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Ginger may be a new spice kid on the block in many households today, but at least it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves.

Generally, the first thought that springs to mind when a person hears the word ‘ginger’ is a Gingerbread man who leaps from the pages of a children’s storybook.

Others are instantly reminded of ginger ale, that refreshing effervescent drink.

Ginger is more than an aroma that fills our home at seasonal times of the year. It’s more like a medicine chest filled with a wealth of natural therapeutic properties.

Now, we’ll look at this root and discover some of its benefits. We’ll also describe an easy way to make your own ginger water that doesn’t have all the sugar in typical ginger ale.

If you could step back in time – 2,000 years ago – the Greeks and Romans were using ginger in various types of drinks and food.

They had no way of knowing the properties within ginger, but they had discovered that when incorporating it into their diet, certain health problems were quickly resolved.

So what’s in this strange looking root?

1. Gingerol

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger contains Phenol compounds: gingerol and shogaol.

If we break down these compounds, we’ll see they are rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

2. Potassium

Here’s a good piece of trivia: Ginger contains higher concentrations of potassium than a banana.

Ginger has 415 mg of potassium in 100gm while a banana has 358mg. However, most people don’t consume enough ginger naturally to give their health a significant boost.

Moderation of ginger is key; a European herbal regulatory agency recommends taking only 2 teaspoons daily of a fresh ginger root.

Consuming too much ginger a day can result in diarrhea, bloating, heartburn and can irritate the insides of our mouth.

But taken in small amounts, ginger can reap a harvest of benefits.

Here are 5 such benefits

1. Relieves indigestion. Taken in low doses, pregnant women may notice ginger to be an excellent remedy for morning sickness. Also, chewing ginger after surgery can reduce nausea.

2. Powerful anti-inflammation agents. Clinical studies are revealing that ginger can reduce inflammation in the colon which may lower the risk of cancer.

3. Reduces muscle pain and soreness that’s typically associated with strenuous exercise. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory agents can also help reduce joint pain that comes with osteoarthritis

3. It can act as an accelerant and cause the stomach to quickly empty its contents. Food that wants to set up camp in your stomach can result in indigestion.

4. Women who take ginger at the onset of a menstrual cycle notice a dramatic reduction of cramping.

5. Studies are still needed but it appears that ginger may also be heart healthy, as it’s been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides.

Here’s an economical and easy way to create your own ginger water drink:

Ingredients

  • Take an inch or two of a fresh ginger root;
  • Juice squeezed from ½ of a lemon;
  • 2 – 3 cups of water;
  • Raw honey, as needed for your preferred taste.

Instructions

-In a bowl, grate the ginger;

-Add water and lemon juice;

-Sweeten with honey;

-Wait five minutes, stirring occasionally;

-Strain into a glass;

-Sip on your ginger water, warm or cold, throughout your day.

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