With its wonderfully zesty flavor, ginger is a popular ingredient used in everything from fragrant curries to chewy cookies, healthy smoothies and so much more. The ginger plant or Zingiber officinale is a relative of the spices turmeric and cardamom, both of which have long been used in traditional medicine.
Ginger has been used for millennia to treat a host of ailments. Today, the spicy root of the ginger plant is still employed to alleviate everything from nausea and vomiting to other gastrointestinal ailments. As a traditional home remedy, ginger has been used to lessen menstrual cramps, also called dysmenorrhea. But is ginger an effective treatment? Join us we investigate.
The Healing Powers of Ginger
Studies indicate that ginger possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is thought to be thanks to the compound gingerol, which is present in the plant. Although more research is needed, preliminary studies show that gingerol may help lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and low-density lipoproteins aka “bad” cholesterol. Some researchers believe that the compound may even help prevent cancer and future studies will undoubtedly shed light on the issue.
Ginger itself is often employed as a gentle home remedy for pregnant women to help ease morning sickness, though pregnant women should always check with a doctor before taking ginger.
But what about menstrual cramps?
Several recent studies have shown that ingesting ginger during the first few days of menstruation can reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. The findings show a statistically significant difference between the length and severity of dysmenorrhea in research participants who took ginger orally and those who took a placebo. If you’re a woman who experiences period pain, ginger can prove to be a potent remedy for eradicating painful cramps during your monthly cycle.
Using Ginger for Menstrual Cramps
There are a few ways to use ginger to help zap your menstrual pain.
- Brewing a soothing cup of ginger tea is one of the most popular ways to harness ginger’s benefits. All you need to do is cut a few slices of ginger root and steep it in boiling water for several minutes. Strain the ginger from the water, pour your freshly made tea into a cup, and let it get to work.
- Ginger also tempers the severity of other period symptoms like nausea or bloating, making it a particularly effective natural remedy.
- You can also pick up ginger tea from your local supermarket and keep it on hand so you’re never caught off guard by period pain.
- In addition to ginger tea, if you want to get a little extra boost of ginger during your period, you can add dried powdered ginger to your favorite meals.
- The unique zesty, slightly spicy flavor adds a new dimension to many dishes, especially if you’re partial to Asian cuisine.
- You can even add a dusting of ginger powder to your Fresh n’ Lean home-delivered meals to add a personal touch to our delicious organic dishes.
Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for women who experience dysmenorrhea during their periods and it tastes wonderful to boot. As always, you may want to consult with a doctor before making any changes to your diet, especially if you have preexisting medical conditions.