Ginger is the root part of the plant Zingiber officinale which is a long plant reaching about three feet in height. Ginger can be consumed as a delicacy, medicine or spice. This versatile plant is often referred to a root ginger or ginger root. Ginger can be found in many forms: extract, capsules, oils, ground, tea or fresh.
There have been numerous studies done to examine the possible health benefits of ginger. Gingers ability to combat such a wide variety of illnesses and ailments is due to its impact on excessive inflammation which is a major underlying cause of many illnesses. Inflammation is the body's natural way of trying to heal itself by keeping us from moving the inflamed area. Unfortunately inflammation doesn't always go away. It can become a chronic issue and lead to many more health problems.
Ginger has been proven to help combat: motion sickness, nausea, arthritis, joint pain, some forms of cancer, pain, inflammation, cold and flu prevention, migraine relief, menstrual cramps, indigestion, colic, irritable bowl, poor circulation and the list just goes on.
Recent studies show that ginger might also play a significant role in lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Ginger is thought to help lower LDL levels. In a study by K. Srinivasan published in International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research ginger was shown to help significantly reduce serum and hepatic cholesterol by stimulating the conversion of cholesterol to bile acid. Once converted to bile, it can be removed from the body.
Ginger extract was shown to lower cholesterol and LDL oxidized in rats in a study by Bianca Furman. Similar results were noted in a study by R. Alizadeh-Navaei which involved human subjects.
There needs to be more studies on the use of ginger to combat cholesterol, ginger has proven is does have medicinal properties. If you do have high cholesterol, speak to your doctor before adding ginger to supplement your fight against this disease.
High doses of ginger have been known to cause side effects for some. These side effects include: belching, diarrhea, heartburn, mouth irritation, upset stomach, rash or hives, itching, swelling in the mouth, face, lips or tongue, difficulty breathing and irregular heartbeat. So great care and a discussion with your doctor is needed when making the decision as to whether or not you should add ginger to your fight against cholesterol.
So care must be taken when considering adding ginger to the fight against high cholesterol.