Are you feeling a little nauseous? Before you reach for an over-the-counter medicine, consider an old-school remedy: fresh or powdered ginger. This culinary spice has been praised for its healing properties in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures for thousands of years.
Plenty of modern research backs up the anecdotal health claims. Ginger can help relieve nausea, gas and diarrhea as well as morning sickness during pregnancy and motion sickness. Aside from treating stomach problems, ginger can battle common cold symptoms and ease menstrual pain.
What’s so special about ginger? The spice contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, acting as a natural pain reliever. It regulates the digestive tract and also works in the nervous system to eliminate nausea. Both powdered and fresh ginger provide health benefits, so use whatever form works best for you. One gram of ginger, about a fifth of a teaspoon, is enough to get its benefits.
One easy way to reap ginger’s healing properties is to brew a cup of ginger tea. To make your own ginger tea, start with a piece of ginger root, usually available at most supermarkets. Peel the root, then grate or dice it. Place a gram of the diced root in a cup, pour in hot water and let it steep. You can also purchase ginger tea bags, but make sure ginger is listed as the main ingredient.
Of course, it is possible that ginger won’t work for you. Because ginger is spicy, it can cause gastrointestinal issues for some people. To alleviate any negative side effects, do not drink ginger tea on an empty stomach. If you have any worries about consuming ginger, speak with your doctor.