gingerGinger, with its strong and spicy aroma, has its own place in Indian cuisine. It may be used fresh or dried, powdered or pickled or in the form of juice or oil. Ginger tea, the classic Indian household favourite, is the most commonly used form, not to mention the ginger concoction given every time someone catches a cold. But apart from all the flavour it imparts to dishes, ginger also has a number of health benefits; here are the top 10 you should know about.

For thousands of years, ginger has been used for the treatment of innumerable ailments due to its powerful therapeutic and preventive effects. Here are some of its properties that make it a perfect natural remedy for ailments.
It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-emetic properties.
It helps to decrease inflammation, swelling and pain due to its ability to inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis.

It inhibits serotonin receptors and has the ability to break up and expel intestinal gas (carminative effect) which makes it a good antiemetic agent.
Its antioxidant activity, the ability to induce cell death (apoptosis) and suppressing certain protein bestows it with anticancer properties. Compounds found in ginger are known to suppress allergic reactions.

Health benefits of ginger:
1. Can help resolve and keep respiratory problems at bay
Ginger’s antihistamine property helps in treating allergies — a common cause for respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
It is also known to inhibit airway contraction and help stimulate the secretion of mucus.
It is the herb of choice for persistent cough and sore throat associated with colds.

Tips for relief
A teaspoon of ginger juice with honey is effective against sore throat.
Ginger tea is an all-time favourite to get rid of congestion in the throat and nose.
Fresh ginger juice mixed with fenugreek and honey is excellent during asthma. Here’s how you can get instant relief from cough and cold.
2. Is an instant remedy for nausea and vomiting
According to studies, ginger can treat sensations of nausea following surgery, due to motion sickness and seasickness, etc.
It is also beneficial for nausea as a result of adverse effect of chemotherapy.

Tip for relief

Chewing on a small piece of ginger can help reduce the sensation of nausea and vomiting
3. Can help prevent the symptoms of morning sickness
Due to its carminative properties, ginger has been known to help pregnant women prevent and reduce the intensity of the symptoms of their morning sickness. But it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking it.

Tip for relief
A good way to beat morning sickness is to chew on a small piece of fresh ginger. If this taste is too pungent for you, you could also try drinking the freshly squeezed juice of ginger. But make sure you do not have more than one tablespoon of this juice as it can increase the pitta levels in your body.
4. Is a potent remedy for loss of appetite
Ginger can get your digestive juices going and increase your appetite.

Tip for relief

Fuel a dull appetite by eating a piece of fresh ginger just before you have your meal.
5. Can help improve digestion
Ginger improves absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients and aids in digestion.
It also helps break down the proteins in your food.
It protects your stomach against ulcers by promoting mucus secretion. If indigestion is something you grapple with on a regular basis you can try these yoga poses to improve digestion.

Tip for relief

Sip on a glass of warm water mixed with the juice of a small piece of ginger for relief from indigestion.
You could also boil a piece of ginger in a glass of water till the colour of the water turns brownish for effective relief.
6. Helps relieve build-up of gas or flatulence
Ginger’s carminative (gas expulsion) properties provides relief from bloating and gas and helps reduce flatulence. Apart from ginger you could also use these tips to keep flatulence away.

Tip for relief:
When you are hit with a bout of gas or bloating, take a small piece of fresh ginger, crush it and extract its juice. Now allow this juice to settle in a bowl, you will see the sediments settling and the juice alone rise to the top. Decant this liquid and drink it. This helps greatly with flatulence.If you are having an exceptionally bad case of flatulence, add some crushed ajwain to this juice. Follow the same procedure as above and drink the solution.
A word of caution: Drink this liquid only once a day. Do not drink it too often and not more than two teaspoons of it.
7. Can help reduce menstrual pain
Ginger, when eaten at the beginning of the menstrual period, can reduce symptoms of menstrual pain in some women. Here are some tried and tested tips to relieve menstrual pain.

Tip for relief
Adding ginger to your daily meals or drinking ginger infused water about four days before your periods cal help beat menstrual pain.
8. Can help relieve a headache
The ability of ginger to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis helps relieve pain and inflammation in blood vessels thereby providing relief from a migraine and a simple headache.

Tip for relief
Applying diluted ginger paste on your forehead is believed to relieve migraine headache.
9. Helps beat joint pain caused due to arthritis
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory property of ginger may help reduce joint pain of arthritis in some people.

Tip for relief:
To help relieve muscle and joint ache, add some ginger oil into your bath.
10. Can help prevent cancer
Ginger root contains a very high level of antioxidants.
It has the ability to induce cell death (apoptosis) and suppress the production of certain proteins.

Tip for relief:
Adding ginger to your daily meal is a great way to keep cancer at bay.