Benefits of Boiled Ginger

Ginger is a type of root and spice that has been used as a culinary ingredient and traditional medicine for thousands of years. Often taken as a treatment for stomach-related discomfort and illness, boiled ginger contains antioxidants known as phenols and has a number of potential health benefits, among them improved digestion.

Fresh ginger root and ground ginger spice
Ginger is often used in cooking because of its strong flavor. (Image: icarmen13/iStock/Getty Images)

Gastrointestinal Relief

Ginger is commonly used as an herbal remedy for indigestion because it produces an effect that stimulates the movement of the digestive system. According to a study published in October 2005 in “Digestive Diseases and Sciences,” ginger extract successfully stimulated digestive travel of charcoal meal in mice, suggesting ginger is an effective way to relieve some types of indigestion. Some of the compounds found in ginger include nitrogen-based compounds and antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, which are thought to encourage the gastrointestinal effects.

Protection Against Cancer

Regular boiled ginger consumption could protect against cancer. Cancer typically results from compounds and environmental factors known as mutagens and carcinogens. Anti-mutagens are compounds that prevent or fight against these developments in the body. According to a study published in 2007 in the “International Journal of Cancer Research,” rats treated with carcinogens and fed ginger showed fewer mutagens than rats treated with carcinogens alone, suggesting that ginger might be useful in protecting against mutations and cancer development. This property is retained when ginger is boiled.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger has been used as an anti-inflammatory traditional medicine for several hundred years, but only recently have its effects been closely examined and analyzed. Consuming boiled ginger provides the body with benefits similar to taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but with potentially greater benefits and fewer side effects. Ginger extract has been shown to suppress the genes that induce inflammatory responses, making ginger potentially effective in reducing inflammation associated with injuries or chronic diseases like autoimmune arthritis.

Pregnancy-Induced Nausea and Motion Sickness

Ginger is thought to treat nausea and vomiting, and according to a study published in April 2004 in “Obstetrics and Gynecology,” 1.1 grams of daily ginger consumption can reduce nausea in pregnant women. The study compared the effectiveness of ginger against supplementation of vitamin B-6, which was shown to be equally effective in reducing nausea, dry heaves and vomiting. Ginger is also frequently used to prevent and treat nausea from motion sickness.

Dosage and Preparation

Ginger tea is available premade but may contain artificial ingredients. To make your own boiled ginger, obtain ginger rhizome and slice it thinly. Take 1 cup of those unpeeled ginger slices and boil them in 8 cups of water for approximately 25 minutes, or until it is reduced to 5 cups. Allow it to cool, divide it into mugs and add flavorings to taste. The beverage can be consumed hot or cool.

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