What Are The Health Benefits of Ginger?

Zingiber Officinale, Ginger, is a herb used mostly for it’s rhizome or root. It has been used in different parts of Asia for many purposes for well over 2,500 years. Today ginger is one of the most commonly consumed condiments in the world, but the herb has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to treat many conditions. Ginger is used in varying forms dried, powdered, fresh, based on how old the rhizome, or root is. Ginger has many benefits, so here’s a list to name a few.

Before we proceed, please contact Dr. Paula Lima if you are looking for a naturopathic doctor in Chandler, AZ. She has years of experience along with an advanced degree, and helps people with a wide variety of symptoms. From acupuncture in Chandler to our in-house medical weight loss clinic, please get in touch.

What are the Health Benefits of Ginger?

Ginger is an excellent source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, digestive aids, and more. It can help fight off free radicals, fatty liver, and it produces beneficial enzymes, among other benefits.

Ginger is an Excellent Source of Antioxidants

Ginger is packed with antioxidant properties, helping your body fight off oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance in your system creating harmful cells called free radicals, slowing down your body’s ability to detox harmful cells.  Antioxidants fight off free radicals in our body which are associated with many diseases. Ginger has shown to have higher levels of antioxidants even more so than other powerful antioxidant foods like pomegranates and berries. The best benefit noted about ginger is that it helps protect Glutathione, our body’s most potent antioxidant.

Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. It contributes to many important physiological functions, including detoxification, immune system fortification, and the regulation of cellular events.

Pizzorno’s 2014 study revealed that the antioxidant properties in glutathione are particularly critical in protecting cellular components from oxidative damage. This mitigates the risk of various chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease [1]. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Redox Biology found that glutathione deficiency could contribute to increased oxidative stress and related health disorders [2].

Ginger Has Anti- Inflammatory Properties

A huge benefit of ginger is its potent ability to decrease inflammation. It helps reduce swelling and pain. It’s likely that ginger reduces inflammation by decreasing the enzymes that produce free radicals and increasing blood flow. This is partially beneficial for people struggling with varying forms of arthritis. Ginger can help improve circulation, reduce swelling, and reduce pain.

“Inflammation” is a common (and nebulous) term, but it’s related to the production of cytokines, or substances that immune cells secrete in your body. Giner containsgengerols, shagaols, and paradols, all of which can inhibit the production of these cytokines and enzymbles that inflame your body and cause chronic pain and discomfort.

How Does Ginger Help With Digestion?

Ginger has carminative effects. Carminative herbs are known to soothe the digestive tract. Ginger helps release more digestive juices, this makes digestion easier and helps dispel gas and bloating. Ginger relaxes the stomach reducing symptoms of indigestion like cramping, pain, gas and bloating.

The previously mentioned gingerols and shogaols present in gingery do a number of things. Firstly, ginger speeds up the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine.  It also produces pancreatic lipase, trypsin, and other digestive enzymes [3]. Thirdly, ginger has been known to encourage the production of bile — all of these factors combined can work wonders on your digestive system and overall level of health.

Ginger Helps With Fatty Liver

Fatty liver is really common in the United States. NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a chronic liver disease seen mostly in obese people and those with Type 2 Diabetes. There are no standard treatments for NAFLD besides treating the underlying condition obesity. Following a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory has shown to help. Ginger has both properties and more. Ginger also helps your body enhance antioxidant systems in your body like Glutathione. This keeps the body from being able to deposit more fat into the liver, helping you reduce inflammation and reduce fat in the liver.

In summary, ginger is a low cost superfood that you can incorporate into your lifestyle with relative ease. It eases inflammation, helps your digestion, and helps patients with a number of chronic issues. For more information about our naturopathic services or even our esthetician in Chandler, please give us a call.

[1] Pizzorno J. (2014). Glutathione! Integrative Medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 13(1), 8–12.

[2] Forman, H. J., Zhang, H., & Rinna, A. (2009). Glutathione: Overview of its protective roles, measurement, and biosynthesis. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 30(1-2), 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2008.08.006.

[3] Platel, K., & Srinivasan, K. (2004). Digestive stimulant action of spices: a myth or reality? Indian Journal of Medical Research, 119(5), 167–179.

Dr Paula Lima Naturopath Chandler

Dr. Paula Lima, NMD

Dr. Paula Lima’s expertise is treating patients with hormonal imbalances, weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disease, and regenerative injections. During her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, camping, and enjoying time with friends and family.