The Healing Power of Ginger

Zingiber Officinale also known as Ginger Root, has been used as medicine in parts of world such as Asia, India, and Arabia as herbal traditions since ancient times. In China, for example, ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years.

Ginger is an incredible herb with powerful anti inflammatory properties.  I can attest to this, as I use this herb regularly to manage inflammation associated with an autoimmune disease that I have known as Ankylosing Spondilitis.  It’s also good for approximately 100 other arthritic conditions including Osteoarthritis.   Because Ginger is a natural and very powerful (cyclooxygenase) Cox-2 inhibitor, just as NSAIDs and aspirin are, it is also quiet effective for pain. I find it incredibly helpful for the pain associated with AS, as well as the widespread musculoskeletal pain associated with having Fibromyalgia.

There have been studies on ginger comparing its efficacy to that of aspirin and not only did it take smaller dosages to accomplish pain relief, there were also no known side effects.  In further comparison to aspirin, it is common knowledge that doctor’s recommend daily usage of aspirin to inhibit the blood thickening enzyme which can lead to clogged arteries.  The only issue with taking aspirin daily are the potential side effects, such as stomach upset, bleeding ulcers, joint discomfort and a potentially compromised immune system.  Other studies show that regular aspirin consumption increases the rate of mortality, and this would include the use NSAIDs.  One way to successfully accomplish the effects of aspirin without the harmful side effects, is to substitute with the use of Ginger Root.  A  cardiology clinic in an Israeli hospital now recommends that all of its patients take 1/2 teaspoon of ginger daily in place of aspirin.  Ginger is quickly becoming the “wonder herb” because of its incredible healing effects on the circulatory system, even transcending the potential of many modern cardiovascular drugs.  Heart disease is the #1 killer in United States, and individuals are becoming more “heart health” aware, wanting positive results without the harmful side effects, so its no wonder that ginger is growing by leaps and bounds in its popularity.

A group of researchers from Cornell Medical School published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 confirming that ginger did in fact inhibit the life-threatening process of platelet aggregation.  Because of ginger’s many physical healing properties, it offers synergistic cardiovascular effects, such as antioxidant, strengthening of the heart muscle and lowering serum cholesterol. Ginger is known to actually prevent cholesterol biosynthesis.

Because of Ginger’s stimulation of immunity and inhibition of platelet aggregation, it has a positive influence on cancer patients. Ginger also soothes the stomach and aids in digestion, so for this reason its great for symptoms relating to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flu, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, even chemotherapy related nausea.  It also eases cold symptoms, and works as a catalyst for other herbs making their effects stronger, so for this reason you’ll want to be mindful of other herbs and medications that you decide to use with Ginger. Because of Ginger’s effects on the circulatory system and its ability to regulate blood sugar it is great for diabetics and for those looking to give a boost to their reproductive system.  Researchers have concluded there is a significant increase in the sperm swimming ability and sperm content associated with ginger consumption, so with this being said Ginger has the ability to increase fertility.

Ginger is good for:

1) Inflammation

2) Pain

3) Stomach upset/Digestion

4) Nausea

5) Morning Sickness

6) Chemotherapy Related Nausea

7) Heart Health

8) Circulation

9) Immunity

10) Blood Sugar

11) Fertility

12) Cold & Flu

Ginger Root is great in many forms, Tea, Herbal Supplements, Liquid drops, Herbal Powder and Fresh Ginger.  Do not exceed 4g of ginger per day. Recommended dosage: 2 ginger capsules, or 90 liquid drops, 1/4 Fresh Ginger, 1 pre-packaged tea bag or 1/2 tsp of Ginger Root Powder. Take 3x times daily or every four hours as needed for many of the symptoms mentioned above.

Contraindications and Precautions Ginger Root:

If you have any of the following, please consult with your doctor before taking:  Food Allergies, Medical problems associated with your Heart , Gall Bladder (gall stones), Brain or Nervous System. Do not take Ginger if you have a bleeding disorder, taking heart medications, on a blood thinning medications such as Warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin or NSAIDs.

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.  Side effects from ginger are rare, but if taken in high doses the herb may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea, and irritation of the mouth. Many of these side effects are avoidable if Ginger is take in capsule form, but remember it is highly recommended that you not exceed 4g of Ginger Root Daily.

Natural Pain Management

Fresh Raw Ginger-Cranberry Relish

The Kellogg Report: The Impact of Nutrition, Environment & Lifestyle on the Health of Americans, Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Medicinal Qualities of GINGER: Common Spice & Wonder Drug 3rd edition, Chart page 64, The Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study Research Group. “The aspirin myocardial infarction study: Final results.” Circulation 62 (6, Pt 2.)  (Dec. 1980): V79-84, Dorso, C., et al. “Chinese food and platelets.” New England Journal of Medicine 303, no. 13 (1980): 756-57, Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan ginger 2005 byYakugaku Zasshi, A Literature Review Of Ginger, The joy of ginger.” American Health, Bioscience Biotechnology biochemistry: Induction of  neutrophil accumulation by vegetable juice by Yamazaki M, Nishimura T, Ethnopharmacologic investigation of ginger (Zingiber Officinale) 1989, Biomedical Reviews (Bulgaria)-Pharmacological effects of spices

Eat Foods High In Amino Acids to Feel Great & Manage Symptoms

Amino Acids are protein building blocks and proteins are the building blocks of life itself.  There are 20 which are crucial to human heath, relating to growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues.  Nine of these amino acids are considered essential and required through proper nutrition, which will enable the body to produce the required protein.   These are: leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, phenylalanine and histidine.  The eleven non-essential amino acids are arginine, alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

Many non-essential amino acids may not be required for protein building, but through much research it has been discovered that they are instrumental in healing and relieving symptoms of many conditions, thus used therapeutically.  Many with chronic health conditions often have deficiencies of both essential & non-essential amino acids. Conditions and symptoms such as,  Allergies, Ulcers, Anemia, Osteoarthritis, Autoimmune Arthritis such as Rhumatoid Arthritis & AS, lupus, cerebral palsy, certain cancers, depression, cognitive issues,  insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, associated with CFIDS (chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome), musculoskeletal pain and discomfort associated with Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, IBD, ADD (attention deficit disorder) & ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as well as others. Amino acids work synergistically with many drugs and treatments, so interactions are not ordinarily a concern, but if you have decided to supplement with amino acids, your doctor should be informed.  A few Therapeutic aminos are L-histidine, L-Carnitine, L-Taurine & L-Tyrosine.  L-Trosine is often low in individuals battling depression, as well as those suffering with kidney disease. L-Theanin is found in green tea and is said to help relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety, while enhancing focus and concentration. Which is perfect for those who are cognitively challenged, as with ADD & ADHD, Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyaglia.

Nine of the essential amino acids can be found in protein rich foods such as red meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products. Plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits and grains, will only provide some of the nine essential amino acids. For this reason, a vegetarian diet should be balanced to ensure  that amino acids are derived from all parts of  the diet. Vegetable sources of protein such as nuts, beans, and grains are incredibly healthy, because they not only provide amino acids, but additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A and C.

If you are able to eat and digest protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood & dairy products then you are more than likely getting your required amounts of amino acids.  However keep in mind that many chronic health conditions can prevent absorption of many vitamins, minerals and amino acids through food intake, so supplementing might be required. Since our protein requirements are actually lower than most people consume, below are many fruit & vegetables sources of amino acids which you can easily add to your existing diet:

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a low-starch or low-carb food friendly list, rather its to provide overall information on foods which are high in amino acids.

Alanine – Main source being alfalfa, but also found in: celery, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, turnips, green pepper, spinach, plums, apples, guavas, grapes, oranges, almonds and strawberries.

Arginine – alfalfa, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beetroots, cucumber, celery, lettuce, radishes and potatoes.

Aspartic acid – carrots, celery, radishes, cucumber, mint, tomatoes, turnips, lemons, grapefruit, apples, plums, pineapples, melons and almonds.

Cystine – alfalfa, beet roots, carrots, cabbages, cauliflower, onions, garlic, apples, pineapples, raspberries, raisins.

Glutamic acid – found in carrots, turnips, cabbages, celery, beetroots, mint, lettuce, spinach and papaya.

Glycine – carrots, turnips, celery, mint, alfalfa, spinach, garlic, potatoes, figs, oranges, raspberries, pomegranates, melons and almonds.

Histidine – radishes, carrots, cucumber, beetroots, celery, garlic, onions, turnips, alfalfa, spinach, pineapples, apples, pomegranates and papaya.

Hydroxy glutamic acid – carrots, mint, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, plums.

Hydroxy praline – carrots, lettuce, beetroots, turnips, cucumber, plums, cherries, figs, radishes, grapes, olives, pineapples, almonds and coconut.

Lodogorgoic acid – carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce and pineapple.

Isoleucine – papaya, olives, coconuts, almonds, apricots, pistachios and walnuts.

Leucine – coconuts, almonds, apricots, papaya, olives, pistachios and walnuts.

Lysine – carrots, cucumber, beetroots, mint, celery, spinach, turnips, alfalfa, germinates soyabeans, plums, pears, papaya, apple and grapes.

Methionine – cabbages, garlic, cauliflower, pineapples and apples.

Norleucine ( NLE a form of lucine)

Phenylalanine – carrots, beetroots, spinach, mint, tomatoes, pineapples and apples.

Proline –carrots, beetroots, lettuce, turnips, cucumber, plums, cherries, figs, grapes, olive, oranges, pineapples, coconuts and almonds.

Serine –radishes, garlic, onion, carrots, beetroots, celery, cucumber, mint, spinach, cabbage, alfalfa, papaya, apples and pineapples.

Threonine – carrots, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa and papaya.

Thyroxine – carrots, celery, lettuce, turnips, spinach, tomatoes and pineapples.

Tryptophane – beetroots, carrots, celery, spinach, alfalfa and turnips.

Tyrosine – alfalfa, carrots, beetroots, cucumber, lettuce, mint, spinach, green pepper, plums, strawberries, cherries, apples, melons, figs and almonds.

Valine – carrots, turnips, sweet gourd, celery, mint, beetroots, tomatoes, apples, pomegranates and almonds.

When supplementing  look for free form amino acids and you’ll want products with a full amino acid profile, many will read “amino acid complex.” such as with protein powders or protein drinks. Amino acids work synergistically with vitamins and minerals, thus working naturally with our bodies. Though it is preferred that we obtain vitamins, minerals, as well as amino acids through our diet, when we are chronically sick or have malabsorption issues such as those related to chronic inflammation & IBD, supplementing  just might be required. Be careful of taking excessive amounts of amino acids and be sure to follow label instructions.

Braggs Liquid Aminos

Food based Amino Acid Supplements: Braggs Liquid Aminos NON-GMO soy (contains 16 amino acids/8 essential.) This product is great to use in place of regular and potentially GMO contaminated soy sauce. Should not be cooked or heated.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos by Coconut Secrets contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids. Nutrient-dense, certified organic, dairy free, gluten-free, soy-free and raw-vegan friendly.

By ensuring that you are eating foods that are high in amino acids, or that you are supplementing via a well balanced protein powder or free form amino acids, you are improving your chances for optimal health, greater energy, strength, recovery, improved muscle definition, beautiful skin, better mood, better memory and enhanced brain function. Incredibly beneficial in combating fibrofog, pain and stiffness relating to Ankylosing Spondylitis and the multitude of symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, including depression.

Amino Acids, Angelo P John research based on amino acid cancer therapy, amino acid, amino food guide courtesy of Naturopathy for Perfect Health. The Healing Power of Organic, Real Food, Superfoods & Whole Foods, Nutritional, Gluten-Free, Diary-Free, Low-Starch & Inflammation Friendly Recipes