The 18 Chemicals in Ginger
Did you know that in every piece of ginger there are eighteen different chemicals as well as several unique nutrients?
Each of these impacts the body in a specific way, and all work together to give ginger its ability to improve several health conditions.
Here the focus is on the naturally occurring chemicals in ginger, all eighteen of them.
Each is listed below, followed by a description of its impacts on health.
The Natural Chemicals in Ginger
effectively loosens mucus within bronchial tubes (2). This can be beneficial for those suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma or bronchitis (3,4).
is an anti-oxidant that protects the body against free radical damage and reduces the risk of cancer. In the body beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A which is crucial for eye and neurological health (5). Vitamin A also benefits the lungs, skin, stomach, and joints and helps individuals with asthma or bronchitis and those who suffer from chronic stress or sinus related complications (6).
is a component of beta-carotene that enables beta-carotene to be converted to vitamin A (7). Without intact beta-ionone, conversion can no longer take place. Studies on beta-ionone have shown that it may suppress cancer when included in the diet (8,9).
deficiencies in the American diet are believed to result in higher instances of cardiovascular disease and abnormal growths or tumors (10). This is because diets high in beta-sitosteol actively reduce cholesterol levels (10).
limits pain and inflammation and improves the motility of the intestines (11). It is also believed to be an anticarcinogen and to fight diabetes, heart disease, and even HIV (19,32).
is harmful if ingested in too large a quantity but has many great external uses.* It is often applied topically for its anti-itching properties and heated form of pain relief (12). Inhaling camphor dissolves problematic mucousal buildup (12).
thins the blood, prevents clogging of the blood vessels, decreases blood pressure, improves circulation, and lowers cholesterol levels (13,14). It also naturally disinfects the food in which it is contained, reducing the likelihood of food-borne illness (15). It aids digestion, prevents bloating, and has even been shown to boost the metabolism (16,17).
safely reduces inflammation of the stomach and makes the formation of ulcers less likely (18). It also prevents gastric damage due to stress or chemicals (18).
protects cells from damage and cures viral and bacterial infections (19). It also effectively combats heart disease and diabetes (19).
is an antioxidant and anticarcinogen that lowers blood pressure (20,21).
reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and prevents protein deposits from accumulating in the brain (22,23). Further, curcumin blocks the growth of cancerous cells and is considered a possible cancer cure (24). It prevents the onset of arthritis, contributes to heart health, and protects the immune system as well (25,26,27). Studies on its use for the treatment of Alzheimers disease are in progress (28).
destroys the cells of malignant growths or tumors (29). Because farnesol also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure it is used as a treatment for headaches, including migraines (30).
helps with the detoxification of substances within the body (31). Ferlic acid works together with caffeic acid (see above) to reduce tumor growth (31).
has antimicrobial properties and can prevent oral disease and cavity formation (33). It also counteracts nausea (41).
in combination with curcumin (see above) provide a strong anti-inflammatory response and are used as a treatment for arthritis (34). Gingerols are thought to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, lower cholesterol levels, prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce plaque build up in arteries (35).
is important for gallbladder and liver health and in the production of bile (36,37). It lowers cholesterol, treats heart disease, and is used as a cure for neurological problems (38).
is a volatile oil that has a toxic effect on bacteria (39). It can be used to rid the body of internal parasites and to eliminate excess mucus in the respiratory system (40).
is an antioxidant used to treat inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and nausea (41).
*Consuming ginger is generally very safe; in fact, some drug companies list it as having no documented adverse effects (41). Of course, excessive consumption of ginger is another matter. Eating extremely large amounts of ginger may cause burning sensations of the stomach, indigestion, and additional complications (41).
All of these naturally occurring chemicals are best when consumed from food. Always check first with a doctor before taking any supplements or beginning any dietary modifications. Some substances may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals or be harmful if taken in too large a quantity.
Ginger should be avoided by individuals taking anticoagulants, suffering from gallstones, or who are pregnant (1).
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