One of the oldest plants used for medicinal purposes is Ginger. This plant, which looks like a reed, is known to have been used in the kitchen as well as a medicine since the past 5,000 years. Even today, ginger is resorted to as a best cure for some of the simple ailments or common problems such as vomiting, nausea, digestive complaints or some sort of morning weakness. It may not be out of place that a cup of ginger tea at the morning will provide you with more vigor and freshness than an ordinary but good cup of tea.
Ginger is renowned more for its medicinal properties than for cooking purposes though ginger often finds a place in the kitchen. The uniqueness of ginger in comparison to other items in the kitchen is nothing but its distinctively hot and pungent flavor.
One of the most common problems we often encounter is tummy upsets or motion sickness. We may also, at times, feel shivery or contract a cold. In such cases, it is advisable to take a cup of tea with ginger or a ginger capsule that is crystallized in sugar. If you could not find good ginger tea, you can even consider munching a couple of ginger nuts, to get instant relief and feel fresh and rejuvenated. If you tend to have the problem of motion sickness especially while going out for a long drive in a car or in a ferry, it is advisable to take about a quarter teaspoon of powdered ginger or a small slice of fresh root-ginger about 20 minutes before leaving out. This will help you overcome motion sickness.
Yet another most interesting medicinal feature of ginger is that the chemical compounds gingerol and shogaol present in ginger, which gives that pungent flavor to ginger, are very effective in reducing intestinal contractions and neutralizing digestive acids. It is for this reason that most of the doctors advise intake of ginger to prevent nausea as ginger does not cause drowsiness or any other side effect while effectively controlling nausea.
It has been found in various researches that consuming about half-a-teaspoon of powdered ginger, taken up within 30 minutes of the onset of migraine or severe headache, help in reducing the symptoms by effectively blocking the prostoglandis that is responsible for causing inflammation in blood vessels in the brain. The interesting aspect of ginger in contrast to the medicated drug of aspirin to block prostoglandis is that that ginger only blocks such prostoglandis that cause inflammation, and prostoglandis that strengthen the stomach lining in the intestines are not affected by ginger.
You might have noticed that aged people or obese people often complete of pain in the knee joints. It is this prostoglandis, which is responsible for swelling in the knee joints and causing pain that is other wise called as arthritis. For people suffering with arthritis pain, it is advisable that crushed root ginger is applied on the skin in and around the knee joint where pain is experienced. It has been discovered that repeated application of root ginger on the skin will considerably reduce or ease the pain caused due to arthritis.