Ginger Root Health Benefits – Health, History & How To Use It
Herbal tea was created and used throughout history to aid ailments of all sorts! From relieving digestion pains, chronic illness, rashes & burns and more, herbs, roots, seeds, fruits, and barks have been praised for their healing abilities.
Due to these incredible & unique attributes each herb holds, Komunity Kombucha and Fresh Steeps are teaming up to provide in depth biopsies of individual herbs, roots, seeds, fruits and more!
In this article, we will discuss the ginger root! We will dive deep into ginger root health benefits, history, & how to use it for yourself!
Ginger Root History
Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, is a spicy & popular herb that has been utilized for more than 5000 years. Commonly considered a root because it grows underground, ginger is actually a rhizome! Rhizomes are underground stems which makes them slightly different than a root, but whether you call it root or rhizome it is still powerful!
Places like India & China are first recorded to have used ginger as a herbal healing tonic. Now it is harvested around many humid climates with India being the largest producer (4).
The ginger root was a commonly important article of trade in the early Roman empire from India for over 2000 years! This continued even after the fall of the Roman empire. By the 13th & 14th century, a pound of ginger was equivalent in price to a sheep! That baaaaaffles me (terrible sheep joke…)!
By medieval times ginger was being utilized & preserved as a candy. Queen Elizabeth I of England is actually credited with the creation of our beloved gingerbread man! I am forever grateful!
Now ginger is found across the world in grocery stores as candies, root, tablet, powder, you name it! Let’s dive into the specific health benefits of this spicy rhizome!
Ginger Root Health Benefits
Ginger has been identified & recognized by herbalists as a wonderful addition to their medicine cabinet. For years, ginger has been recognized to aid humans with nausea, digestion, liver, immune system & blood sugar disorders. Let’s jump into the health benefits most common!
- Major Anti-Inflammatory: Inflammation can commonly occur from the formation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in our diets. COX-2 mediates the formation of prostaglandins (PGs) which cause inflammation. Ginger acts as an inhibitor for the COX-2 mechanism (2, 5). It is not as major of one as its cousin, turmeric, but it is great for helping with common cold symptoms! Make sure to consume warm to amplify the effects.
- Gut & Liver Detoxification: Ginger is a hepatoprotective root, meaning liver protector (“hepato” = liver)! By boosting the bodies triacylglycerols (TAGs) the body is able to detoxify quicker while also restoring & protecting the liver from further damage (2, 6). The antimicrobial properties of the raw root also kill gut pathogens, thanks ginger (2)!
- Boosts Digestive Function: The ginger root as stated above will kill gut pathogens & promote detoxification, but not only does it get rid of “bad bugs”, but it actually leaves behind stronger & healthier bugs! This allows us to have a stronger gut microbiome which will keep us strong, healthy & regular…in many ways (2).
- Incredible Carminative: To be a carminative means to decrease your flatulence…your toots, burps, grumbles, you name it! Ginger contains volatile oils that bind with these gases that are formed from foods that may not sit well with you (2, 7). Next time you have that gas station burrito, you may want some ginger on deck!
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity: Insulin sensitivity results from the constant intake of sugar which spikes insulin, resulting in crash & a continuation of the cycle. This can lead to not only the crappy feeling of a blood sugar crash, but overtime potentially diabetes. Ginger contains a compound known as gingerol. It has been studied that at cells with gingerol, the insulin’s ability to uptake glucose increases! There are also several studies showing a permanent reduction of lipids, resulting again in improved insulin sensitivity (2, 8).
How To Use Ginger Root In Your Life
First, a note: Before attempting to cure yourself with any herb or medicine, please consult a licensed physician! Do the research for yourself too. You will always be your best advocate, we are here to simply provide information and help guide!
If you are inspired, you may be asking yourself, “How can I get these ginger root benefits for myself?!?” Good thing is there are many tried & true methods!
For ingestion, try infusing with tea (Fresh Steep’s clear favorite method)! Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried powder or 1 to 2 inches of sliced raw ginger per cup of water, steep for 8 to 12 minutes, and enjoy 3 times a day!
Ginger can also be found in candy or tablet form. Or just incorporate it into a favorite dish as a spicy addition!
Finally, you can ingest a tincture, or concentrated alcohol extraction of the herb! Take 30 to 60 drops, 1 to 3 times per day.
Overall, ginger is an incredible root (or rhizome) that has been used for thousands of years. From cuisine to medicine, this diverse root hosts many benefits. If you learned something from this post, comment one of your favorite ginger root health benefits & share with a friend!
1. Pursell, J. J. The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them. Timber Press, 2016.
2. Groves Maria Noël. Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide To Holistic Self-Care. Storey Publishing, 2016.
3. Breverton, Terry, and Nicholas Culpeper. Breverton’s Complete Herbal: a Book of Remarkable Plants and Their Uses. Lyons Press, 2012.
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341159/#:~:text=Ginger as an important dietary,, & Leelakusolvong, 2010).
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277626/#:~:text=Thus, at treated cells with,and accordingly, increases insulin sensitivity.