Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.
Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few of its purposes. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol - a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery. Ginger may also help chemotherapy-related nausea, but larger human studies are needed. Just 1–1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea, including chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery, and morning sickness.
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
There are some studies showing ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially osteoarthritis of the knee.
Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. There’s some evidence, in both humans and animals, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and blood triglyceride levels.
If you want to add ginger to your diet, you can do so through what you eat and drink. Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.