Although there are many types of remedies for simple ailments like a sore throat or allergies, there aren’t as many effective solutions for things like nausea and an upset stomach. Nausea can be debilitating, but anti-nausea medication isn’t always easy to come by and over-the-counter remedies don’t always work.
Thankfully, if you’re searching for an at-home, natural cure, there is one popular solution: ginger. The plant has been a common natural remedy for many health problems for centuries, but it is perhaps best known for its soothing effects for nausea and gastrointestinal upset.
Next time you’re feeling ill, consider brewing a piping hot cup of ginger tea or taking a ginger supplement to curb your symptoms.
What is ginger?
Ginger is a flowering plant that is commonly used for natural remedies. It is also a very common ingredient to cook with, particularly in Asian and Indian dishes, because of its somewhat spicy flavor.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidants, which are useful for bolstering immunity and protecting cells from free radical damage. It also contains more specialized compounds that make it ideal for treating nausea.
Thanks to these qualities, ginger has remained a natural remedy for illness and pain for many years.
How can ginger help with an upset stomach?
Studies have shown that ginger can be effective at soothing an upset stomach and curbing nausea.
The plant contains chemicals that experts believe operate in the gastrointestinal tract to reduce nausea and inflammation. Although research hasn’t illustrated exactly how these chemicals interact with the body, compounds called gingerols are believed to be the main source of relief in the stomach and intestines.
Anti-inflammatory compounds may also be instrumental is alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and similar conditions.
Thanks to these properties, ginger may be able to soothe general nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, diarrhea, IBS and gas.
Other benefits of ginger
Ginger’s benefits are believed to extend beyond its antiemetic effects, as well. Although more research is needed for these claims, some believe that ginger can help soothe symptoms of arthritis and other types of pain, skin burns and the common cold. Many of these uses stem from ginger’s anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help with pain and numerous other bodily systems.
One side benefit of this fact is that ginger won’t put you at risk for some of the more severe side effects that accompany routine use of drugs like ibuprofen. For minor aches and pains, ginger may be the simple solution you need.
Ginger’s antioxidant elements may also make it useful in aiding the immune system in times of illness. Brewing a cup of ginger tea or taking a daily supplement could potentially help you stave off illness and live a healthier life.
How to take ginger and incorporate it into your diet
If you are feeling nauseated or sick and want to try ginger to soothe your stomach, there are quite a few ways to do it.
- Brew tea: One of the most popular ways to soothe an upset stomach with ginger is by brewing ginger tea. You can buy ginger tea pre-packaged and ready to brew, but you can also brew it at home. Slice off a few chunks of raw ginger, dice or grate them and steep them in hot water for a few minutes. If the taste of ginger tea isn’t one you prefer, you can add lemon, honey and other tea additives to make it more palatable.
- Supplements: Ginger is also commonly sold in a few different supplement forms. Most common are capsules containing the ground plant, which can be taken much like a vitamin or pill. You can also find ginger in extract, powder, vitamin and candy form to take daily or as needed.
- Cook with it: Ginger is a great spice to add to various dishes and can also be cooked into things on its own. Try incorporating ginger into different meals to enjoy the benefits the plant can offer. However, know that cooking with ginger is unlikely to provide as strong of benefits for nausea.
Finally, one important thing to note is that ginger ale is not the same as ginger. Many people believe that ginger ale will be useful in alleviating their symptoms of illness, but this is not true. In fact, drinking ginger ale may make you feel even sicker due to the carbonation and added sugar in the beverage. For the best effects, use real, raw ginger.
Incorporating ginger into your diet or taking it as a remedy for nausea is simple, easy and natural. If you enjoy the taste, ginger may quickly put you on the path to better health.