Many people work hard every day to maintain good health but are often discouraged when it comes to losing weight. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements for expensive products that promise instant results, but we end up losing money instead of excess pounds.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been known for its medicinal properties as an aid to digestion and circulation since at least 500 B.C. when Confucius mentioned it in his writing.1 The incredible benefits of this herb just keep adding up.
Ginger gives an extra edge when it comes to losing weight and improving health. While many people know that a cup of hot ginger tea can be just the right thing for a bad cold, its benefits take on a whole new twist when you use those ingredients to make ginger water and use it to help lose weight.
Ginger water stimulates fat burning. It has been shown to stabilize blood sugar, cholesterol, and lipids.2 Ginger can be especially effective at combating belly fat because it has been shown to suppress production of cortisol, the stress hormone that is responsible for visceral or “deep” fat that accumulates in the abdomen and is the hardest to lose.3
Ginger water is said to help with burning fat from the arms, thighs, and hips as well. Finally, ginger is a natural diuretic that aids in combating fluid retention.4
Other important health benefits of Ginger Water include:
Lowered blood pressure
Ginger has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of hypertension.5
Antioxidant Effect & Immune System Boost
A Research team from Qaboos University in Oman found reported that “Ginger is a strong anti-oxidant substance and may either mitigate or prevent generation of free radicals” which are implicated in organ damage.6
Researchers from The Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences reported laboratory studies finding that ginger can significantly reduce “bad” cholesterol.7
Ginger has vital minerals like magnesium and zinc which play an important role in good circulation and blood flow.
Improved Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Ginger stimulates the production of bile which helps digest fats.9
Soothes Painful Joints and Reduces Inflammation
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties relieve joint pain and are especially helpful for osteoarthritis pain.
Ginger has been shown to be especially effective at reducing nausea related to motion sickness, morning sickness, and nausea from chemotherapy treatment.
Ginger Water Recipe
- 5 cm (2 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced very thin (use more or less, depending on how strong you want it)
- 1 liter (approx. 4.25 cups) filtered water
- Juice from one-half fresh lemon juice (optional)
Bring water to boil and add sliced ginger.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add lemon, only if you want it.
Pour half mixture in a glass to consume in the morning on an empty stomach and save the other half to consume before dinner. This will stimulate digestion and set you up to burn fat!
Herbs can be very powerful medicine. People on the following pharmaceuticals should consult their health care providers before taking ginger: blood-thinning medications (ginger may increase risk of bleeding), diabetes medications (ginger may lower blood sugar), high blood pressure medications (ginger may lower blood pressure).17
1Underkoffler RL. Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods. New York: Avery, 2003, p. 147.
2Al-Amin ZM, Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Peltonen-Shalaby R, Ali M. Anti-diabetic and hypolipidaemic properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Br J Nutr. 2006 Oct;96(4):660-6.
3Katagiri F, Inoue S, Sato Y, et al. Comparison of the effects of Sho-hange-ka-bukuryo-to and Nichin-to on human plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol levels with continual stress exposure. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004 Oct;27(10):1679-82.
4Wright C, et al. Herbal medicines as diuretics: A review of the scientific evidence. J Ethnopharmacology. 2007;114:1.
5Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S. eds. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. Chapter 7: The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2011.
6Ali BH, Blunden G, Tanira MO, Nemmar A. Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): a review of recent research. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46(2):409-420.
7Fuhrman B, Rosenblat M, Hayek T, Coleman R, Aviram M. Ginger extract consumption reduces plasma cholesterol, inhibits LDL oxidation and attenuates development of atherosclerosis in atherosclerotic, apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. J Nutrition 2000;130(5):1124-1131.
8USDA Nutrient Database. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA Food Composition Databases. 2018
9Haniadka R, Saldanha E, Sunita V, Palatty PL, Fayad R, Baliga MS. A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Food Funct. 2013 Jun;4(6):845-55.
10Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001;44(11):2531-2538.
11Bliddal H, Rosetzsky A, Schlichting P, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of ginger extracts and ibuprofen in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2000;8:9-12.
12Gregory PJ, Sperry M, Wilson AF. Dietary supplements for osteoarthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Jan 15;77(2):177-84. Review.
13Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. B J Anaesth. 2000;84(3):367-371.
14Willetts KE, Ekangaki A, Eden JA. Effect of a ginger extract on pregnancy-induced nausea: a randomised controlled trial. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2003;43(2):139-144.
15Grontved A, Brask T, Kambskard J, Hentzer E. Ginger root against seasickness: a controlled trial on the open sea. Acta Otolaryngol. 1988;105:45-49.
16Pongrojpaw D, Somprasit C, Chanthasenanont A. A randomized comparison of ginger and dimenhydrinate in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Sep;90(9):1703-9.
17Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Center https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/ginger
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