark researchers have discovered that ginger can block the effects of substances that cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain and lead to migraines. When you feel a migraine coming on, take 1/3 teaspoon of fresh of powdered ginger to help stop the headache before it starts. In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps, while adding ginger to honey can wipe out food poisoning in a hurry.
But that's not all! Studies have shown that ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that work much like the more common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ginger actually inhibits the action of several of the genes involved in the inflammation process, namely cytokines and chemokines.
You will love blending up a couple of fresh ginger roots along with fresh lime or lemon juice, garlic, and ice for a nutritionally potent (and tasty) breakfast smoothie. When buying ginger, fresh is best! Be sure to avoid ginger with dry, wrinkled, skin, mold or soft spots. Grating, blending, or using a garlic press will give you the maximum benefit.
(Reference: Dr. Young)