Ginger: Nature’s most powerful painkiller
Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale Roscoe, is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. The rhizome (or root) of ginger has been widely used as a flavoring agent and herbal medicine for centuries.
The humble ginger contains a mixture of many biologically active compounds, most of which are shown to have powerful effects on the human body. To date, more than 400 chemical substances have been isolated and identified in ginger rhizomes extracts!
In addition to its culinary uses, ginger has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory and pain-lowering properties. Several studies indicate that bioactive compounds in ginger have the ability to inhibit the prostaglandins through major inflammatory pathways (known as COX and LOX pathways). These compounds function in the same way as COX-2 inhibitors, a class of drugs that are used to treat pain and inflammation.
Simply put, ginger extracts, such as our very organic ginger powder, are a natural pain killer, AND a powerful one!
Check out our range of anti-inflammatory products.
Due to its role in reducing inflammation and pain in the body, regular consumption of ginger extract has shown to help with:
Joint pain and arthritis
The effects of ginger have shown to alleviate joint pain, which often occurs as a result of chronic inflammation. The effect also extends beyond regular joint pain to improving arthritis and osteoarthritis.
A recent study shows that patients with knee osteoarthritis gained benefits after regular and long-term consumption of ginger powder. The patients supplemented with 500mg of ginger powder daily for 3 months had lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reported less pain in their knees. However, you do not have to take ginger long-term to achieve the pain-relieving effects. Evidence shows that the topical use of ginger as an essential oil and 4% ginger gel also have the potential to help with short-term knee pain relief.
What’s more fascinating is the ability of ginger to help reduce post-exercise soreness and accelerate muscle recovery. If you often experience muscle pain and soreness after a workout, this one’s for you!
Studies show that a daily consumption of 2g of raw ginger (e.g. in smoothies) or heat-treated (e.g. in cooked meals or desserts) have shown to significantly reduce inflammation that occurs as a result of exercise-induced muscle damage. With that said, 4g of ginger supplementation is suggested if your goal is to speed up the recovery of your muscle strength post-exercise.
Primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramping)
Primary dysmenorrhea is the term used to define painful menstrual cramping, which occurs in about half of menstruating females. The pain can be so intense that it interferes with a woman’s ability to perform daily activities and function normally.
Ginger contains a myriad of bioactive compounds, such as gingerol, gingerdiol, gingerdione, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid and curcumin, giving it the powerful ability to inhibit different inflammatory compounds in the body. This includes ones that are involved in menstrual cramping and pain.
A study involving 105 menstruating women indicates that supplementing 1500mg of ginger powder for three days during menstruation helps to reduce pain duration and severity. It is also suggested that taking ginger extracts, either in the form of powder or capsule, two days before the onset of the menstrual cycle can significantly reduce the duration of pain.
Given the benefits of ginger in reducing pain and inflammation, we recommend that you regularly consume it as part of your daily diet, regardless of your gender and lifestyle! Here’s a delicious and fun recipe to get your started:
Ginger & apricot bliss balls
- 100g dried apricots
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp date syrup
- 1 tsp organic ginger powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Chop the dried apricots in a food processor or blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 5 seconds.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture and roll into a ball.
- Coat with more desiccated coconut.
- Repeat the process.