When it comes to modern wellness, ingredients with exotic names and mystical pedigrees are often the ones to make headline status. But amongst the Astragali, Ashwagandhas and Burdocks is the ubiquitous but equally potent Ginger. The knotty, irregular shaped root counts turmeric and cardamom as cousins, part of a family of flowering plants called Zingiberaceae. Ginger is thought to have originated in Asia and was one of the first spices to hit the Silk Road, traded from India to ancient Rome. It’s cultivation eventually reached other subtropical climates like the Caribbean and Africa and – call Ginger a global citizen – it still remains one of the planet’s most widely consumed aromatics for cooking and medicinal purposes.
In matters of wellness, its history of medicinal use can be traced back to ancient China and India; today it’s still tapped as an immune booster, nausea-fighter and digestive aid. Our chief science advisor Kevin Spelman Ph.D notes, “A short discussion on the pharmacodynamics of Ginger should start with one of the most well documented properties as an antiemetic (as in anti-vomiting) and anti-nausea remedy. Chemically, what’s happening once ingested is still being investigated, but the antiemetic properties have been attributed to the gingerols and shogaols – the compounds that give Ginger its unique spiciness.”
Ginger is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Continues Dr. Spelman, “The pungent components have been shown to be dual inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism, working with the body’s system for managing pain and inflammation.”*
In matters of the stomach, you’ll find powdered dry ginger root in gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer. Sadly, none of these sweet treats – not even a full sleeve of gingersnaps – contain enough Ginger to provide any health benefits. Better to stick with products made with those purposes in mind, like an Immune or Custom Mab Tab, which contain daily recommended levels of Ginger Root. And if you don’t have any Tabs on hand, another great thing about Ginger goes back to its ubiquity. It’s wide availability makes it easy to incorporate into your next meal or juice, not something that can be said of its more exotic counterparts.
Widely available and found in a diverse range of cuisines around the globe, ginger enjoys broad appeal. But it’s status as an easy-to-access staple belies its complex makeup and impressive benefits. From our chief science advisor Kevin Spelman, Ph.D, learn what makes this humble root a potent powerhouse of wellness.
Ginger has 732 chemical compounds. It’s one of the most chemically complex and researched plants in the world.
Ginger roots contain up to 2.5% of “pungent compounds”. These compounds are what give ginger it’s trademark spicy smell and taste and primarily consist of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols. They’re also what contribute to ginger’s therapeutic properties.
Ginger is actually a flowering plant. The firm, knotty hunks we typically think of as “ginger” is the root and continuously growing horizontal underground stem of the plant, also known as a rhizome. “In my humble opinion,” says Dr. Spelman, “ I consider the active compound in ginger the whole rhizome.”
Kevin Spelman, PhD, MCPP, is an internationally recognized expert on the molecular biology and clinical therapeutics of botanical medicines. A past National Institutes of Health postdoctoral Fellow and Marie Curie research Fellow in the European Union, Dr. Spelman has published 27 scientific papers and six chapters and been involved in clinical work for two decades. Dr. Spelman has been an academic pioneer in professional and competent clinical herbal medicine, co-founding the first master of science degree in clinical phytotherapy and a founding faculty member of the first bachelor degree in herbal medicine. Dr. Spelman is a past advisor to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.