Ginger The Tummy Tonic
Ginger root has a strong cultural heritage and has been used as a medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions since ancient times. It is now widely used as a digestive aid for mild stomach upset and is commonly recommended by professional herbalists to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with travel sickness and pregnancy.
The digestive benefits of Ginger begin in the mouth where it is known as a ‘sialagogue’.
This means that it promotes the secretion of saliva and hence stimulates the appetite. Ginger then assists in moving food through the stomach and duodenum, (a process of smooth muscle contraction known as ‘peristalses’). Ginger then stimulates the secretion of several valuable digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Ginger itself also contains potent enzymes which break down protein efficiently and rapidly, leaving the digestivesystem free from any discomfort. Ginger also helps reduce stomach irritation by absorbing, and in some cases neutralizing, stomach acids, soothing the irritated gastro-intestinal tract.
This makes it very beneficial for bowel disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and hyperchlorhydia (excess stomach acid). Ginger increases both the production and secretion of bile in the liver and gallbladder.
This helps maintain the digestion of fats and may help to lower cholesterol levels. Research has indicated that daily doses of Ginger may decrease blockages in clogged arteries and may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Ginger is also thought to promote “friendly bacteria” in the intestines which ensure healthy digestion and protection against foreign pathogens. Ginger is capable of destroying even virulent strains of bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella.
Travel sickness is a normal reaction to motion which occurs during transportation or as a result of physiological responses in the body. Travel sickness occurs when the middle ear which controls balance, sends signals to the brain indicating that the body is in motion, but signals from the eyes indicate a stationary position. About 90% of British people have suffered from travel sickness at some stage. Symptoms can include abdominal discomfort, nausea or vomiting, and sweaty face and hands which can last up to a day after travel
Ginger has a big advantage over other travel sickness drugs. In normal doses it doesn’t cause any of their nasty side effects, such as drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth or heart palpitations.
Research has shown that Ginger capsules are more effective in reducing motion sickness induced by a revolving chair than the antihistamine Dramamine which is contained in many over the counter remedies.
The beneficial effects of Ginger for travel sickness lie in the active constituents of the Ginger root – gingerols, zingerone and shogaols. These have an anti-vomiting and anti-nausea effect, helping to ease travel sickness. In addition, Ginger works by easing the transport of substances through the digestive tract, lessening irritation to the intestinal walls. Ginger capsules provide a handy solution for relief from travel sickness in a convenient format.