by: Karen Graham
This simple plant ginger is not only a wonderful tasting spice that gives vibrancy and pungency to any meal but it also contains many wonderful healing properties that have been revered by the great ancient civilisations of India and China for over 5,000 years. Today one of the big ginger producers is Jamaica and and India. The rhizomes (the bulbous root) are the location where all the wonderful healing properties of the plant are stored. I am just going to explain briefly about a couple of the kinds of properties that ginger is blessed with. The first one is the essential oil that is extracted through a method of distillation from the plant. Ginger is made up of the following essential oils properties alpha-cadinene, alfa-farnesene. beta bisolobene, beta-bisabolol, beta phellandrene, beta pinene, camphene, limonene, alfa cadinol, citral, citronellal. I know that these names may not mean much to you but on a molecular level it means that they have different properties that are naturally synergistically combined to give ginger extremely powerful and potent healing abilities that include:
analgesic, anti-inflammatories, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-viral and many others.
In addition to all of the above ginger also contains proteins and minerals amongst which are aluminium, magnesium, phrosphorus and zinc. Being an aromatherapist I often use ginger essential oil in various blends for digestive conditions, sickness and aching muscles. (But did you know that using the fresh ginger root is just as therapeutic as using the essential oil?) Fresh ginger is full of wonderful healing properties that can help with many illnesses including helping to prevent heart conditions. One of the most common uses of ginger is in combating motion sickness. More recent studies have also explained its potency in tackling inflammation and pain. One active ingredient in this important role is – gingerols – that act on a specific sensory receptor called the vanilloid receptor. This receptor sits on the pain sensory nerve endings (this is where the body submits nerve impulses from to tell our brain that we are feeling pain). The vanilloid receptor reacts to heat and acidity and this is how the active molecular structure of ginger reacts with these receptors to block pain.
Recent investigations into how best use of ginger as an anti-inflammatory pain killer has come up with some of the following ways:
Drinking it as a tea throughout regular intervals during the day. Making a compress to apply to the injured area and repeating this therapy every 6 hours
This makes ginger an extremely useful and inexpensive treatment that can be used for tennis elbow suffers and other tendonitis and arthritic conditions to effectively reduce inflammation and pain. In other words ginger can be used as part of a tennis elbow treatment program along with other natural healing techniques.
I am a complementary health practitoner with experience working in many fields including media and law enforcement agencies. I am the author of five ebooks on health and fitness issues, including the best selling series Pain Relief at Your Fingertips ‘Ease Tennis Elbow Pain in Minutes’ and ‘Continued Wellbeing’.