The use of natural herbs and plants in the kitchen and health has long been known. Many natural herbs which serve as important food ingredients also serve as medicinal commodities. One of those herbs is Ginger itself. Ginger, scientifically named as Gingiber officinale, is a herb whose rhizome is used essentially as a kitchen ingredient and also as a medicine. Originating from southern China, it was spread eventually to the Spice Islands. After that it reached other parts of Asia and finally to West Africa and The Caribbean. Ginger got to Europe through India as a result of a spice trading tradition. India is at present probably the largest producer of Ginger.
These days, as the microorganisms become more and more resistant to antibiotics and antifungals, the natural herbs and plants are being reverted to as a cure for the increasing resistance to these pathogens.
The Use of Ginger as an antifungal against Candida:
Recently researches have started to investigate the potency of ginger as an antifungal; in fact many researchers have established proof that ginger has a potent antifungal role. Ginger seems to have several ingredients which serve as antifungals. Most important of these ingredients are shagelol and gingerol which act as active antifungals. Ginger also boosts the immune system adding to the overall protection against all microbes. To back this claim up with some proof, let us look at two researches.
Fungistatic role of Ginger: Recently an in vitro experiment was successfully conducted and was published in Journal of Dental Sciences and Research. In this experiment, colonies of Candida albicans were cultured in the laboratory, and were injected with increasing quantities (1g, 2g and 4g) of ginger extracts treated with ethanol and their effect on the colonies as studied over a period of 24 to 48 hours. Simple ethanol injection into the colonies was used as a control. After 24 hours it was observed that all the solutions containing ginger had a maximum inhibitory effect on the Candida colonies. Also their effect was more potent than ethanol injected alone.
Ginger non-inferior to Nystatin: In another study that was published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences, the researchers compared the use of Candida as antifungal with Nystatin (which is a prescribed antifungal). It was seen that the antifungal effect of Ginger were comparable with Nystatin.
So it is safe to assume that ginger has a potential of being a very influential anti candida medicine. More research remains to be done on the ginger extracts, but you can always make use of ginger in its natural form keeping in mind these experimental results.
How to consume Ginger?
Ginger can be consumed in various forms. These include:
- Grated ginger root can be used with all kinds of recipes.
- Powdered form of ginger is recommended very frequently as it helps control the dosage, one shouldn’t go beyond 2 grams a day and it is advisable to consult a doctor always.
- Fresh ginger juice when mixed with other fruit juices adds a very good medicinal effect to them. It should not be abused however.
- As an essential oil, ginger can be used for giving massage and can be used for cold feet. Mixing it with a moisturizer and massaging it would lead to a soothing effect as it releases heat.
Health Benefits of Ginger and people who can benefit from them:
The use of ginger as a food item is well known. We are going to emphasize on the health benefits that ginger provides.
- Analgesic Effects: It serves as natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer. It is recommended to take ginger for the natural treatment of diseases such as arthritis, joint arthrosis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
- Gastro-protective Effects: It has a great role in digestion; it alleviates gastritis, flatulence and also helps in treatment of gastric ulcers. For an alcoholic or someone taking prolonged medication, ginger would serve as a great stomach protector.
- Anti-inflammatory Effects: It has a role in treating throat infection and also bringing down throat inflammation. So if you are a professional singer or a teacher, you can greatly benefit from it.
- Anti-emetic Effects: One of the more known uses of ginger as medicine are alleviating nausea and vomiting. It is thoroughly recommended to use it in the first months of pregnancy as it causes no harm to the mother or the fetus. For someone undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, ginger serves as a great supplement.
- Motion Sickness: It helps you against sea sickness.
- Metabolic Effects: When consumed and applied externally, its calorific value can be made great use of. It is highly recommended for cold people and for use in cold seasons. However in summers one should keep in mind it increases sweating. Ginger helps you boost up your metabolism. Its great caloric value speeds the metabolism up and if you are someone looking to lose weight, ginger can help you do that.
- Aphrodisiac Effects: Ginger can increase libido. As a natural aphrodisiac using ginger and powdered cinnamon with honey can help increase the sexual drive. Take one table spoon of the preparation in one day. It is highly recommended for postmenopausal women.
- Cardio-protective Effects: Ginger acts to protect you against cardiovascular diseases and also serves to potentiate good circulation. A doctor should first be consulted before using it for these specific effects.
Ginger: What Dosage to Take?
- Morning sickness, 250 mg of ginger 4 times a day will do.
- Nausea and vomiting following an operative procedure, 1 to 2 grams of powdered ginger before giving anesthesia will help to alleviate it.
- Arthritis, different preparations with different doses have been recommended, the average dosages however are between 250 and 255 mgs thrice daily.
Foods to mix ginger with for nutrition and taste:
Since we know the wonderful uses of ginger as a food and as a medicine, a question arises about how we should have it in our diet? Although certain people may have different ways of eating ginger, here are a few ways to have ginger in its fresh form.
- Ginger tea is consumed a lot in winters and fall. Put a hunk of fresh ginger in a pot and don’t peel it. Add to the pot some boiling water, some honey and a tinge of lemon. This will serve as the ideal winter tonic. Add some bourbon if you want making it a homemade cough syrup for adults.
- Fresh ginger tastes great with soup. Use it grate or pureed. It’s going to make your soup a treat to have.
- Having ginger with tender, crisp fish is a delight. With fish being a great source of protein, added ginger makes it almost the ideal food to have.
- Making your stir fries a little spicy with some ginger won’t be a bad idea. It really upgrades the crisp and the taste in them.
- Baking sweets with added ginger is a great way to add flavor to your desserts. Ginger hand pie and pumpkin pie with fresh ginger taste great.
If you plan to take ginger for its medicinal use, consult your medical practitioner first. Standardized preparations and extracts such as tinctures and solid formulations provide you with a reliable dose of the product. It isn’t advisable to use multiple preparations of ginger simultaneously unless directed to by the doctor.
Some considerations for side effects and safety:
- The use of ginger in pregnancy is a little controversial. Despite its positive uses, it may sometimes affect the fetal hormones. It may increase the likelihood of extra bleeding so some authorities advise against its use in excessive amounts close to the date of delivery.
- There isn’t enough known about the safety of ginger in relation to breast feeding. It is therefore wise to stay on the safe side and avoid it during breast feeding period.
- Ginger has a propensity to increase the risk of bleeding.
- Ginger lowers the blood sugar levels, so if you are a diabetic and are taking medications for it, their doses will have to be adjusted.
- Using high dosages of ginger could worsen certain heart conditions.
- Ginger can interact with various medicines, like warfarin. So using ginger with medicines that slow down the clotting process could increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
Candida die-off effect with Ginger
Candida die off effect is possible with any treatment which has the potential to kill the organism. It has already been established that ginger is equipped with drastic qualities of fighting against the growth of Candida and its potency can be fairly compared with that of Nystatin, a conventional antifungal. When Candida is killed, its toxic components are released into the environment where they harbor. Immune system of the body reflexively reverts back to the toxic substances with an overwhelming response. This makes the patient feel worse than better.
Therefore, proper dosing of ginger is required based on the fact that amount of Candida killed is dependent on the dose-response manner. The more the dose of ginger, the more is the number of Candida killed. And thus flaring up the die-off reaction. If you would want to know how likely you are to experience this die-off reaction, you need to spend a few minutes taking a preemptive questionnaire, http://www.yeastinfection.org/yeast-infection-evaluation-test/, which will point score your condition with Candida infection.