A blog by runners. For runners.

Natural healing: ginger

Natural healing: gingerLove it or hate it, ginger may be beneficial to your health and your running.

Ginger is a flowering plant from the same family as turmeric. The rhizome is the underground root or stem typically used to flavor dishes and drinks. Ginger can be found at your local grocery store in several forms: ground and jarred in your spice aisle, pickled as a side to your sushi, or in root form in the produce section. Ginger has been found to be an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, an analgesic, and a circulatory stimulant.

Below are a few ways ginger can aid in natural healing. Ginger…

  1. … reduces muscle pain. A 2011 study found daily consumption of raw or heated ginger decreased exercise-induced muscle pain. Participants who were given ginger had a roughly 25 percent greater reduction in pain, over a 24 hour period, vs. the placebo group.
  2. … is anti-inflammatory. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These compounds have been found to help reduce the effects of joint pain and mobility issues in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. … tames an upset stomach. Whether you are suffering from motion sickness, indigestion, or pregnancy-induced nausea, ginger should be your go-to. In fact, the active compounds in ginger can ease the effects of motion sickness better than anti-nausea medications.
  4. … aids in digestion. Ginger can help break down proteins and reduce gas in the stomach. If you overindulge before a big race, try cutting and peeling some ginger and steeping it in hot water after dinner to relieve stomach issues.
  5. … heats hands and feet. Winter running is coming. If you suffer from cold hands or feet try sipping ginger tea. Ginger helps with blood circulation and promotes a warming feeling throughout the body when digested.

Ginger has a wonderfully pungent, spicy flavor that is great in stir-fries, soups, and smoothies. If you’re looking for a delicious and simple way to use ginger, try this blueberry ginger smoothie.

Written by Lisa Chase.