By Anika Logan
Ginger root has long been found to be effective in combating stomach problems such as Indigestion, nausea, morning sickness, Motion Sickness and Diarrhea. In fact since ancient times it has been used as an ingredient of herbal medicines in places such as Arabia, Asia and India. China has been reaping the benefits of ginger root for its dietary benefits for over 2,000 years.
The British medical journal Lancet reported that when it comes to Motion Sickness, ginger works much better at alleviating the negative effects than does the drug Dramamine. Recommended by researchers is that travelers consume approximately 1,500 mg of ginger half an hour before travel is undertaken. An alternative to the common ginger root often used in cooking is to drink a 12-ounce glass of ginger ale.
Ginger’s power to combat morning sickness has been borne out in a number of studies. In Europe doctors have discovered that nausea and Vomiting in pregnant women is cut down upon or eliminated all together by consuming 250 mg of common ginger. It is not recommended that pregnant women exceed one gram daily of ginger root (unless as deemed safe by a doctor or qualified health care practitioner). There is a significant difference between the use of fresh ginger root during pregnancy and dried ginger root. This distinction is very important. The former is safe for pregnant women to ingest while the latter is not.
In order to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness there are a few viable options. Mothers-to-be can eat ginger snaps, ginger bread, consume 250 mg of ginger four times a day (for example using 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger is best), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, whichever is preferred. For those unfamiliar with ginger tea, it can be made by adding one teaspoon of ginger in a powdered form to a cup of boiling water or if you prefer a stronger taste, to a fruit juice of your choice.
The ingredient in ginger that gives it its ability to heal stomach ailments is gingerol. When buying a ginger extract, make sure you buy the proper concentration, which is a standardized 11:1. Medical doctors recommend consuming approximately 1,000 mg of the extract.
Gingerol works in tune with the gastrointestinal tract to calm and settle the stomach. There are no worries related to toxicity levels when it comes to gingerol on account of the fact that it in no way interacts with the functioning of the nervous system. While ginger is generally considered safe for the majority of people to use, those with a history of either Gallstones or persistent heartburn should first speak to their doctor before beginning to take it.
If eating ginger snaps or drinking ginger tea is not to your liking there is another option for ginger consumption and that is to make use of essential oil of ginger. Inhaling ginger is not the best way to get your fill for digestive purposes but it is useful. Here is what you can do- fill a bowl with boiling water and then add to the water one drop of ginger per pint of water used. Cover your head with a towel and steam your face for up to five minutes, inhaling the aroma of the ginger while making sure to always keep your eyes closed.
Motion Sickness is decreased tremendously by the administering of ginger. A study undertaken with 80 Danish novice sailors who were not yet acclimatized to the ill effects of the sea on the stomach yielded results that only one gram of ginger (powdered ginger in this case), was enough to decrease the incidence of Vomiting and cold sweating. Not only that but nausea and dizziness were also reportedly lessened by the effects of ginger. It is highly recommended for those prone to Motion Sickness to take a form of ginger approximately 3-4 hours before travel commences in order for the body to adequately absorb it.
The technical name for ginger root is Zingiber officinale and it is a natural spice that comes in a number of different forms. Ginger is available in a powdered form and this can be made into ginger tea much like a regular tea is made- simply add some ginger to a cup of hot water and then let it steep for a few minutes.
Once the ginger and water have mixed together sufficiently you can enjoy a tasty and “stomach- happy” cup of tea. It is best to make ginger tea with approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon and if that is not strong enough for you, add more as required.
Dried ginger root can also be used to make tea but you may have to let it sit longer to get the taste you yearn for. Powdered ginger works wonders as a spice sprinkled lightly on casseroles, soups and other favorite dishes. Ginger can also be candied (or crystallized) and pickled for baking purposes and can easily be chewed for digestive relief. Some people believe it is good practice to chew the ginger for a few minutes and then leave it under their tongues to be quickly absorbed into the system and allow it to do its job. It does not take very long for ginger to work its magic.
For those who do not enjoy ingesting ginger in any of its other forms, it also comes in capsules and tablets, which are convenient, small and easy to take. However make sure to always read the directions on the side of the bottle before taking.
As previously mentioned, ginger comes by way of food and drink. Ginger snaps and ginger bread are not only delicious but digestively therapeutic as well. Ginger ale does not have a sharp sting like taste to it like other kinds of sodas sometimes do and ginger tea boosts a very pleasant scent.
Keep in mind ginger’s seasonal connection- during the cold months of winter it is excellent at fighting viruses that plague the digestive tract and in the summertime when traveling is at the top of so many people’s vacation plans, ginger both works to prevent and do away with that which we all dread, Motion Sickness. Ginger is also beneficial during the seasons of spring and autumn when allergies of many kinds often bring with them problems such as dizziness and VERTIGO. Ginger really can be described as a wonder drug, which cures what ails in regards to so many stomach disorders.
Ginger recipes are the best! Look to http://swiftweb.com/ha/ginger.html for two recipes, one for pickled ginger and another for candied ginger.
To read other studies undertaken with ginger root and to read about other benefits go to http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs/Gingerch.html.
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