According to an old Indian proverb, every ‘good’ is found in ginger. This is the reason why Ayurveda refers to ginger as a universal medicine. The other most ancient yet living tradition of Chinese medicine, also resorts to ginger and garlic medicinally because it restores hot energy, or Yang. Because ginger grows best in damp, warm areas, India and China are two of the main countries producing the world’s ginger.
The spicy, hot, aromatic root has been used for long in both Western and traditional healing systems to make tea. Ginger tea brings about a range of health benefits; especially when it comes to managing mental/bodily stress.
Stress and anxiety – the healing effects of Ginger Tea
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of human lives, but in a place full of long work days, traffic jams, and unending economic crisis, anxiety troubles individuals on a regular basis. Some common methods for reducing daily-life stress are meditation techniques, deep breathing, and consuming calming herbs. Ginger might not be known as the ultimate herbal cure for anxiety, but it reduces symptoms of fatigue and other gastrointestinal issues, which are usually the cause for elevated stress.
According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the pungent phenol compounds, such as shogaols and gingerols and volatile oils in the root, are the main components that give ginger its power. Ginger tea is particularly high in vitamin C and amino acids, as well as various trace elements such as sodium, phosphorous, zinc, calcium, and many others.
With especial pertinence to brain and mental health, here is a look at what the latest research has found about ginger’s healing powers.
- Ginger reduces adrenal fatigue
Overwhelming tiredness, most often known as weariness, is not only the symptom of adrenal fatigue. Recent studies have proved anxiety, insomnia, depression, and the inability to handle stress to be the other, major symptoms of the problem.
The author of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome – Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs, and expert on adrenal fatigue syndrome, Dr. Michael Lam, recommends ginger root with ginseng and gingko as part of his adrenal fatigue ‘natural’ protocol.
The ‘adaptogenic’ herbs strengthen the adrenals, modulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increase resilience to stress.
- Ginger for her – soothes PMS discomfort
Ginger can be consumed in a drink, as well as externally. The natural root has been a primarily effective cure for menses pain amongst Kampo and Ayurvedic medicine. If you suffer from painful menstruation, have a hot shower, and try soaking a towel in warm ginger water and hold it against your uterus or stomach to soothe the soreness.
You can combine this treatment with a cup of hot ginger root tea with a flavoured raspberry leaf, honey extracts or jasmine, to calm your body and mind. Regular consumption of ginger tea aids in the regularity of the menstrual cycle as well.
- Boosts immune system
The active compounds in ginger, such as gingerdiol, and gingerols, have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Moreover, ginger tends to boost the body’s ability to fight off the cold-and-flu infection; making it one of the top health benefits of ginger tea.
Other studies have in fact, shown that Ginger also naturally suppresses prostaglandin levels. It does this without the usual side effects of NSAIDs, which also help in suppressing mucosal membrane secretions. This directly relates to NSAIDs’ link to other gastrointestinal issues, including stomach ulcers.
- Healthy blood flow = reduced stress
By fighting certain markers of cardiovascular disease, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, ginger keeps your blood flowing normally. A sticky mix of calcium and fatty substances, the arterial plaque, tends to build up in the artery wall lining, restricting the blood flow. Ginger tea thus helps prevent heart attack and stroke by clearing away the inner cartouche.
- The ginger can also fight cancer
Ginger can work against the development of cancer cells by preventing the proliferation, metastasis and survival of cancer cells; fighting off bodily inflammation. It has been proven to work against lung, colorectal, breast, skin, lymphoma, liver, prostate and bladder cancer.
- Reduction in migraine pain and headaches
Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-related headaches. Ginger consumption, in the form of tea or external intake, can effectively reduce the internal pain. The most commonly prescribed migraine drug, sumatriptan works by narrowing blood vessels to the brain.
Despite the curative effects of sumatriptan, the drug is not appropriate for every person because of its numerous side effects and should not be mixed with other anti-stress/depressant medications like SSRIs. Together they can lead to dangerous serotonin syndrome. Ginger, on the other hand, is a natural curative, relieving migraine sufferers of their headaches with zero side effects.
- Ginger – the brain boosting alternative
It is said that even a whiff of ginger tea can uplift one’s spirits, perking up the mood and banishing negative feelings. Ginger helps in modulating blood sugar levels and increases blood flow to the brain, keeping energy levels high up during the day.
Adding a root of ginger to your favourite beverage can help replace highly caffeinated drink-intake like soda, coffee, or energy drinks.
Tim Ferriss, the world famous biohacker and author of the 4-Hour Workweek, says that including nootropics and smart drugs, he has tried everything on the planet to boost his brain power. Now, he starts his mornings with hot brewed ginger tea – a concoction he calls “rocket fuel for the brain.” Since, there are no caffeine crashes, he prefers the drink to regular coffee or tea.
All IN All
Ginger root, naturally, has a long history of use in the kitchen and as a curative herb. The most famous benefit is for brain health, stress relief and digestive upsets.
Ginger improves attention, memory, and calms a perpetually anxious mind. Since it makes a good substitute for caffeine, it increases the blood flow and energy to the brain, without having individuals experience bodily crashes.
Ginger tea is, however, not recommended for people who are on blood thinners or have gallstones. If you are chronic stress sufferer, consult your doctor for an appropriate treatment plan.