Ginger Root Health Benefits: Nature's Healing Power

| Modified on Jan 16, 2024
Ginger Root Tea

Ginger root, a common spice found in many kitchens, has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Recent scientific research has bolstered its reputation as a potent health ally, particularly in preventing and treating various ailments. This article delves into the numerous health benefits of ginger root, backed by scientific studies.

Potent Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects

One of the standout properties of ginger is its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. These properties are largely attributed to compounds like gingerols and shogaols. These compounds help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are at the root of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and neurodegenerative conditions.

Cancer Prevention and Management

Emerging research suggests ginger may play a role in cancer prevention and management. Studies have shown ginger can induce cell death in certain cancer cells and inhibit their growth. This is particularly relevant for cancers like ovarian and breast cancer, where ginger's natural compounds demonstrate potential therapeutic effects.

Pain Relief and Muscle Recovery

Ginger's natural compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols, have significantly reduced muscle pain and soreness. These compounds inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, often elevated after intense physical activity. Regular consumption of ginger can help athletes recover faster, reducing the duration and intensity of muscle soreness after strenuous workouts.

Ginger is also particularly beneficial in managing conditions like osteoarthritis, where ginger can significantly relieve joint pain.

Gastrointestinal Relief

Ginger's role in promoting gastrointestinal health is one of its most celebrated medicinal properties. This spice has been used for centuries in various cultures to alleviate a range of digestive issues. Modern research confirms these traditional uses, highlighting ginger's effectiveness in providing gastrointestinal relief. Let's delve deeper into this aspect of ginger's health benefits.

Nausea and Vomiting Relief

Ginger is particularly renowned for its ability to combat nausea and vomiting. This makes it a valuable natural remedy for a variety of situations, including morning sickness in pregnancy, motion sickness, and side effects from chemotherapy. Studies have shown that ginger can be as effective as some prescription medications in treating these symptoms, with the added benefit of having fewer side effects.

Soothing Indigestion and Bloating

Ginger's carminative properties help in relieving indigestion and bloating. It stimulates the digestive system, aiding in the faster emptying of the stomach and alleviating discomfort associated with indigestion. Additionally, ginger helps in reducing intestinal gas and bloating, making it a go-to remedy for those with digestive disturbances.

Enhancing Intestinal Motility

Ginger has been shown to improve intestinal motility, which refers to the movement of food through the digestive tract. By enhancing the muscular activity in the intestines, ginger aids in the efficient processing and absorption of nutrients. This is particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from constipation or irregular bowel movements.

Alleviating Gastrointestinal Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are also beneficial for the digestive system. Ginger can help in reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which is often a factor in conditions like gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Antimicrobial Effects

Recent studies suggest that ginger possesses antimicrobial properties, which can help in combating harmful bacteria in the gut. This is important for maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora and can be particularly helpful in preventing and treating gastrointestinal infections.

Cardiovascular Health

Ginger's impact on cardiovascular health is noteworthy. Its compounds can help in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, and preventing blood clots. This makes ginger a valuable addition to a heart-healthy diet, potentially reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Ginger in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Forms and Applications

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), ginger is a revered herb known for its warming properties and ability to harmonize the body. TCM recognizes different forms of ginger and their unique applications, each tailored to address specific imbalances and conditions. Understanding these forms and their TCM uses can help choose the most suitable method for individual health needs.

Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

In TCM, fresh ginger, known as Sheng Jiang, is valued for its ability to expel cold and promote sweating. It is commonly used to treat colds and flu, especially those with symptoms of chills and lack of sweating. Fresh ginger is also used to alleviate nausea and vomiting, consistent with its use in Western herbalism.

TCM Benefits of Fresh Ginger:

  • Expels cold and warms the body.
  • Relieves symptoms of colds and flu, such as chills and lack of sweating.
  • Reduces nausea and vomiting, especially related to cold and dampness in the stomach.

Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Dried ginger, or Gan Jiang, is considered more potent and warming than fresh ginger. It is used in TCM to warm the middle burner (the spleen and stomach) and expel internal cold. Gan Jiang is especially beneficial in treating conditions like cold extremities, chronic diarrhea, and certain types of abdominal pain.

TCM Benefits of Dried Ginger:

  • Warms the middle burner and expels internal cold.
  • Effective in treating chronic digestive issues caused by cold.
  • Helps in alleviating cold extremities and certain types of pain.

Ginger Capsules and Powders

While not traditional forms in TCM, ginger capsules and powders are modern adaptations that still offer ginger's warming and harmonizing properties. These forms are convenient for those who prefer not to consume ginger directly or have difficulty incorporating it into their diet.

TCM Perspective on Ginger Capsules and Powders:

  • Provide the warming and harmonizing benefits of ginger.
  • Convenient for consistent and easy consumption.
  • Suitable for those who prefer a tasteless and odorless form.

Other TCM Preparations

  • Ginger Tea: Similar to fresh ginger, ginger tea is used for its warming and sweating properties. It's often combined with other herbs like brown sugar or jujube dates in TCM formulations.
  • Topical Ginger Applications: Ginger is sometimes used topically in TCM for pain relief. It may be applied as a poultice or in liniments to address joint or muscle pain.

Choosing the Right Form in TCM

The choice of ginger form in TCM depends on the specific condition and the individual's constitution:

  • Use fresh ginger (Sheng Jiang) to expel external cold and treat nausea.
  • Opt for dried ginger (Gan Jiang) for deeper, internal cold conditions and chronic digestive issues.
  • Consider ginger capsules and powders for convenience and ease of use.
  • Explore ginger tea and other combinations for specific TCM formulations.
  • Apply ginger topically in TCM preparations for localized pain relief.


From its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to its role in cancer prevention, pain relief, and digestive health, ginger root stands as a testament to nature's ability to nurture and heal. Whether embraced through traditional methods or modern adaptations, ginger root offers a natural path to health and harmony.

Acid Reflux

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

Posted by Jan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) on 05/08/2010

I found ginger tea a more pleasant and gentler way of dealing with acid reflux than apple cider vinegar.

Ginger is well known for it's calming effect on the stomach. If the esophageal sphincter is doing it's job the reflux doesn't happen and I suspect that it is allowed to function better when the stomach is churning in a calmer manner.

I make the tea by putting a few slices of fresh ginger into a thermos and let it steep before taking the first cup. I usually have around 3 & 4 cups a day.

Acid Reflux
Posted by Darijan (Zagreb, Hr, Croatia) on 09/23/2009

I would like to add Yes for GINGER.

I suffered from Acid reflux for nine months, tried almost everything, was on NEXIUM too, I did not have chest pain but throat pain, and ginger tea was the most spectacular discovery! Now I drink several glasses of ginger tea daily and the pain is now much much weaker. Nothing I tried before ever made so much difference.

Therefore, strongly recommend ginger.

I buy a fresh one, peel it off, cut it in small pieces and just spill hot water over it, just like I would do with any other tea.

Anyway, that worked out for me. Pain is not completely gone yet (I drink it for three days only) but life became much more bearable since I started.

Good luck to all of you!

Replied by Maureen
(Boulder, Colorado)

I had a few problems going on when I experienced acid reflux: I had helicobacter pylori (got it from eating a bad hot meatball sandwich). It's a bad bacteria. Can cause serious problems down the line. But it is easy to identify in a blood test. Antibiotics cures it. Once that was gone, I found out I had food sensitivities. It took a while to figure out what those were. Also found my gall bladder was a bit sluggish so I avoid high fat foods and do stomach massage. Now the ginger tea takes care of soothing my once again healthy insides.

Replied by Teresa
(Mph, Tn)

You can juice the ginger too.. If worse comes to worse you can cut off and chew.. It's good for cough at night.. When I get sick with sinus I cut with skin on it and juice it.. Also cut into small chunks and eat raw.. It tastes really bad but stops cough and congestion in its tracks! Along with acid reflux..


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Katherine (Los Angeles, USA) on 03/20/2007

Arthritis Remedy: Ginger Root/Mint tea. I have found that making tea out of ginger root and mint is more helpful than any capsules. Take about a 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peel and then slice root into mug, add some fresh mint leaves, pour good boiling water over and steep at least 1/2 hour (the longer the better) drink before you retire for the night. This not only helps with the joint pain but has also helped me sleep more sound. The mint is important as it helps the stomach - ginger root tea alone can be a bit difficult if one is no longer 20 . This is an acquired taste. DO NOT get carried away like I did the first week and drink more than one huge mug a night. As my Chinese Dr. friend said "it is like listerine for the body". Cleans out the toxins and it is a natural anti inflammatory. Katherine

Posted by Suzanne (London) on 11/15/2006

I have suffered from very bad arthritis for some years and also osteoporosis of the spine. I used to dread winters even though I was prescribed antiinflamatory pills and painkillers by my doctor. I recently discovered ginger root (I found a newspaper article about ginger that I had put away some years ago) and have been taking it for about 3 weeks now in capsule form from the health food shop. The stiffness has gone from my joints and spine and most of the pain which is gradually disappearing. In fact, the other day I realized that I didn't have any pain or stiffness at all. It is such a great remedy that I am recommending it to everybody I know who has arthritis.

Chronic Sinus Congestion

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Shira (Green Cove Springs, FL) on 01/16/2008

I want to shout this from the roof tops!

My husband has had terrible sinus congestion for months! Because it felt as though he had some sort of barrier in his left nostril, even his CPAP machine wasn't allowing him to breathe. Sleepless night... tons of money on meds... countless nosebleeds because of all of the nasal sprays... he was miserable and feeling a little desperate.

Then, as the last resort, I searched and came across your ginger root remedy. $2.00 for a huge ginger root that I peeled, cut into chunks and steeped for 4 hours in a pot of water with 2 green tea bags. Dan sipped on the surprisingly yummy tea all evening, and for the first time in MONTHS, he's completely clear! There wasn't a dramatic loss of mucus, but for whatever reason, I believe it shrunk the swollen nasal passages, and for the last 3 nights in a row, he's slept ALL night, clear as a bell! He didn't even snore! I can't even begin to tell you what a HUGE blessing this remendy is for us.

I work with a Japanese woman who told me that ginger root also helps digestive issues and menstral cramps. We've decided to make ginger root tea part of our daily routine. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

Chronic Sinus Congestion
Posted by Tara (Springfield, Illinois) on 01/11/2008

Sinus Cure I had really bad sinus congestion about a month.After trying all kinds of over the counter products I decided to try a natural remedy using fresh ginger root.I cut about 2-3 onces off the ginger root, peeled it.Then I placed it inside a tea cup of water and put it in the micro wave for 3 minutes and allowed it to cool a little before sipping.I did not notice the results until three days later, I went to blow my nose and lots of brown mucus came out of my nose.I drank a few more cups after that and now I feel clear and more better.

Chronic Sore Throat

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Trisha (Singapore) on 02/01/2007

a friend of mine had chronic sore throat and couldn't speak. she was due to give a lecture the following day.. i got a small piece of ginger (about the size of half a thumb) and sliced the ginger into fine pieces. put it in a pot & added a glass of water, boiled it down to 1/4 glass of water. once slightly cooled I added honey and squeezed in a teaspoon full of lemon juice. gave this concentrated liquid to my friend,. believe it or not, the next day the sore throat was completely gone.. she couldn't believe it too.. as she was resigned to canceling the talk...


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) 391 posts

While ginger seems to restore energy in most cases, however I find capsicum powder (cayenne peppers) mixed with fresh ginger works the best as it helps with circulation. Especially works well if you are drowsy and raises oxygen level to those tiny capillaries which receives little or no blood flow.

If you can find them, fresh ginger and fresh cayenne peppers (finely chopped) work the best due to higher bioflavonoids, vitamin P content, as well as vitamin C, etc.

You would not believe that the amount of vitamins in FRESH vegetables are MUCH MORE THAN THOSE THEY GIVE YOU IN VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS!!! Cooking destroys nearly everything the vegetables have to offer and end up paying more buying vitamin supplements, and much much more going to see doctors.

Coughs and Colds

9 User Reviews
5 star (9) 

Posted by Leriejane (Seattle, Wa, Usa) on 07/17/2010

Ginger works really well for sore throats and coughs. My family uses the following ways:

-Boil a 1 inch piece or a few slices, then add honey and lemon.

-Drink 'ginger juice' or 'instant salabat'. (Salabat is a not a brand name, but what the drink is called in the Philippines. ) This is a powdered, hot drink mix that you can find in Asian stores and it gives your throat a nice 'heat'. It has sugar in it, so if you don't want that you could probably mimic the powder by mixing ground ginger with black pepper in hot water.

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Ntini (WV) on 12/23/2008

The best use of ginger I have found is for common cold and cough. Take one spoon ginger juice mix it with one spoon honey. Take two times in a day.

For any ailment related to stomach take a mixture of ginger juice, lemon and black salt (total quantity one to two spoons two times in a day).

Replied by Ranjana
(Arlington, TX USA)

How do you make ginger juice? Thanks.

Replied by Maris
(Paris, Ile de France)

fresh ginger-juice:

peel ginger and put it through the juicer, then add the juice of 1/2 lemon & 3 oranges, and honey. and be aware that this is a concentrated mixture that needs to be deluded with water! adding strawberry-juice along with the water (1:1:1) is delicious.

the amount of ginger depends on how strong you wish your ginger-juice to be.

Replied by Frank
(Estacada, United States, Oregon)

I have always found that when it comes to the common cold or a cough, wild ginger root is my knight in shinning armor. To help with some of the symptoms use equal parts of ginger juice, black salt, lemon, and either orange or honey.

I recommend the orange if the person can eat citric fruits, otherwise honey will be fine to make the younglings want to take their medicine.

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Purvi (Jersey City, NJ, USA) on 10/09/2008

I make ginger tea whenever I feel a cold or cough coming on and it works every time. I boil ginger root in water and once boiled, I steep tea in it. I had honey and lemon to the ginger tea. Drinking four cups a day for two days will cure any cough or cold you have. It always works. A table spoon of shreaded ginger root in two cups of water (you can make it stronger/spicer by adding more ginger), two tea bags, 1/2 lime or lemon and a couple of table spoons of honey (I like my tea a little sweet). Drink two cups in the morning and two right before bed.

Ask me about turmeric next!

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Abah (Lubbock, Texas, USA) on 06/05/2008

Ginger root -- remedy for cough caused by cold. Clean and wash the root, chew a couple and swallow the juice. Although it burns, but works very effectively.

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Lawrence (Kingston, Jamaica) on 04/29/2008

Sucking on a .5 sq. inch piece of dried ginger cures my sore throat and other cold/flulike symptoms at their onset.You have to however bear the hotness as much as you can, until the sensation is gone. I have not suffered from a cold or flu for the last 10 years or so. For more aggressive forms, a total water & juice fast for 2 or 3 days straight does the trick for me. My roomate had a bad flu recently, it never touched me. When ending the fast, eat only raw fruits and vege for a day or so. Notice how the gradual resumption of cooked food lowers your mood and vibration.

Replied by Briana
(Beaufort, South Carolina)

I have a question. My son just came down with a nasty cold and sore throat. I have no fresh ginger, but I have powdered ginger from the spice rack at the super market. Can I use that?

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Pat (Montreal, Quebec) on 01/25/2008

I am into drinking all kinds of herbal teas and one day I was looking for info on herbal teas and starting reading about ginger, that evening Christmas eve I felt like I was getting a cough and cold because I started to sneeze ever 15 minutes, decided to make the ginger tea and drank 1 litre of it, the next day I was up and about, no more cough and did not sneeze it was an incredible experience, now I tell everyone about this and really encourage to drink this for anyone who feels that they are coming down with a cold or cough, try it you will feel the difference.

Coughs and Colds
Posted by Sunny (Fullerton, CA) on 03/20/2007

I am of Korean descent, and for as long as I can remember, my grandparents and my mother have been using ginger for a few different ailments. Recently, I noticed with the cold weather, the flu bug was going around and I have had some pain and swelling in my wrists and finger joints. I made tea by boiling one ginger root, sliced and diced, in some water, added some fresh lemon juice and the peel (how it was done forever in my household) and added honey into my cup. it isn't a cure for a cold, but it certainly helps to relieve symptoms. i took the warm ginger remains out of the pot and mashed it up and applied it topically to my wrists and fingers. the pain is substantially alleviated. if you can handle the smell, it is worth a try. this is not a cure for arthritis, but a natural and very healthy way of relieving pain. there is also a link to show studies done by the U of Maryland on ginger and what ailments it helps with. hope this helps.

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