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In War on Stress, Is Ginger the Secret Weapon? What You Need To Know

The spice has many potential benefits for your mind and body.

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You already know that ginger tastes delicious in a variety of dishes, but did you realize it has a variety of potential health benefits, too? If you’re struggling with stress or pain, the solution could be in your kitchen rather than your medicine cabinet.

Ginger may be a powerful natural remedy for both your mind and your body. In fact, humans have used the ingredient for about 5,000 years as a go-to home remedy for all kinds of ailments. Given that the spice is easy to procure and its benefits have scientific backing, it’s worth incorporating into your diet if you’re hoping to naturally alleviate stressful symptoms. Here are some of the ways it might help.

Ginger Can: Soothe Pain

The active ingredient in ginger (gingerol) has anti-inflammatory properties that may soften pain signals.

In fact, a study with 67 participants, which was published in Dental Research Journal, found that ginger powder was as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief.

Ginger Can: Steady Blood Sugar

Consuming ginger may help balance blood-sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, say researchers in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. In their study, subjects who were given the spice daily lowered their fasting blood sugar, while those who did not have ginger experienced an increase in levels.

Ginger Can: Enhance Memory

Relaxing with a ginger-spiked sip may help keep your brain sharp as you age. That’s the word from a study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. During the study, a group of 60 women was split into two testing groups — one group received ginger, the other received a placebo. The group taking ginger experienced cognitive improvements to their reaction time and short-term memory, leading the study authors to say, “ginger is a potential cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women.”

Ginger Can: Boost Immunity

Sipping three eight-ounce cups of ginger tea a day may ward off colds by triggering an increase in germ-killing T cells.

To Do: Peel a 2-inch section of fresh ginger and boil it in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.

Ginger Can: Speed Weight Loss

Ginger’s plant compounds may speed fat burn and increase satiety, according to a study shared in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. To potentially experience its effects, add sliced ginger to your meals. (It tastes delicious in a chicken stir-fry.)

Ginger Can: Tame Headaches

Ginger may calm migraines as effectively as medication, reveal scientists in the journal Phytotherapy Research. When you feel a headache coming on, try a spoonful of ginger powder.

Warm and Cozy Ginger Drinks to Try

If you want to add more ginger to your diet, these warm and comforting drinks are a great place to start.

Spiced Ginger Contentment

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 piece of ginger (2 inches), peeled
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Instructions:

In pot, simmer ingredients with 2 cups water for 15 minutes. Remove ginger; serve.

Turmeric Citrus Sensation

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2 turmeric tea bags
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Orange slices and fresh cranberries

Instructions:

In pot, bring 1 cup water to boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags and ginger; steep 10 minutes. Strain; add remaining ingredients.

Hibiscus Mint Marvel

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 18 dried hibiscus petals
  • 2 ginger tea bags
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

In pot, bring 2 cups water to boil; remove from heat. Add all ingredients; steep 20 minutes. Strain. Divide mixture between 2 mugs.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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