Ginger is a plant with leafy stems and yellowish green flowers. The ginger spice comes from the roots of the plant. Ginger is native to warmer parts of Asia, such as China, Japan, and India, but now is grown in parts of South American and Africa. It is also now grown in the Middle East to use as medicine and with food.
Ginger is commonly used for various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea caused by HIV/AIDS treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
Other uses include pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and other conditions. However, there is not strong evidence to support the use of ginger for these conditions.
Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain. Ginger extract is also applied to the skin to prevent insect bites.
In foods and beverages, ginger is used as a flavoring agent.
In manufacturing, ginger is used as for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
One of the chemicals in ginger is also used as an ingredient in laxative, anti-gas, and antacid medications.
How does it work?
Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.