The Powerful Benefits of Ginger

Ginger and Chronic Disease

Ginger contains bioactive compounds, most notably gingerol and shogaol, that give rise to a number of health benefits.

Ginger and Cancer

Ginger’s ability to prevent cancer and its progression are still not well understood, but research to date has been extremely promising. Gingerol and shogaol have been shown to have a positive impact on colorectal, gastric, pancreatic, and liver cancers.

  • Colorectal Cancer – Gingerol prevented proliferation and spread of colorectal cancer cells. (1) Cancers are most deadly if they are left unchecked and allowed to grow and spread to other areas of the body.
  • Gastric Cancer – Gingerol has been shown to induce cell death of gastric cancer cells and to heal ulcers in animal studies. (2)
  • Pancreatic Cancer – Gingerol and shogaol both helped to inhibit invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. (3) Pancreatic cancers are often diagnosed at late stages, leading to poor prognoses. Limiting the spread and invasion is vital for ensuring survival.
  • Liver Cancer – Animal studies have shown that ginger extracts can help to prevent invasion and metastasis of liver cells while activating detoxification enzymes through gingerol and shogaol activity. (4)

Ginger and Cardiovascular Disease

As with cancer, studies are preliminary and need more evidence to corroborate findings.

  • One study showed that ginger supplementation improved all aspects of the test subject’s cholesterol profile. The supplementation resulted in reduced total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Keeping LDL cholesterol low and HDL cholesterol high is important for the prevention of heart disease.

Ginger and Arthritis

Ginger’s powerful compounds, gingerol and shogaol, have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation plays a major role in exacerbating symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (6) Animal studies showed that ginger supplementation relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis while improving and sometimes resolving those of rheumatoid arthritis. (7)

Ginger Promotes a Number of Health Benefits

How Ginger Promote Digestion

Ginger is most classically known for its ability to ease the stomach and relieve nausea. (8) Beyond nausea, ginger has been shown to help alleviate other gastrointestinal complaints like indigestion, bloating, and gas. (9)

Ginger Reduces Muscle Soreness

Ginger has been shown effective in reducing severity of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). (10) DOMS is characterized as peak soreness around the second day after a workout. Ginger helps to make the DOMS reaction less severe through its anti-inflammatory capacity.

Ginger and Brain Function

Ginger has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect, and it is a promising agent for the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (11) One study showed that ginger supplementation had a cognitive enhancing effect in middle-aged women, improving their attention and cognitive processing. (12)