Ginger has been touted consistently as a miracle food and drug. Are the praises heaped on ginger real and scientific?
Ginger: Topnotch Kitchen Staple
Ginger is native to South Asia, where it has been a part of the diet for over 3,000 years. Ginger was regarded as a rare, valuable treatment in Europe when Marco Polo first brought it back from Asia. Truly, ginger can do a lot more than put a snap in your cooking. It can take the crackle and pop out your joints. A new, rock-solid scientific study has proved the zesty spice is as good as prescription medicine at conquering arthritis pain.
Ginger: Alternative cure for Osteoarthritis
Ginger has played a major role in traditional Chinese medicine and in Indian Ayurvedic pain treatments for more than 2,500 years. Olympic track champion Carl Lewis, at one time the fastest man on Earth, claims ginger supplements are helping him with his battle with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the disease.
Now, researchers have compared the effects of concentrated ginger capsules with that of conventional painkillers in treating the inflammation of osteoarthritis, caused when the cartilage pads between joints gradually wear away.
During a six-week trial, 250 patients suffering moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee were given either a specific ginger extract or a placebo, a substance that has no medicinal properties. The ginger extract group took two 225-milligram pills daily. Both groups were allowed to take everyday acetaminophen pills if their pain grew too severe. By the end of the trial, two out of every three patients in the ginger group reported a market decrease in the crippling agony of arthritis. More importantly, the group suffered none of the severe side-effects-gastrointestinal upset, tissue damage and even internal bleeding–known to occur with powerful prescription arthritis remedies.
The ginger extract, according to the result, reduced significant pain. The pain after walking was almost twice as good an improvement as the placebo. The effect is similar to that seen with trials using conventional drugs.
The Many Uses of Ginger
It is used as seasoning to some baked goods like cookies, biscuits, pies, gingerbread, and to ad flavor to vegetable and meat dishes. It is also used as an ingredient of ginger tea, ginger ale, and other beverages. Ginger oil is used in perfume making and as an alternative medicine for certain common ailments like toothache and stomachache.