Ginger is a great spice often used for cooking. The sharp distinct taste of ginger and it’s natural automatic flavor is believed to enhance the quality of food. However, aside from the culinary benefits of ginger, it has been discovered as a very effective natural remedy for health-related issues such as anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant. Also, regular consumption of ginger is believed to boost the overall hormone of the human body.
Research on the effect of ginger on arthritis revealed that the spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds that perform the same function as COX-2 inhibitors. COX-2 are drugs often used for the treatment of pain and inflammation, especially arthritis-related pain.
Studies on how ginger works for arthritis
There are a lot of studies on the effectiveness of ginger. The studies show that ginger extract helps to inhibit the works of some enzymes including leukotrienes which are responsible for joint inflammation in the body. Added to this ginger is also said to contain a compound known as salicylates. When ginger is taken, the body absorbs this compound and converts it into a chemical known as salicylic acid. This acid prevents the nerves from making certain prostaglandins and this helps to ease pain and discomfort in the body joints.
In a study conducted in 2000 and involving more than 12 patients suffering from osteoarthritis, the result reveals that ginger works the same way as the popular drugs used for pain – ibuprofen. Another research in 2006 shows that when ginger is used together with echinacea supplements, arthritis patients experience faster and quicker results than when ginger is used alone.
Added to this, in a study conducted in 2001 involving 247 arthritis patients, after six months of taking 250mg of ginger supplements at least twice in the day, the patients experienced a significant reduction in pain and inflammation. The patients were given a highly concentrated dose of ginger and the result shows that ginger is very effective in treating arthritis and osteoarthritis. After one month of ginger medication, patients generally experience a significant improvement in pain and inflammation. Before the study, the patient was suffering from mild to severe arthritis pain and inflammation, when the patient started taking the ginger supplement, they started experiencing more physical functioning. Patients also experienced a significant reduction in morning stiffness and pain. With consistency, patients experience little or no pain.
While the studies examined above are on the effectiveness of ginger for arthritis when used orally, in a study on the effectiveness of topical ginger, the result shows that applying ginger on the surface or body of the affected area can help to alleviate pain and inflammation.
According to the result of one research conducted in 2015, it was revealed that ginger extract is able to reduce the pain and morning stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and arthritis. In the study, about 50 patients suffering from mild to severe cases of arthritis were treated with topical ginger. The result shows that applying ginger to the affected area at least three times a day can help to reduce pain and inflammation to up to 50% within one month.
How to use ginger to treat arthritis
The most common way of using ginger is as a spice for cooking. This is basically because ginger has a very nice aromatic flavor which helps to improve the quality of the food.
If you are suffering from arthritis, adding ginger to your food is one of the great ways to use it. Since ginger does not add any color to food like turmeric, it can be added to all kinds of dishes. However, it is important to add this in high quantity. This would help hasten the result.
As a tea
Ginger tea is readily available in stores and supermarkets. Taking ginger as a tea is also another effective way to use it for the treatment of arthritis. Aside from going for store-bought ginger tea, you can make your own using the fresh ginger root. Here are the steps to making your ginger tea:
- Get a not too big ginger root, peel the flesh and either slice it or grate it. When you have done this, check the quantity of the ginger and measure it to make sure it is up to two spoonful
- Pour two cups of water in your kettle or pot and add the grated or sliced ginger. If you have black pepper, you can add it to the combination.
- Allow this to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add some sweeteners like lemon, milk, and honey. This is optional.
- Filter the mixture into a cup and drink while it is still hot
- Ensure you take this mixture at least two times a day.
As a smoothie
Aside from taking ginger as tea and using it as a spice for cooking, ginger can be used as one of the major ingredients of your smoothie. If you are suffering from arthritis, a simple smoothie containing ginger and pineapple is a great option for breakfast. When using ginger as a smoothie, ensure you support this with either the tea method or the spice method.
As a topical
Aside from taking ginger orally, it can be applied as a medication on the affected area. Ginger topical is available in oil form. However, you can make yours by following these methods:
- Get big sized ginger, peel the skin and rinse
- Next, grate the ginger
- Get any natural or essential oil of your choices like coconut oil or olive oil.
- Pour the oil in a pot and add the already grated ginger
- Allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes
- Put the oil down and allow it to cool a bit
You can add other great oils like lavender oil, castor oil, and so on to the mixture. Apply the homemade ginger oil to the affected joint at least twice in the day. When you do this consistently for two months, you will experience great relief.
One of the significant results of applying ginger topical to arthritis pain is to heat up the area and cause it to sweat. This reaction helps to ease joint pain and arthritis.
As a supplement
Like the curcumin in turmeric, ginger is also available as a supplement. When using ginger supplements for arthritis, it is important to take a minimum dosage of 250mg. This should be taken at least twice in the day.
Note: Do not use ginger supplements on an empty stomach as it can upset the stomach.
Also, when choosing a ginger supplement for your arthritis, choose a high-quality supplement derived from organic ginger. If possible, look for a brand that makes use of supercritical fluid extraction. Also, be careful not to choose a product that contains additives.