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I’ll be honest, I had no idea ginger had so many uses until very recently when I was talking to my daughter and she mentioned it as an anti-nausea option. I had little use for it unless I was making the best pork tenderloin ever- Honey Ginger Pork Tenderloin. Beyond that, ginger is not something I kept on hand and I definitely did not know ginger could be used fresh, dried, as a tea, and also came as an extract. It turns out, ginger is one of the healthiest spices available and has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years by various cultures.
After scouring the internet, here are the top 6 uses for ginger I could find- I hope you are as surprised as I was!
Ginger is an Anti-Inflammatory
Yup, just like ibuprofen, except all natural! A 2013 study of women athletes found that taking 3 grams of ginger daily significantly reduced muscle soreness.
Ginger Can Reduce the Pain Associated with Menstrual Cramps
Ginger also helps with menstrual cramps! The extract known as Zintoma has been shown to work great for cramps. It comes in a powder form that can be mixed into water, smoothies or your monthly chocolate shake. 😉 The recommended dose is 500-2000mg during the first few days of your period.
Ginger Can Reduce Nausea
As little as one gram of ginger can relieve morning sickness and, amazingly, help with chemo-induced nausea as well. If you struggle with motion sickness on boats or airplanes, ginger may be a great natural option for you.
Ginger can Help Aid Digestion
Ginger contains powerful protein-digesting enzymes that helps aid digestion. Drinking ginger tea before or after meals can help reduce the occurrence of intestinal gas from a poorly digested meal. If certain foods result in negative digestion experiences for you, try drinking ginger tea before or after those meals.
Ginger Can Help Reduce Nausea After Surgery
If you’ve had surgery before and know that anesthesia does a number on you, you may want to consider picking up a bottle of ginger oil for your post-op recovery. According to WebMD, a little on the wrists can go a long way in helping ease post-op nausea.
Ginger Can Ease Pain From Osteoarthritis
Anyone who suffers from osteoarthritis pain knows any pain relief at all helps tremendously, since it is a constant pain. One study shows that taking 250mg of a the ginger extract “Zintoma EC” four times a day reduced arthritis knee pain after 3 months of treatment.
What is the easiest way to consume ginger? As a tea or in a supplement. If you opt for tea, you can steep part of the ginger root, making this a very inexpensive way to get your daily dose of ginger! You can easily add ginger to stir fry dishes, soups, and as an accompaniment to just about anything that calls for garlic since garlic & ginger pair nicely together.
Of course, I am not a doctor, so you should definitely discuss adding ginger as a supplement to your diet before doing so. I’m going to try it for digestion and motion sickness and see if it helps!
How to Grow Ginger Indoors
You will need the following:
- A living ginger root
- A shallow, wide pot
- Potting soil
- Start with a living ginger root, available at garden centers, seed companies or here.
- Soak the ginger root in warm water overnight, which will prepare it for planting.
- Fill a shallow, wide plant pot with rich, well-draining potting soil. (Ginger roots grow horizontally.)
- Place the ginger root with the eye bud pointing up in the soil and cover it with 1-2 inches more of soil.
- Water lightly and place the pot in a warm area that doesn’t get a lot of bright light.
- Keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over-water. After 2-3 weeks, you should see some shoots coming up.
- After a few months of growth, small pieces of ginger can be harvested. Move the soil at the edges of the pot to find some ginger rhizomes,(the underground, continuously growing stem) beneath the surface. Cut the desired amount of ginger off a stem toward the edge of the pot.
- Replace the soil to allow it to continue to grow.
In the warm months, you can move your pot outside. Just be careful to keep it out of direct sunlight as you do indoors. When the weather turns, bring your pot indoors. You can have ginger year round with this method!