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The Best Herbs & Spices: Ginger

Want to upgrade your diet for a low cost? A food that is easy to purchase? A food that can add incredible taste to your meal and that takes seconds to prepare?

Look no further than ginger.

What’s it used for? Originally used in the olden-days as a traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is a super awesome and effective spice. Not only does it add tremendous flavour to a recipe, it’s relatively cheap and can be picked up at any super market. So you don’t have to go to a health shop like your local Holland and Barrett to grab some.

Just sprinkle on an Asian dish, on a dessert, in salads, or you can even add ginger to lemon water for a very healthy cocktail.

The studies

The two biggest health benefits of ginger are the reduction of nausea and its anti-inflammatory affects.

If you are pregnant and get bouts of morning sickness, or you struggle with nausea you could give this a try. One meta-analysis looked at six trials carried out in pregnant women that compared ginger consumption to a placebo [1].

Ginger was shown to be an effective treatment for reducing nausea. There were no apparent adverse effects during pregnancy and appears to be safe bet for treatment. But of course more studies need to be carried out.

Oh, and sorry alcohol consumers, it probably won’t help on a hangover!

It has also shown to reduce muscle soreness after exercise [2]. Ginger and a placebo were compared after subjects carried out an eccentric action of the elbow. Ginger was associated with a reduction in pain compared to placebo.

If you regularly suffer with DOMS post-exercise give this a crack. If you don’t know what DOMS are or you want more information on muscle soreness strategies please refer to my earlier post here.

Ginger has also shown to improve digestion via the anti-inflammatory affects which is something to look into if you suffer from skin blemishes like acne.

How to take

You can eat ginger fresh as mentioned above. Simply grate it over dishes or add to water. You can also supplement with it in pill form. If you suffer from nausea, an upwards amount of 1-3 grams could help you, and for inflammatory or GI issues 1 gram is typically used.

Don’t knock the ginger!


1) Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH & Izzo AA. (2005) Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15802416

2) Christopher D. Black, Matthew P. Herring, David J. Hurley& Patrick J. O'Connor (2010) Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise http://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(09)00915-8/fulltext

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