Ginger has been used as a digestive stimulant for thousands of years. Its benefits have been thoroughly studied and documented by scientists. In fact, World Health Organization scientist Norman Farnsworth calls ginger “one of the three most thoroughly investigated plants in the history of the world.” (The other two are garlic and ginseng.) Ginger normalizes peristalsis in the digestive tract, relieving both constipation and diarrhea. It helps friendly bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, to grow – Lactobacillus multiplies five times faster in the presence of ginger. At the same time, ginger kills some of the bacteria that are sometimes responsible for food poisoning, including E.coli and salmonella. Ginger’s action on the digestion is similar to that of papaya enzymes, but it would take more than a pound of papaya to equal the effect on the body of just one ounce of ginger.
Ginger as a remedy for gas pains
- Take 100 mg. of ginger extract in capsule form.
- Chew a ¼ to ½ slice of ginger root.
- Drink ginger tea. To make it, pour a cup of boiling water over ½ tsp. of ginger root.
- Drink ginger ale.
- Eat ginger candy. Ginger candy is especially useful if you are traveling, as it is small and portable.
Why It Works
Ginger causes digestion to work more efficiently. Gas is often produced when food is being digested slowly or incompletely. In these cases, food sits in the intestines fermenting and producing gas. When food is digested thoroughly and quickly, less gas is produced.
Excessive doses of ginger may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea or mouth irritation. Consult a doctor before taking ginger if you have gallstones. If you are about to undergo surgery or be placed under anesthesia tell your doctor if you are taking ginger. Do not take ginger if you are taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin.