What are its benefits?
Scientists have long known that ginger is one of the plants that facilitates digestion and increases bioabsorption of dietary nutrients. Newer research (“Prebiotic Potential of Culinary Spices Used to Support Digestion and Bioabsorption”) shows that ginger changes the microbiome and causes shifts in microbial populations: “Both fibers and phytochemicals in medicinal herbs used as spices appear to promote the growth of beneficial microbes and inhibit the growth of potentially inflammatory species.” Ginger led to an increase in Lactobacillus gut bacteria, a beneficial bacteria that helps the body break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off “unfriendly” organisms that can cause diseases such as diarrhea. Another study indicated that the components in ginger promote tissue repair and antimicrobial immunity.
As a home remedy, ginger is a common treatment for upset stomach and nausea. It seems to aid digestion and saliva flow. There’s evidence that ginger eases muscle and joint pain, as well as pain from arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps.
What is it?
Ginger is a flowering tropical plant that grows in China, India, Africa, the Caribbean, and other warm climates. The root of the ginger plant is well-known as a spice and flavoring. The root doesn’t have many vitamins or minerals, but it has a lot of antioxidants.