It’s all around us, the reminder that fall has officially begun. The squirrels are looking a little more panicked and hearty than usual, pumpkin groves are popping up along state routes, and little ones are beginning to beg their parents for their yearly organic-flavored pumpkin spice tea. Well, when you make it, don’t go greedy in regards to ginger!

Why? Well, I have just reviewed a wonderful press release  for all spice lovers by the American Pain Society on the power of ginger for muscle pain (from all that shoveling!).  Researchers from the University of Georgia and Georgetown University performed a randomized-placebo trial on 74 student volunteers for 11 days. The researchers hypothesized that the use of ginger (raw and warm) would aid to alleviate muscle pain related to eccentric muscle contraction exercises vs. a placebo.

According to the journal:

Though a favorite remedy of Chinese medicine practitioners for centuries, ginger has not been studied widely as a pain reliever. Some research, however, has shown that ginger may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In one study, four to 36 weeks of daily ginger doses (30 to 500 mg.) achieved reductions in knee pain from osteoarthritis.

What did they find? “Results from the subjects’ responses data showed that both raw and heat-treated ginger lowered muscle pain intensity after eccentric exercise by 25 and 23 percent, respectively. Heat treating ginger, therefore, did not increase the analgesic benefit.”

This comes as no shock to me. As a devotee to Functional medicine and a Naturopathic Doctor, the effective use of natural substances for chronic conditions comes as no surprise. The use of fish oil has been center stage for calming down inflammation for a while, to the point where it is available via prescription. In our world, we like to know why. At least that’s how medicine and science operates. Rant time and example…..

click here to read more