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Health Benefits of Ginger and Garlic – Natures Medicines

Ginger has been used as both seasoning and medicine for over 50 years. During the Middle Ages, it was used against the plague. Today, it is used for ailments that run from simple colds and sniffles to rheumatoid arthritis.

Its effectiveness against headaches has been documented. Taken at the first sign of migraine, ginger can reduce the symptoms and severity of headaches by blocking prostaglandins, the chemicals that cause inflammation in blood vessels in the brain. This anti-inflammatory activity in ginger can shorten the discomfort of headaches, colds and flu. Ginger blocks the production of substances that cause bronchial congestion and stuffiness. Its main compounds, gingerols, are natural cough suppressants.

It works as well to reduce joint swellings in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study found that ginger eased the symptoms in 55 percent of people with osteoarthritis and 74 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis. Considering the health implications of drugs like Vioxx and Celebrex, ginger seems a much safer and more cost-effective alternative.


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Ginger works like aspirin to thin the blood. A study involving Danish women between the ages of 25 to 65 years, one group of whom consumed 70 grams of raw onion daily while a second group consumed 5 grams of ginger daily for one week, showed unequivocally the benefits of ginger. When the researchers tested both groups of women, they found that ginger, more clearly than onion, reduced thromboxane production by almost 60 percent. Thromboxane compounds stimulate the clumping of blood platelets and the constricting of blood vessels. By dissolving the clumping quality of blood platelets, ginger reduces blood clots and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Ginger can also relieve menstrual cramps. Chemical compounds in ginger act as anti-spasmodics inhibiting painful contractions of both smooth muscles of the digestive tract and the uterus.

Garlic is no less powerful. The restorative powers of garlic have been known to the ancient Egyptians who gave garlic to slaves constructing the pyramids in order to increase their efficiency and stamina.

Garlic, like ginger, reduces the tendency of blood to clot. Garlic improves blood flow throughout the body, not just in the coronary arteries. It acts as a vasodilator by causing blood vessels to expand and blood pressure to drop. Researchers at the Garlic Research Bureau in Suffolk, England, recently reported that “even small amounts of Garlic, say 3 or 4 grams, will have a pronounced effect on fibrinolytic (breaking down of blood clots) activity in doses from 25 grams ( 10 cloves) to 50 grams. Garlic seems to be highly effective in promoting beneficial changes in blood fat composition and platelet adhesiveness.”

Garlic also lowers cholesterol, tryglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels while also increasing the beneficial cholesterol HDL.

Garlic may have some anti-tumor properties. Garlic oil inhibits enzymes that curtail the production of protaglandins (many cancers are prostaglandin dependent). Research in China also shows an inverse relationship between the incidence of stomach cancer and garlic intake. Studies even suggest that garlic may lower the risk of colon cancer by 35 percent and stomach cancer by as much as 50 percent. Garlic inhibits the formation of nitrites, chemicals that could trigger stomach cancer. There have also been claims that garlic can shrink cancers of the breast, skin and lungs. Finally, the essential oils in garlic are excreted through the lungs, which means that it is particularly effective for clearing respiratory ailments.

Research Papers and References

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  149 comments for “Health Benefits of Ginger and Garlic – Natures Medicines

  1. MotleyHealth
    March 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Great to hear that Joy.

  2. lazarus
    March 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    drinking of lemon juice after taking a garlic reduces the adour

  3. uchenna
    April 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    does taking raw ginger and garlic have any side effect? i blend a little of both most mornings with fruits and drink.

  4. MotleyHealth
    April 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Uchenna, there are no common side effects, garlic and ginger are very common foods. However, that does not mean that you will be immune to side effects. If you have been consuming them daily with no ill effects then there seems to be no reason to worry though.

  5. suresh
    June 24, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Hi all,Having gone through the discussions,i too would like to share the experience.I have gastric (burning sensation in stomach that reaches till by back spinal sometimes).I was advised to use ginger,garlic smashed & soak overnight in a teaspoon of honey.In the morning ,empty stomach i am having it & then drinking a glass of warm water.I have just started a couple of days.However I see no immediate relief. Pls advise am I going in the right path.Also the odour is very trouble some.I need to chew bubble gums during the day.I would try lemon juice as advised above.Lets see.

  6. MotleyHealth
    June 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Give lemon a go, let us know if it works for you.

  7. kessy nyong
    June 28, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I have been taking garlic with ginger everyday, will it reduce the fat in my stomach?

  8. MotleyHealth
    June 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Hi Kessy, no it will not.

  9. hammed abiola
    July 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    1. Can garlic and ginger cure erectile dysfunction permanently? if it can, for how many month can it be used before it cure erectile dysfunction.

    2. Can garlic and ginger help in enhancing male organ.
    I will be looking forward in hearing from you soon
    Thanks

  10. MotleyHealth
    July 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    It depends. If the problem is caused by blood flow problems then improving both fitness and your diet can help. You will need to take garlic daily for a few months though. There is a not a great deal of research on this, but this page is promising: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/humanbody/truthaboutfood/healthy/erectiledysfunction.shtml

    If the problem is psychological then garlic will not help. As for enhancing, no.

  11. Mobolanle Muhammed
    July 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Pls, i had stomach surgery 4 months ago where i have cyst and little fibriod removed. 2weeks after the surgery, i started having pain on my back, it reduce,but started having pains around my abdomen and pelvic

  12. Mobolanle Muhammed
    July 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Pls, i had stomach surgery 4 months ago where i have cyst and little fibriod removed. 2weeks after the surgery, i started having pain on my back, it reduce,but started having pains around my abdomen and pelvic. I dont know if it is muscles or nerves that hurts. Can ginger and garlic work for me and for how long.

  13. MotleyHealth
    July 8, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Hi Mobolanle, if you have pains after surgery you need to speak to your doctor about it.

  14. kola
    July 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    pls, i want to know if ginger/ garlic is capable of curing prostate cancer

  15. MotleyHealth
    July 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Of course it is not. No cancer can be cured by any type of food or diet.

  16. Mbajiekwe ginikanwa
    July 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Ginger and galic is medicinal

  17. kechuks philips
    July 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I have gone through some of the interactions here.Pls Doc. what of onion and garlic?can the mixture help in infectious diseases like staph. and gonorrhea? thanks for all your candid advice and answers.

  18. Mevonomas
    July 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Thanks for the information, it was really helpful but i also want to know if garlic and ginger can be used to treat diabetes.

  19. MotleyHealth
    July 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Mevonomas, garlic and ginger will not treat diabetes alone. You need to change your whole diet, and maybe take medication too. Speak to your doctor.

  20. Cindy zubby
    July 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

    For one who is trying to conceive can ginger tea prevent her from getting pregnant?

  21. MotleyHealth
    July 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    No Cindy.

  22. Beatrus
    July 29, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Will garlic and ginger really help in breast cancer?

  23. MotleyHealth
    July 29, 2013 at 11:58 am

    It is probably unlikely. There have been reports that those who eat more garlic are less likely to develop such cancers, but this may be more an indication of overall better health. People who eat fast food, smoke and drink to excess are less likely to prepare meals with fresh garlic.

    According to Cancer Research UK, “em>Very few studies of this type have studied garlic and cancer risk. In one recent study conducted in China, where stomach cancer is quite common, aged garlic extract and steam-distilled garlic oil did not prevent this disease.”

    Ref: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietandnutrition/garlic

    Garlic is certainly not a cure for any cancer (or any other disease for that matter). But it may help to prevent some minor illnesses. It is most likely that those whole prepare their meals using fresh ingredients including garlic, and have a balanced diet and are generally healthy lifestyle are less likely to develop any form of disease, not just cancer.

  24. doyin
    July 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    What effect do raw garlic & ginger , ginseing multivamin capsule have on a person with alcoholic fatty liver?

  25. MotleyHealth
    July 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Ho Doyin, I do not know. If you have alcoholic fatty liver then the most important thing you can do is stop drinking completely and eat a healthy and balanced diet. Drink water.

  26. IZUCHUKWU CHRISTAIN
    August 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

    ALWAYS KIA 4 UR HEALTH .7LUVS U

  27. kari
    August 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    pls doc, can ginger and garlic help in curing herpes simplex

  28. MotleyHealth
    August 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Kari, there are no doctors here. However, there is no evidence that ginger and garlic can cure herpes simplex. In fact, nothing can – herpes simplex is an incurable virus. However, it can be managed, and boosting the immune system with a combination of healthy food and exercise will help. Stress, tiredness and poor diet often makes the condition worse.

  29. Mary
    August 19, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Is it good to blend some porportion of garlic and ginger, boiled together and make a drink with little honey added. What are d benefits? Kindly let me know if there is any side effect too.
    Thanks

  30. MotleyHealth
    August 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Hi Mary, both garlic and ginger have various health properties as mentioned above. Side effects are possible upset stomach if you body disagrees with it, but this is rare.

  31. Adejumo Grace
    August 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    what should i do to conceive

  32. MotleyHealth
    August 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Hi Adejumo, that is not something that we are qualified to answer.

  33. emeka
    September 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    interesting blog!
    i drink mixed garlic raw garlic juice and ginger juice every night. hope thats ok.
    i’m diabetic and hypertensive but uses drugs only for the high blood pressure.
    for diabetes i use diet and exercise. i check my blood sugar every morning.
    hope tha’s ok for me.
    many thanks for your inputs.

  34. MotleyHealth
    September 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Emeka, if you are controlling your diabetes / glucose levels, it is OK.

  35. chichi
    October 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    does garlic ana ginger cure fibriod please I want to know.

  36. MotleyHealth
    October 16, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Hi Chichi, I have searched some scientific journals and cannot find anything conclusive. The Pakistan Journal of Nutrition published a paper which did conclude that there may be some improvement in fibroids in rats when given a garlic treatment.

    “Effect of Garlic Extracts on Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Induced Fibroid in Wistar Rats” by G.O. Obochi, S.P. Malu, M. Obi-Abang, Y. Alozie and M.A. Iyam. Research paper (PDF): http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=pjn.2009.970.976&linkid=pdf

    There are many other studies, but I am not sure how accurate they are, or if they are unbiased. Really is it best to seek professional medical advice from a conventional doctor.

  37. gideon benard
    December 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Ginger and galic are good 4 d body,nd dey match 2geda,bt d most funny part is that i dnt eat any of dem,cus it smells alot.

  38. Ahmed
    December 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I would to know I had a problem on high blood pressure never control last 5 years and medicine isn’t help me any thing any body had any I D what can I reduce to that please thank you

  39. MotleyHealth
    December 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Hi Ahmen. Your diet, exercise and weight all affect blood pressure. Have you improved your diet and started exercising? Are you overweight. Work on these three things, but also speak to your doctor again as there may be other medications to try.

  40. tope
    January 1, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I want 2 kno how my Tommy can reduce

  41. MotleyHealth
    January 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Tope, look at the articles in the weight loss section – all the answers are there.

  42. abenga
    January 5, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I HAVE HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVEL, CAN GARLIC HELP TO REDUCE THE LEVEL?

  43. MotleyHealth
    January 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    There is some evidence to suggest that it will help. However, it should not be your only solution. You need to change your diet and possibly exercise more too.

    Some research: Garlic as a lipid lowering agent–a meta-analysis by Silagy C, Neil A

  44. inara tekenah
    January 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Would like to know if it is ok for me to blend garlic and gingar together and then leave over night and drink half a glass every day like juice?becouse is what I do every other day.

  45. MotleyHealth
    January 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Probably, should be OK.

  46. oma
    January 30, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Does ginger and garlic cure toilet infection like candida .

  47. MotleyHealth
    January 31, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Hi Oma, for such an infection you really need some medicine, candida can be very persistent.

  48. chioma
    July 21, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Pls can ginger and garlic help in balancing hormone and anovulation

  49. MotleyHealth
    July 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Chioma, a quick review of online discussions on the topics shows that there are some people claiming that it helps, but there is no solid scientific evidence that it can definitely help.

    It should not harm to increase your intake of garlic and ginger.

  50. Ruben mejias
    August 17, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Upon studies conducted by myself on different plants I have found garlic useful in the prevention of soil fungus borne damp off disease that prevents plants from thriving past their seedling stage, soils treated with diluted garlic solution prevented the disease from attacking the plants and causing them to wilt and die, it worked all the time without fail, so it was successful in killing the fungus, even soil that had the fungus when treated became productive soil, this alone proved to me garlic does have limited effect on micro organisms, also when I had tooth ache works like a charm once again all the time Incedible herb, combined with ginger I cant imagine the benefits

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