Ever have those moments where something is so obvious and such a perfect fit, but you completely miss out on it? Well, if you haven’t, humor me for a bit. I just had one such experience and this incident will serve to help you learn some really neat things by the end of this blog, I promise.
My Ignorance of the Obvious Story
Recently, I got the “black screen of death on my computer.” Rather than reverting to my old pattern of panic when dealing with such incidents, I decided it was better to partake in a little more exercise to unload my stress. (For some reason, my life-long relationship with computers seems to lack healthy compatibility.)
One physical activity I particularly enjoyed was swinging my five year old niece in circles and throwing her up in the air in a playful manner as she giggled. We enjoyed this play for hours. I’m not just bragging about my adorable, smart, wonderful niece. Here’s my point- back ouches hit me.
So, my next step was to go to my oil cabinet…
I grabbed my frankincense, helpful but not “the one.”
Myrrh was next, and it was a nice smell, my brain felt great…but nope.
This “oil shuffle” went on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (any Godfather fans?)…
Finally, as I was sipping my ginger tea, I had a “forehead-meet-hand” moment. Dolt! Ginger!!
Yes, I know, I’ve written about ginger before. However, I tend to come back to topics for further clarification of their awesomeness. Somethings just grab me with all their cool actions and I feel obliged to share more. It may at first seem redundant and somewhat repetitive (and redundant), but hopefully helpful to all in the end. For example, think of how my obsession with belly bugs helped you crush it at your latest social gathering!
Now that you have the background…
1. Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) is probably one of the most studied spices, beyond its family member turmeric, for modulating various inflammatory pathways.1-4
Lesson learned from me and shared with you….don’t overlook this action of ginger next time you have a stressful, niece-throwing, period in your life!
2. It contains some pretty cool constituents, both in the herb and the oil.
You’ve got your pungent vallinoids, viz. -gingerol and -paradol, and some other constituents like shogaols, zingerone, etc. The essential oil contains mostly mono- and sesqui-terpenoids such as limonene, geranial, neral, 1,8-cineole, zingiberene, ?-bisabolene and ?-sesquiphellandrene 5-7(Remember, distillation and growing methods will make for varied consituents across seasons and brands).
All these plant secondary metabolites can modulate health in so many different ways; this is why ginger’s resume is so packed with impressive experiments! 6-7
3. It’s helped a lot of people’s knees in studies. Ginger was shown to be more effective than placebo8 in one trial of knee sufferers and helpful for those with knee osteoarthritis who had indomethacin intolerance.3
Other Ginger Fun Facts
4. Ginger May Modulate Brain Health (Rodent Study) 9
5. It Protects Rodents From Radiation 10
6. It Can Be a Digestive Supporting Spice (Gastric Motility)11
7. It’s No Match for Some Microbes on Agar Plates12
Here’s a review of so many more things ginger can do from Green Med Info. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel digging up the same ol’ studies.
If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It
Ginger has a good safety profile.6
If you are on blood thinners though, be careful with ginger and all of you oil sniffers make sure you take heed to general safety precautions.
You can start using ginger oil for:
(Stop here and jump down to read the disclaimer at the end first and come back. I’m talking about good, quality, safe oils here!)
- Spicing up your cooking (1 toothpick per big pot, oils are strong)
- Rubbing it on your ouchies to help ease discomfort (1 drop will do)
- Sniffing it out of the bottle to help keep you alert. (Side benefit- this action will also serve to entertain yourself as you watch your co-workers glance at you as they question your sanity).
Share your comments below on how your spicing up your life with ginger!
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been assessed for quality, purity, and standardization of constituents.
Warning: There is no quality control in the United States for essential oils and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only contain 5% of the actual oil! The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin and body. These studies are not specific for any essential oils company, please reference the study for the source.
This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.
- Y. Shukla, and M. Singh. Cancer preventive properties of ginger: a brief review. Food Chem. Toxicol. 45:683–690 (2007) doi:10.1016/j.fct.2006.11.002.
- Sahebkar A. Potential efficacy of ginger as a natural supplement for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;17(2):271-272. doi:10.3748/wjg.v17.i2.271.
- Haghighi A, Tavalaei N, Owlia MB. Effects of ginger on primary knee osteoarthritis. Indian Journal of Rheumatology. June 2006. 1(1): 3-7.
- Shidfar F, Rajab A, Rahideh T, Khandouzi N, Hosseini S, Shidfar S. The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on glycemic markers in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Feb 10. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2014-0021. [Epub ahead of print]
- Ekundayo, O., Laakso, I. and Hiltunen, R. (1988), Composition of ginger (Zingiber officinale roscoe) volatile oils from Nigeria. Flavour Fragr. J., 3: 85–90. doi: 10.1002/ffj.2730030207
- Rahmani AH, shabrmi FMA, Aly SM. Active ingredients of ginger as potential candidates in the prevention and treatment of diseases via modulation of biological activities. International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology. 2014;6(2):125-136.
- Essential Oils Desk Reference. 2nd Ed. Life Science Publishing. 2001.
- Altman RD1, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-8.
- Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 429505
- Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2004 Aug;19(4):422-35
- Hu M-L, Rayner CK, Wu K-L, et al. Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;17(1):105-110. doi:10.3748/wjg.v17.i1.105.
- Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials. January 2011; 3(1):18-22.
Thank you istockphoto.com for the same cool photos!