Ginger has been used as both seasoning and medicine for over 500 years. During the Middle Ages, it was used against the plague. Today, it is used for various ailments from simple colds and sniffles to rheumatoid arthritis. Garlic and ginger nutrition is only just being fully understood.
Here we look at some of the benefits of ginger and garlic. Ginger and garlic are very versatile, and while some people just chew ginger or make garlic tea, they are most commonly used as ingredients in healthy meals.
Health Benefits of Ginger
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 compound, gingerol, provides natural anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative properties and is also a cough suppressant.
Raw ginger benefits the joints as it helps to reduce joint swellings in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and many people say that the benefits of ginger exceed those of some conventional medicine, although it is most advisable to take both.
A 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, and is for many people, one of the most important benefits of ginger.
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.
Health Benefits of Garlic
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.
Garlic and Ginger Tea
If you don’t fancy chewing on raw ginger and garlic, garlic tea is a good option. Simply chop and crush some ginger and garlic, add to water in a pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
The juices from the ginger and garlic will infuse the water, and hey presto! you have ginger and garlic tea. Strain into a mug and drink. Add honey to sweeten, if you wish. Either drink hot as garlic tea, or allow to cool as garlic water.
Research Papers and References
- “Characterization of food antioxidants, illustrated using commercial garlic and ginger preparations” by Okezie I. Aruoma, Jeremy P.E. Spencera, Donna Warrena, Peter Jennera, John Butlerb, Barry Halliwella in Food Chemistry Volume 60, Issue 2, October 1997, Pages 149-156 Antioxidants in Food.
- “Intake of Garlic and Its Bioactive Components” by Harunobu Amagase, Brenda L. Petesch, Hiromichi Matsuura, Shigeo Kasuga and Yoichi Itakura. Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131:955S-962S. Abstract: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/3/955S.short
- “Traditional Indian spices and their health significance” by Kamala Krishnaswamy. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17(S1):265-268. Full article: http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/17%20Suppl%201/265.pdf
- “Changes in Platelet Function and Susceptibility of Lipoproteins to Oxidation Associated with Administration of Aged Garlic Extract” by Steiner, M.; Lin, R. S. In Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: June 1998 – Volume 31 – Issue 6 – pp 904-908. Abstract: http://journals.lww.com/cardiovascularpharm/Abstract/1998/06000/Changes_in_Platelet_Function_and_Susceptibility_of.14.aspx
- “Health-promoting properties of common herbs” by Winston J Craig in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 491S-499S, September 1999. Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479221
206 Comments on “Health Benefits of Ginger and Garlic – Natures Medicines”
None other than those already mentioned.
Thanks for this piece! I would like to know if Ginger & Garlic juice is good for treating skin diseases.
Hi Lemon, there is a little evidence that suggests garlic oils may treat some skin infections such as ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot, however, there is no proven medical evidence. Although there are many websites claiming that ginger can help cure skin conditions, I have been unable to find any scientific evidence to this effect.
So, the answer to your question is, NO.
Please I soak gignger and garlic in hot water and allow to fermrnt for 12hrs and drink the water cos I can’t chew will it stil work.
Maybe Anita, you just have to try it and see. Ensure that the water is boiled well before soaking. This is not a method that we would recommend really.
Please can garlic and ginger clear the rashes in my oesophagus
Uchenna, go see a doctor.
What type of Herbs would you recommend for colon cancer
Anthony, I would recommend treatment for a specialist doctor – probably a combination of chemo and radiotherapy.
No herb in the world will ever cure cancer.
i am 22 years old, and having nasal congestion. My nose is always block, due to this now i am feeling pain in my eyes and usually in morning my eyes are swelled.I used to take many medicine, but it is not helping, i cant take medicine daily.i am having mucus too. due to this my sleeping hours exceeds.i sleep more than 8 hours. shall i take ginger and garlic mixture daily?
Hi Queeny, we are not doctors. Best seek a doctor’s opinion.
Thanks for your quick response, but can you guide me about this issue, as many said to me that it is good to take ginger or garlic. Please can you just suggest me.
Queeny, we cannot give you medical advice. This article is for information purposes only. Please consult a doctor if you have a medical problem. While there is nothing wrong with eating ginger and garlic and both have some health benefits, they are certainly not cures for medical conditions.
Pls I alway have menstral pains every month I want to know if ginger and garlic can help me reduce the pains thanks
pls does lemon and garlic help in reducing big boobs,back fat and big tummy.if not,then what? and does it make one taller?.thanks
Hi Maya, no, it does not really do any of that unfortunately. The only way is to reduce total body fat and to do that you need to eat fewer calories and exercise more. Nothing makes us taller – just good diet and exercise.
Hi Patience, some research shows that ginger can help. Try it and see.
I want to know it for my wife, she have thik blood and doctors are saying that she will get problems in her pregnancy. Will ginger juice help in making her blood thin? If it help then how much quantity she have to take and how many times a day and what is the process of making proper ginger juice for her. Please tell so we can plan a child
Hi Manish, you really need to consult a doctor. According to the NHS, assuming that this is polycythaemia or erythrocytosis, requires medical treatment. Some life style changes, such as losing weight, are also known to help.
Learn more: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polycythaemia/
Hi, pls I noticed am having yellowish colouration on my face and the upper part of my body,have gone to a dematologist they prescribed a cream and a shampoo 4 me uptill now no improvement, I just started taking garlic and ginger now, can you advise me more? Or do you think am on the right track
Jay, follow the dermatologist’s advice.
Plzzz I wan to know if ginger/garlic ehances male performance sexually
Hi Moel, it might help a little bit, but honestly, it is not going to make a massive difference. Best speak to a doctor if you are having trouble. If you are overweight, losing weight is really important. Many very overweight men have issues down there.
Please can ginger or garlic terminate a 1wk or 2wks old foetus or pregnancy?
No it cannot. Please see a doctor.
Pls,what are the benefits of taking ginger and garlic juice after giving birth?
Not really any different from any other time.
Can garlic or ginger help prevent or treat candida?
No, not really. There are some excellent creams available that do.
Is it ok to drink ginger garlic lemon and mint leafs after lipo surgery
Taking ginger and garlic every morning serve as a system cleanser?
According 2 research I read 2 kill candida chew garlic. Hw true is it? Or does garlic help in controlln it.
i have been using ginger and garlic for cooking for sometime now,i want to know if it can help regain my menstrual flow. i have been facing loss of flow for some months now
Hi Kemisola, it is unlikely to make a difference. Speak to a doctor.
Hi Precious, where did you read this research? It is not as simple as that. Garlic may help in some cases, but proper medication is usually needed for candida infections.
Odion, system cleansing is a myth. Healthy diet and exercise is the best way to keep your system clean.
Monalisa, it should be OK, ask your surgeon to be sure.
can the garlic, ginger, onion, and honey cure habititics
Hi John, do you mean hepatitis? If so, the answer is no, it cannot. You need drugs.
Can i blend garlic and ginger to stop urinating frequently that does nt come with sting and am not pregnant
Juli, I doubt it. See a doctor if you are urinating more than usual, there could be an underlying health condition (such as diabetes).
I have a disease that causes my both knees,both ankle and both toes swelld,pain,warm in affected area,dislocation,stiffness which i dont know the type of disease and what can i do to stop the effect.Pls help doc
Ve tested for that it cums out very normal, also diff test said stapp,odas said candida,but i doubt it cos i dnt ve boils or itching or even discharge or pain wen urinating,i was tinkn it to be an over active bladder
Might be a good idea to get a second doctor’s opinion. If it is Overactive Bladder Syndrome, did the doctor suggest a treatment?
Hi Abbas, there are no doctors here. Make an appointment with a local doctor.
Generally, weakness in the body, pains and heat. Pelvis, back and chest pains, etc.
Taking lemon grass with lemon fruit, ginger and garlic all boiled together. Hope it’s health benefits is still effective due to the heat
i can hear pains at my back head
and can feel something moving in my head like bubbles what should i do to cure it
See a doctor.
can you add some sweetener to the ginger and garlic juice to make drinking easier? like sugar.