Ginger has been used for centuries for a variety of different ailments and is often used to make tea. Its positive effect on digestion is well-known but it’s also used to treat nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, colds, flu, headaches and coughing.
Gingerol is the active compound found in fresh ginger. It is chemically similar to capsaicin which is the active compound found in chili peppers. Ginger has a very recognizable taste with an earthy, zesty, pungent and warm flavor.
When ginger is dried or cooked some of the gingerol turns into other compounds like zingerone and shogaol. That means dried ginger may have a slightly different flavor and properties than fresh ginger does.
The active compound in ginger, gingerol is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Gingerol inhibits the production of nitric oxide in the body which can form a damaging free radical called peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite and other free radicals cause damage to cells which may accelerate aging and cause diseases like cancer.
Research by UCLA Biomedical Laboratory suggests that ginger juice is effective in the treatment of certain forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger may be particularly effective for preventing colon cancer.
There was also research done on tropical ginger in 2009 that found there was a reduction in the growth of colon cancer tumors. A compound called zerumbone found in tropical ginger was able to stop cancer cell growth and also killed invading cancer cells in addition to reducing overall inflammation in the colon.
Ginger improves blood flow by expanding the blood vessels. It also acts as an anti-coagulant, preventing blood platelets sticking together in the same way that aspirin does. This means it can help prevent a potentially fatal blood clot forming and keep blood moving freely throughout the body.
Ginger root contains zingibain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps to break down proteins improving digestion. Ginger also works to neutralize stomach acid and increase the secretion of digestive enzymes in the stomach.
Juicing with Ginger
For the most benefit you should use fresh ginger which is widely available. Powdered ginger is still very beneficial though whenever fresh ginger is unavailable. For most people a piece of ginger root about 1/2-1 inch will be adequate but some people (me included) may like more than this.
The strength of ginger can vary depending on age and variety. Younger ginger tends to be less spicy but is harder to find. The more common mature ginger tends to be spicier.
It’s a good idea to wash your ginger. If it’s non organic or shriveled then it’s also a good idea to peel it before juicing.
One trick to juicing ginger is to juice it first and then juice other water rich ingredients after. This will help wash out as much of the ginger juice as possible.
Ginger works well when combined with lime, lemon, apple, pear, carrot, spinach, fennel, celery and parsley.
Ginger Juice Recipes
Here are some great juice recipes to try with ginger:
• 3 pears
• 2 sticks of celery
• 1/2 inch of ginger root
• 3 carrots
• 1 spear broccoli
• 1/2 cup spinach leaves
• 1/2 inch ginger root
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 2 stalks fennel
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1/2 green apple
• 1 small handful of mint
• 1 inch piece of ginger root
Super Gallbladder Assister
• 1 bunch spinach
• 1 cucumber
• 1/2 bunch celery
• 1 bunch parsley
• 1/2 inch ginger root
• 2 apples
• 1/2 lime
• 1/2 lemon
Source: “The Everything Juicing Book” by Carole Jacobs and Chef Patrice Johnson