You may be aware of its use as a flavoring or spice, but you may not know that there are numerous health benefits of ginger root. Throughout history, ginger root has been used to relieve nausea, pain, swelling and cold symptoms. Today, ginger capsules are sold for medicinal purposes in pharmacies in many countries, but not the United States.
In the US, it is not approved by the FDA to treat or cure any disease, but ginger capsules are sold as dietary supplements. Ginger root is classified by the FDA as a "food", not a drug, as are most herbs and nutrients.
There are many known health benefits of ginger root and other plant foods, but because they are safe for frequent use in reasonable amounts, the FDA does not regulate them, except to say that manufacturers may not make unsupported health claims about their products.
Manufacturers of ginger capsules do have clinical studies, laboratory studies and evidence related to historical use to support claims about the medical benefits of ginger root. But, in the United States, manufacturers must be very careful about wording. They must also use the disclaimer that ginger root is not meant to treat, prevent or cure any disease.
Even information that they supply to consumers must be accompanied by warnings that the writers are not attempting to diagnose or recommend a treatment for a disease and that the information is not meant to take the place of a doctor's advice.
All of this may seem excessive to someone who is simply trying to learn about the health benefits of ginger root. The regulations, warnings and disclaimers are mentioned here because some of the benefits listed may not be found on a bottle of ginger capsules. In fact, without reading numerous published scientific research reports and studies, finding a natural cure or remedy for a common ailment can be difficult.
For example, ginger root has been shown to provide effective relief for migraines and headaches of all types, but ginger capsules will not be found alongside over the counter remedies such as Tylenol and aspirin, at least in American pharmacies.
The common pain relievers are typically ineffective for the relief of migraines and can increase the stomach upset and discomfort, which sometimes accompanies migraines. Continued use can even lead to ulcers and other health problems.
On the other hand, the benefits of ginger root include relief of nausea. Continued use will not lead to ulcers and it is extremely safe, but manufacturers are not allowed to state that "ginger root relieves headaches, migraines and nausea." In other words, US regulations make it difficult to find a safe, effective, natural treatment for headaches or any other condition.
When it comes to motion sickness and nausea, ginger root has been shown to be more effective than drugs. It is commonly used by women in Eastern countries to mitigate morning sickness. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database states that ginger root is likely safe for use in pregnancy when used orally in amounts found in foods.
The total amount found in ginger capsules vary. 100 mg per day is believed to be a safe dosage. No side effects have been noted at higher dosages, except in those who are allergic to ginger root. The typical allergic reaction is excessive burping.
Some suspected health benefits of ginger root are quite exciting. Scientists and researchers have established a relationship between chronic inflammation and heart disease, cancer and many other conditions. Pharmaceutical companies have spent years and probably billions of dollars trying to create safe synthetic anti-inflammatories and COX-2 inhibitors. Some of these drugs have proven to be unsafe and even lethal.
Nature has already provided us with safe pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Natural anti-inflammatories and plant components with COX inhibiting action exist and many experts feel that these are the real keys to preventing chronic and life threatening diseases. Natural components of ginger root, as well as many other herbs and botanicals, display anti-inflammatory and COX inhibiting activity.
Recent studies have shown that the benefits of ginger root, when used on a regular basis, include lower cholesterol levels, more stable blood pressure and blood glucose levels and a reduction in blood clotting similar to that observed in persons on an aspirin regimen.
To conclude, a quick but lengthy list of the known and suspected benefits of ginger root follows. Experts in natural and alternative medicine say that ginger root may be beneficial in epilepsy, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, morning sickness, osteoarthritis, vertigo, atherosclerosis, gastro intestinal disorders, hay fever, HIV support, low back pain, migraine headaches and rheumatoid arthritis.
If you are already taking other supplements, adding ginger root capsules to your daily regimen may be expensive and taking yet another pill may be frustrating and hard to stomach. In addition, if the manufacturer does not supply ginger root or other ingredients in the right form, with the right delivery system, then results may be disappointing.
Because of the many health benefits of ginger root, this compound is included in the best daily multi nutrient formulas, making it possible for you to get your daily dose of ginger root, along with recommended amounts of numerous other vitamins, minerals, co-factors and elements, without taking numerous pills from various sources.
Mila Sabido is editor of http://www.nutritional-supplements-information.com. Visit http://www.nutritional-supplements-information.com/benefits-of-ginger-root.html for more info on ginger and supplement products containing ginger root.