Ginger contains many therapeutic compounds, with well documented responses in the body. Two well recognized ginger compounds in the research include gingerol and zingerone. Cooking transforms gingerol into zingerone so the benefits of ginger will vary somewhat with the form used, whether fresh grated, cooked or powdered.
Ginger is an antioxidant, an analgesic, a blood thinner, and a liver protector. Research on its compound zingerone (most prevalent in cooked ginger or ginger tea) determined that it reduces inflammation, improves blood sugar, eases muscle and joint pain, speeds fat breakdown and improves immune function. You can easily add it to soups, sautéed vegetables or make tea to make it part of your dietary habit.
What’s not to like about ginger? It tastes good, too! However, some medical cautions are in order. Ginger amplifies the effects of some medications, like tetracycline, some calcium channel blockers and blood thinners. If you’re on these medications, do not suddenly add a lot of ginger to your diet without medical supervision.
“We think of ginger as a flavor agent, but ginger is powerful medicine.”
Suzy Cohen, America’s pharmacist