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The Health Benefits of Ginger

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries.  Growing up in a Chinese household, my mother would give us fresh ginger to help fight off health issues.  She would cook with it and use it medically by applying fresh ginger to our heads or give it to us in a tea when our stomach would bother us.
I decided to do a little research on the health benefits of ginger and this is what I have found out and want to share with you. As you may know, science and researchers around the world are now catching up and are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb.
1.Ovarian Cancer Treatment -Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induced cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied. 
2. Colon Cancer Prevention -A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
3. Morning Sickness - A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness. 

4.Motion Sickness Remedy -Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

5. Reduces Pain and Inflammation -One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural pain killer. 

6. Heartburn Relief - Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn or upset stomach remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

7. Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment- Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in these cases.

8. Migraine Relief - Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

9.Menstrual Cramp Relief - In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.
10.Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy - A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

*Even though ginger is a natural herb that is generally safe, some people may experience side effects from it when taking it in large amounts. These may includegastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, diarrhea, upset stomach, mouth irritation, or belching. Taking ginger in capsule form may help to alleviate some of these side effects.

*When to avoid ginger: if you have gallstones, or are planning to have surgery. Another side effect of ginger may be blood-thinning. Even though there haven't been any specific scientific studies proving this side effect, it is still a good idea to avoid ginger if you are on on blood-thinning medications. 

*Before you start a new or add a supplement to your diet, please talk to your doctor to see if it is safe for you.   

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