stimulating digestive fluids. With half-a-billion people at risk for Type-2 diabetes, a less well-known but vitally important super- power is ginger’s ability to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar. A 2014 study on glycemic status, lipids, and inflammatory mark- ers examined seventy, Type-2 diabetes patients, with half the group consuming 1600 mg ginger versus placebo group. Results showed that ginger significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and total cholesterol, as compared with placebo group, and can be considered as an effective treatment for preven- tion of complications from diabetes. Another 2014 study sought to identify the effect of ginger supplementation on insulin resis- tance and glycemic indices in diabetes mellitus. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 88 diabetic par- ticipants were randomly assigned into ginger and placebo groups, powdered ginger was given three times per day in 1-gram capsules for eight weeks. The results showed that fasting blood sugar mean average of the ginger group decreased 10.5%, whereas the mean blood sugar of placebo group had an increase of 21%. Numerous studies support ginger’s anti-diabetic and lipid-

lowering properties, including the seven studies on our database providing proof of its efficacy. Ginger delivers added benefits in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Studies like this one in 2012 show that regular consumption of dietary ginger helps protect against and improve systemic diabetic complications. Ginger imparts a beneficial effect on the kidneys, an organ that is frequently damaged as a side-effect of uncontrolled diabetes. Researchers noted that a function of diabetes is to “disturb ho- meostasis of metabolic enzymes” regulated by the kidneys. This study demonstrated that extract of ginger could lower blood glucose levels, as well as improve activities of mitochondrial enzymes in diabetic rats, thus providing nephro-protective (kid- ney-protective) properties that have the potential to reverse dia- betic-induced complications.

Diarrheal Diseases

Diarrhea is typically an infection in the intestinal tract that causes three or more loose stools per day. Diarrheal diseases can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms, and are the second-leading cause of death in children under five. If a positive aspect of this disease can be found, it’s that it is en- tirely preventable, and also highly treatable. Ginger is an excep- tional herbal medicinal for the prevention and treatment of all types of diarrheal diseases. Food poisoning is one of the most common causes of diar-

rhea, and bacterial contamination from fish and shellfish is one of the easiest ways to get food poisoning. An October 2016 study

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isolated several bacterial strains common to fish and shellfish, and tested the efficacy of treatment with essential oil extracted from Zingiber officinale rhizomes. Researchers found that only a small amount of essential oil was needed to inhibit the growth of the selected bacteria, and that ginger oil “can be used as a good natural preservative in fish food due to antioxidant and antibacte- rial activities.”

In diarrheal diseases, the bacteria itself is not what poses the threat to human life, but rather the toxins that are released by the bacteria’s metabolic processes. Zingerone, another potent com- pound in ginger, binds to these toxins so that they cannot interact with the gut, effectively preventing diarrhea and its associated risks. Ginger can also come to the rescue when other drugs are introduced to the system. In 2016, researchers wanted a way to ameliorate the nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting that accompanied treatment with an anti-tuberculosis drug. Results showed that ginger had a soothing effect on these symptoms, and could be an effective adjutant when pharmaceutical drugs are not well-toler- ated.

Diarrheal diseases are extremely common in areas of the

world plagued by contaminated drinking water. Bangladesh is one such area, and local researchers wanted to find out if certain traditional spices possessed antibacterial and antimicrobial prop- erties. Samples of drug-resistant Escherichia coli were isolated from the drinking water, and tested against isolates of lime juice, garlic, ginger, onion, coriander, and black pepper. While none of these isolates alone had a significant inhibitory effect, a combina- tion of lime, garlic, and ginger suppressed all bacteria samples. Researchers concluded that these isolates might form an effective barrier against enteric pathogens and could be used for prevention of diarrheal diseases.

While ginger is very safe, there are a few contraindications

to be aware of. Rare cases of allergic reaction have been noted, and it can interact with many drugs, including heart medications, blood thinners, and diabetes medications. Ask your doctor or consult a naturopath if you would like to add ginger to your health regimen and are taking any of these medications.

The ameliorative potential of ginger is explored in depth in Green- MedInfo’s 145-pg research paper. There are over 2100 published studies on the medicinal properties of ginger. © October, 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter at

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