The delicious root of this flowering plant from Asia is packed with so many health benefits, you’d be silly not to include it in your diet.

The magic of ginger is in the rhizome, or the underground part of the stem. You can use it fresh, dried, powdered, as an oil or a juice.

Ginger contains a wide range of vitamins. The fragrance and taste come from its natural oils and the most important of these is gingerol. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research.

Here are some of the things ginger can do for you – and not just your health.

Just 1 gram of ginger can help with all kinds of nausea, such as morning sickness or the kind caused by chemotherapy or felt after surgery.

Ginger is good for your heart because it can reduce cholesterol and lower your risk of blood clots. It has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease in people with type-2 diabetes.

Ginger has the highest level of antioxidants in foods. Only pomegranates and some berries contain more. This means the magical root can reduce oxidative stress, which happens when too many free radicals build up in the body.

Free radicals are toxic and the body needs to eliminate them before they cause cell damage that can lead to diseases such as cancer. Researchers also found that ginger was very effective in blocking prostate cancer cells and their growth.

Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach – good if you struggle with indigestion. It can also help to reduce bad gut microbes and increasing the good ones.

It is very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of your period.

Ginger may help fight harmful bacteria and viruses, which could reduce the risk of infection.

There are some surprising uses for ginger to keep your skin healthy. A little bit of ginger tea every day can remove early wrinkles and prevent ageing. You could also rub a small slice of fresh ginger on your skin up to three times a day. Both options will refresh and soften the skin and give you a youthful glow.

Ginger can help reducee white scars. Place a piece on the scars for at least 15 minutes. Hyperpigmentation, or dark blotches on the skin, can be treated by rubbing fresh ginger on the marks two or three times a day. You’ll get the best results if you keep this up for six weeks.

All kinds of concoctions are supposed to help keep hair healthy, but research shows ginger really makes a difference. It increases blood circulation to the scalp and this stimulates hair growth.

Try this once a week: Take a tablespoon of fresh ginger and squeeze out the juice into half a cup of virgin coconut oil. Mix well and apply to dry hair. Leave on for about 20 to 30 minutes and wash out.

The antiseptic properties of ginger help prevent dandruff. Eating the root helps you sweat and when you sweat from your head, it produces natural oils that act as antiseptics fighting dandruff.

Treats split ends and hair loss by having some ginger tea or making a paste you apply to your hair.

Ginger loses some of its magic when dried. To make the most of it, fresh slices steeped in water is the best way. You can let it cool afterward if you don’t feel like a hot drink.

To make a large batch of ginger tea at once, combine two tablespoons of ginger with four cups of water. If you’re using fresh root, slice it thinly to increase the surface touching the water. Boil for ten to twenty minutes – the longer it boils, the stronger the tea. Add honey, lime, or lemon to taste.

Apart from adding ginger, finely chopped or powdered ginger, to curries or stir-fries, you can also add half a teaspoon when cooking grains, lentils, legumes, pulses, or vegetables.

If you don't like the taste, buy ginger capsules. Don’t eat more than 1 gram (about half a teaspoon) of ginger per day. It’s safe but too much can cause throat burn, heartburn or gas for some people.


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